Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity? How Much Does It Use?

While dehumidifiers are useful for regulating humidity levels in the home, many people will worry if they can afford the added electricity bill they caused. 

Don’t be too concerned. Dehumidifiers don’t use a lot of electricity, especially when you only use them a few hours a day or a few months a year. The average wattage is around 400W, which equates to approximately 6 cents per hour.

I will go over all the information you need to know about the energy consumption of a dehumidifier. In this post, you will understand how to calculate the electricity cost, how to pick the energy-efficiency models, and how to save more energy while using your dehumidifier.

How many watts does a dehumidifier use?

Even though wattage is not the most accurate indicator of energy consumption, it can provide a rough estimate when combined with running time.

On average, the wattage of a dehumidifier is about 400W. You can find many models that are around 200W to 300W these days. 

Many factors will affect this number. The capacity of the dehumidifier, for example, is important. A dehumidifier capable of removing up to 50 pints of moisture typically has a higher wattage than a model capable of removing 30 pints of moisture.

In addition, old models tend to have a higher wattage than modern units. 

If you have no idea if such wattage is high or not, the wattage of a hairdryer is usually 1000 to 2100, whereas a vacuum uses 500 to 300 watts of energy.

How much electricity does a dehumidifier use?

I want to calculate the electricity cost in different ways so you can have an overview of how much electricity you will use. As an example, I’ll use a 400W dehumidifier and assume the current utility cost is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Electricity usage and cost per hour

A dehumidifier can use 0.4 kWh every hour, which costs 6 cents per hour. 

Electricity usage and cost per day

Assume you run the dehumidifier 8 hours a day, and then it can use 3.2 kWh per day, equating to 48 cents per day.

Electricity usage and cost per month

Every month, a dehumidifier can use 96 kWh, which costs 14.4 dollars per month.

Electricity usage and cost per year

Every month, a dehumidifier can use 1152 kWh, which costs 172 dollars per year. Note that you are not likely to use a dehumidifier all year round, so the actual cost would be lower than this result.

You see, a dehumidifier doesn’t use a lot of electricity, right?

Energy-efficiency of dehumidifiers

Compared to the wattage of your dehumidifier, energy efficiency is a more meaningful indicator to consider. The higher the energy efficiency, the more water it can remove from the air per watt.

Assuming the moisture in the air remains constant, a high-energy-efficiency model will complete the task in less time. As a result, it will use less electricity in the long run.

There is an easy way to tell which one is more efficient – looking at the energy-star label. 

Energy star is a government-run program aiming at helping customers to choose high-efficiency products and save energy. Therefore, an energy-star certified dehumidifier uses 15% less electricity than its other counterparts.

Energy Factor

In practice, we frequently use the energy factor to determine the energy efficiency of a dehumidifier.

The energy factor represents the liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy consumed or L/kWh. 

Even if the wattage of the two models is the same, the model with the higher energy factor is more efficient.

Desiccant and condensing model energy consumption

how much electricity does a dehumidifier use

Even though you can find energy-efficient models in both categories, desiccant models may use more electricity than refrigerant models. This is because desiccant models must heat the desiccant constantly to remove the absorbed moisture on the wheel. 

However, in some cases, desiccant humidifiers outperform condensing humidifiers. It, for example, performs better in cold environments and operates more quietly.

As a result, even though a condensing model appears to save more energy, it may not be the best choice for you.

Dehumidifier sizes and electricity usage 

In general, a larger dehumidifier will use more electricity. But you shouldn’t go for a small one just because you want to save more money.

Choosing a model that is appropriate for your room size is critical. If the dehumidifier purchased is not capable of dealing with the amount of moisture in the room, it will constantly work at its maximum capacity, resulting in overheating and other faults. 

It will have a shorter lifespan and may end up costing you more money in the long run.

How to make your dehumidifier more energy efficient?

Aside from the types and sizes of dehumidifiers, you can save energy in other ways.

Placement 

Where you place your dehumidifier is essential. Remember to put it close to the humidity source and avoid blocking the airflow.

Clean

The dust and dirt will affect the efficiency of your machine. Clean it regularly, including the chilled coils, fans, wheels, and water tank can keep it always in good condition.

Conclusion: do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

Dehumidifiers do not consume a lot of power. It only costs about 6 cents per hour, which equates to 14.4 dollars per month if run eight hours a day.

As most users don’t use a dehumidifier constantly, the cost would not cause too much burden on you.

To save more energy, you’d better opt for an energy-star rated unit and place it in a room with the correct size. 

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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