How Much Does It Cost to Run a Dehumidifier?

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Categories Dehumidifiers
Keep your air dry without drying out your wallet.

Do you like the idea of having a dehumidifier but feel worried about the costs? You’re certainly not alone. Many homeowners avoid dehumidifiers due to the extra cost on the monthly bills. However, do you know how much it actually costs to run a dehumidifier?

It depends on various factors, such as size and type. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dehumidify your home without raising your bills to the heavens.


Does My Dehumidifier Need to Run 24/7?

How long the dehumidifier needs to run depends on different factors, such as room size and humidity levels. New houses will often have higher relative humidity and will, therefore, benefit from running the dehumidifier for a long time on a regular basis.

It’s recommended that a house keeps the humidity between 40 and 60 percent; this will prevent mold and other bacteria (1). Once you get the humidity levels below 60 percent, you can try to experiment with different settings and times before finding what suits you.

In addition, many dehumidifiers are fitted with a timer and humidistat, which allows you to set your preferred levels. The dehumidifier will then continue to run until the set level is acquired and then turn off. Another smart feature is the auto-shutoff that turns the unit off when the bucket is full.

You can run your dehumidifier for 24 hours every day, but this will put a strain on the internal components. As a result, the lifespan of the dehumidifier will be shortened and you’ll need to purchase a new one.

Take Note

Running the dehumidifier 24/7 will also raise your electricity bills tremendously.

What Is the Average Cost of Running a Dehumidifier?

How much it costs to run a dehumidifier depends on the size of the unit. In general, smaller dehumidifiers — also known as mini dehumidifiers — cost about $25 a year. However, as the dehumidifier grows in size, so do the bills.

Larger units can reach a whopping $350 a year — this refers mostly to larger units that are 70 pints or more.

As an example, we calculated the average costs per hour based on the data you’ll find further down:

  • Monthly cost for 24 hours per day: $48.
  • Monthly cost for 12 hours per day: $24.
  • Monthly cost for 8 hours per day: $16.
  • Monthly cost for 6 hours per day: $13.
  • Monthly cost for 4 hours per day: $8.

How to Calculate the Energy Cost of Your Dehumidifier

How much energy your dehumidifier uses depends on how many watts it uses and your current power rate. It can be difficult to know exactly how much it costs, but you can make a rough estimate. Before you get started, there are two things you need to figure out:

  • How much your utility company charges per kilowatt-hour: You can find this by looking for some added fees on your monthly bill. These are usually added to each kilowatt-hour.
  • How much power your dehumidifier draws: This should be in watts, but not all companies use that. Instead, volts and amps are used — but don’t worry, you can easily convert it yourself. Simply multiply volts and amps to get your estimated wattage. Then, divide the watts by 1,000 so it’s in kilowatts.

Formula

Once you have these two figures, multiply them to get an estimate of the cost per hour to run your dehumidifier.

How Much Do Dehumidifiers Cost?

In the following section, we’ve picked out five of the best and top-rated dehumidifiers to give you an estimated cost. We chose different sizes, ranging from small 13-pint to large 70-pint units.

Take Note

The following costs are only rough estimates using $0.14 as the added kilowatt-hour fee. As you make your own calculations, they might be different due to varying fees.

Tosot 30-Pint Dehumidifier

TOSOT 1,500 Sq Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier - for Home, Basement, Bedroom or Bathroom - Super Quiet, Automatically Drains, with Removable Water Bucket - 30 Pint
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  • Pints Per Day: 30 pints
  • Energy Star Rated: Yes
  • Power Usage: 295 W
Active TimeInactive TimeCost Estimates
240Daily: $0.99 >  Monthly: $29.74 > Yearly: $362
1212Daily: $0.49 > Monthly: $14.9 > Yearly: $180.89
816Daily: $0.33 > Monthly: $9.912 > Yearly: $120.59
618Daily: $0.24 > Monthly: $7.43 > Yearly: $90.44
420Daily: $0.16 > Monthly: $4.95 > Yearly: $60.29

Frigidaire High-Efficiency 70-Pint Dehumidifier

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  • Pints Per Day: 70 pints
  • Energy Star Rated: No
  • Power Usage: 745 W
Active TimeInactive TimeCost Estimates
240Daily: $2.50 > Monthly: $75.1 > Yearly: $912.5
1212Daily: $1.25 > Monthly: $37.54 > Yearly: $456.6
816Daily: $0.83 > Monthly: $25 > Yearly: $304.4
618Daily: $0.62 > Monthly: $18.77 > Yearly: $228.49
420Daily: $0.41 > Monthly: $12.51 > Yearly: $152.2

Keystone 50-Pint Dehumidifier

Keystone 35 Pint Dehumidifier with Electronic Controls, 50, White
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  • Pints Per Day: 50 pints
  • Energy Star Rated: No
  • Power Usage: 520 W
Active TimeInactive TimeCost Estimates
240Daily: $1.74 > Monthly: $52.41 > Yearly: $637.65
1212Daily: $0.87 > Monthly: $26.20 > Yearly: $318.86
816Daily: $0.58 > Monthly: $17.47 > Yearly: $212.43
618Daily: $0.43 > Monthly: $13.10 > Yearly: $159.4
420Daily: $0.29 > Monthly: $8.73 > Yearly: $106.28

