Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot Of Electricity?

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In some parts of the United States, like New Orleans, humidity has an average of 86%. This means that most people living in this region and many others feel that a dehumidifier is not a luxury but a necessity. But do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity? This is a pertinent question to consider.

Dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity. Even though the wattage (energy consumption) of many is low, with the average being 483 watts, they stay on for at least 12 hours a day (in most cases, 24 hours). The average cost is about $1.50 daily, meaning it could cost up to (if not more than) $45 a month.

I will detail and break down all aspects of dehumidifier energy efficiency and how much energy (electricity) they use, going over various models, their IEF rating, how much you are most likely to spend per month, and more. Knowing their energy efficiency using the Energy Star rating and what to look for won’t be difficult after reading this article.

Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot Of Electricity?

In order to understand how much electricity a dehumidifier uses, consideration has to be taken into how one works.

Dehumidifier energy cost and therefore their energy efficiency, when switched on will obviously vary in the amount of electricity used. This is due to them cycling through various stages while activating different components while effectively removing moisture from the air.

Consider that the compressor, fan, and refrigeration coil will also use varying amounts of electricity. Moreover, the size of the room and the degree of humidity that needs to be removed will also play a role in even the most energy-efficient dehumidifier.

Although the energy consumption for small and medium-sized dehumidifiers is relatively low, long-term usage (especially older, less energy-efficient models) can add up to be quite a substantial amount.

This is compounded by the fact that most dehumidifiers run 12 to 24 hours daily.

How Many Watts Does A Dehumidifier Use?

The average watts for a dehumidifier are 483 watts, respectively, with the average humidifier using 0.427 kWh per hour. This means it can use almost 10.24 kWh per day if left on for 24 hours. However, dehumidifiers can be broken up into three categories which are namely;

  • Low wattage
  • Medium wattage
  • High wattage

Each of the dehumidifiers in these categories will use varying amounts of electricity, with the low wattage using resulting in the least electricity cost.

Here is a breakdown of how many watts each category will typically use;

Wattage Consumption Table Of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifier CategoryTypical Wattage (W)
Low Wattage DehumidifierBetween 124W and 466W
Medium Wattage DehumidifierBetween 467W and 700W
High Wattage DehumidifierBetween 701W and 970W

This means that the average humidifier that most individuals will have fall into the second category and as I said, depending on if the humidifier is on all the time, how old it is, and the amount of air (how big the space) it needs to

How Much Electricity Does A Dehumidifier Use Per Month?

If the average medium wattage dehumidifier is considered the standard and utilizes 10.24 kWh over a 24-hour period, then based on this, the average amount of electricity used will add up to 307.2 kWh per month (30 days).

Which Dehumidifier Uses The Least Amount Of Electricity?

According to the Canadian Government, ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers will use nearly 15% less energy and will be the most energy efficient. These types of dehumidifiers are not brand specific, meaning any dehumidifier brand can have it.

Additionally, whole home dehumidifiers, as well as portable models, may have this certification.

Consider that depending on the situation; a different size dehumidifier will be necessary, so determining which uses the least amount of electricity is not a viable option.

However, all dehumidifiers come with an IEF rating, which correlates to how energy-efficient (how much electricity they use) they are, which I will explain next.

Are Dehumidifiers Energy-Efficient?

Modern dehumidifiers that utilize a low wattage of between 124 and 466 watts are typically the most energy-efficient dehumidifiers available.

It would help to remember that a humidifier will typically run for hours a day (typically 24 hours), and when medium wattage and high wattage ones are used (even if they are deemed to be energy efficient), the electricity consumption will be quite considerable.

Additionally, dehumidifiers come with what is known as an “integrated Energy Factor” or IEF. This is simply the measurement of how many liters of water a dehumidifier is able to remove from the air using 1 kWh of energy. The higher the IEF rating, the more energy-efficient the dehumidifier.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Dehumidifier?

Considering that a dehumidifier will run 24 hours a day and utilize 10.24 kWh, the average daily cost will be approximately $1.54.

However, smaller and larger dehumidifiers will consume less and more electricity. As such, the average cost for low wattage through to high wattage dehumidifiers will be between $0.83 and $3.54 per day.

This means if a large wattage dehumidifier is being used, then the monthly fee for electricity can be as much as $106 a month, respectively.

Do Dehumidifiers Reduce The Cost Of Heating?

Dehumidifiers do indeed reduce the cost of heating. According to EcoAir, a leading manufacturer of cooling and ventilation, dehumidifiers can help cut energy costs because the higher the humidity levels in a home, the more difficult it is to heat it. This leads to higher gas bills.

Are Dehumidifiers Cheaper To Run Than A/C Units?

If both an A/C unit and dehumidifier are of both the same capacity (size) and have typical running times, then a dehumidifier is typically cheaper to run than an A/C unit.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Dehumidifier?

Below I have listed all the advantages and disadvantages of a dehumidifier for ease of use.

Dehumidifier ProsDehumidifier Cons
It can help with allergiesIt can produce a lot of noise and heat
Increases living comfortIt may increase the electricity bill
It regulates the amount of moisture in the airIt requires regular maintenance
Reduces dust mitesThey might not work in low temperatures
Lowers the risk of moldThe windows and doors need to be closed.
It can prevent musty odors
It prevents condensation
Decreases the chance of moisture damage
It can help speed up the drying of laundry
It can help reduce rust

When Is The Best Time To Use A Dehumidifier?

It is best to use a dehumidifier during the springtime, summertime, and early fall. Consider that humidity levels will vary throughout the year depending on the season. During Winter, it is best to leave a dehumidifier off because generally, the air is much dryer, meaning that a dehumidifier is not required.

Should You Leave A Dehumidifier On All The Time?

On average, and depending on how much humidity is in the air, a dehumidifier should run for at least 12 hours daily to be impactful. However, it would be best to run it 24 hours a day in most cases to completely remove humidity. 

Can I Leave A Dehumidifier On All Night?

Due to the fact that a dehumidifier should be running for 24 hours a day, it is perfectly acceptable to leave it on at night. It should just be noted that some dehumidifiers can generate a sufficient amount of noise so this is something to be aware of.

Does A Dehumidifier Make A Room Cooler?

In actual fact, a dehumidifier makes a room warmer. However, due to a dehumidifier removing moisture in the air, many individuals feel as if the room is cooler when it is not.

This paradox occurs because high humidity levels make it difficult for water to evaporate from the body, and so sweating occurs. When the humidity is lowered, sweat can evaporate once more, making it feel as if it is cooler when it is actually warmer.

Where Is The Best Place To Put A Dehumidifier In Your House?

The best place to install a dehumidifier is in the basement, closest to the source of moisture. This is due to basements having the most amount of humidity in a home.

However, if a home consists of multiple stories, then it should be placed as close to the stairs leading out of the basement as possible.

Can I Open A Window When Using A Dehumidifier?

It is safe to say that windows and doors will need to be closed when the dehumidifier is on. From my personal experience, leaving the doors and windows open will let in the air with the humidity I’m trying to get rid of.

This means it’s somewhat of a contradiction to leave windows and doors open. The dehumidifier won’t be able to dry a room or house out if constant air filled with moisture is constantly being let in.

Conclusion

Although dehumidifiers don’t necessarily use a lot of electricity and, in fact, are energy efficient (even more so if they have the ENERGY STAR certification), they will typically need to run for at least 12 hours a day but preferably 24.

This means that the energy consumption can be quite considerable. Moreover, if a large wattage dehumidifier is being used, the electricity cost can be as much as $100 per month. This is something to be considered even with the benefits of lowering allergies, preventing mold, removing dust mites, and more.

Thus, the primary factor to consider is how much of a budget is available for the electricity bill.

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About: Mila

Mila is passionate about living sustainability and encouraging others to do the same. Writing about practical steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the environment.