Colzer 70-Pint Dehumidifier

COLZER 70 Pints Dehumidifiers for Home Basements, Bathroom and Large Room up to 4,000 sq ft, Large Capacity Compact Dehumidifier with 7.4 Pints-Water Bucket & Continuous Drain Hose for Self-draining
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  • Pints Per Day: 70 pints
  • Energy Star Rated: No
  • Power Usage: 360 W
Active TimeInactive TimeCost Estimates
240Daily: $1.20 > Monthly: $36.28 > Yearly: $441.3
1212Daily: $0.60 > Monthly: $18.14 > Yearly: $220.46
816Daily: $0.40 > Monthly: $12.16 > Yearly: $147.1
618Daily: $0.30 > Monthly: $9.7 > Yearly: $110.37
420Daily: $0.20 > Monthly: $6.04 > Yearly: $73.58

Ivation 13-Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier

Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier Compact and Quiet - With Continuous Drain Hose for Smaller Spaces, Bathroom, Attic, Crawlspace and Closets - For Spaces Up To 270 Sq Ft, White
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  • Pints Per Day: 13 pints
  • Energy Star Rated: No
  • Power Usage: 470 W
Active TimeInactive TimeCost Estimates
240Daily: $1.57 > Monthly: $47.37 > Yearly: $576.3
1212Daily: $0.789 > Monthly: $23.68 > Yearly: $287.98
816Daily: $0.52 > Monthly: $15.79 > Yearly: $191.99
618Daily: $0.39 > Monthly: $11.84 > Yearly: $144.2
420Daily: $0.26 > Monthly: $7.89 > Yearly: $96.06

Tips for Reducing Dehumidifier Costs

According to the estimates above, even if you have a small dehumidifier or Energy Star-rated devices, it will show on the bills. Most dehumidifiers — apart from mini-models — will cost you around $100 or more a year. Luckily, there are ways to help your dehumidifier and lower the costs:

Choose the Right Size

When choosing the right size dehumidifier, we’re not talking about what dimensions would best suit your bedroom. No, we mean the capacity of the dehumidifier — also referred to as pints per day (ppd) and room coverage.

These are crucial points to get right in order for your dehumidifier to work optimally. Choosing a unit that can only cover 250 square feet and placing it in a large basement won’t help your bills. As a result, the dehumidifier is likely to run for 24 hours each day, pushing air through without dehumidifying it properly.

Therefore, before buying a dehumidifier, consider where it will be used. If you’re planning on moving it from room to room, consider how large the biggest room is. Thus, you can find a suitable dehumidifier that can easily cover each room efficiently.

Now, when it comes to capacity, you might think that it’s best to choose a small 30-pint due to lower costs. But this isn’t the case.

If you were to run a 50-pint and 30-pint dehumidifier in two equally-sized rooms, which one do you think would finish first? The 50-pint dehumidifier will move more air, thus dehumidifying the room quicker — which means you get to turn it off sooner.

Improve Air Circulation Naturally

By improving the air circulation within your home, you can lessen the need for the dehumidifier. If you have a few standing fans or ceiling fans, let them run a few moments each day. In addition, you can open a window or two to help bring some fresh air in.

One of the main causes of a humid indoor environment is because moisture has nowhere to escape. By opening a few windows and running a fan, you can effectively exchange the water vapor for some crisp outdoor air.

Use Moisture Adsorbers

Moisture adsorbers or desiccants are highly effective at removing moisture. There are different types, and the larger ones will use a significant amount of energy. However, smaller desiccants, such as the Eva-Dry, operate without electricity. You’ll only need to hook it up when recharging is required.

Although this type of moisture absorber won’t replace your dehumidifier, it could minimize the job. By assisting your dehumidifier when needed, you can reduce running times and, thus, save energy.

Go for Energy-Efficient Dehumidifiers

If you have yet to purchase a dehumidifier, we highly recommend you look for energy-efficient models. These are generally Energy Star rated, which means they use up to 20 percent less energy. In addition, Energy Star rated dehumidifiers cost the same as regular models, so you don’t have to worry about the initial price.

Reduce Humidity

A dehumidifier’s sole purpose is to lower humidity. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help it where possible. Here are a few ways you can reduce humidity within your home to save energy:

  • Improve drainage: It’s not only things inside the house that can raise the humidity; the outside surroundings also play a part. Therefore, you should avoid over-watering plants near the house. Also, you should also keep your gutters clean and clear. In addition, try to extend the downspouts away from your house to avoid water pooling by the foundation (2).
  • Repair leaks: If there’s a leak somewhere in your house, humidity levels will be on the rise. Before setting your dehumidifier to work, fix the leak to stop the source of moisture.
  • Consider how you dry your clothes: If you use a clothes dryer in your home, ensure it’s vented outdoors. On the other hand, if you don’t have a dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry if possible.

Limit Your Dehumidifier

Refrigerant dehumidifiers generally don’t work well in cold temperatures. Therefore, during the colder months of the year, refrain from using it altogether. When it’s cold, the coils will have a hard time heating — the dehumidifier will then use more energy and can eventually burn out.

So if you live in an area where you see many cold months, consider a desiccant dehumidifier instead. These use a desiccant material and don’t have a compressor or refrigerant liquid.


FAQs

How Long Do You Need to Run a Dehumidifier?

How long you need to run your dehumidifier depends on your relative humidity and the strength of your unit. If you measure your humidity and it reads anywhere over 60 percent, set the dehumidifier on high until it’s below 60. This will keep mold and mildew from growing.

Should I Run a Dehumidifier in Winter?

During the winter when it’s freezing outside, we tend to make our homes even more enclosed. As a result, humidity can rise. Regardless, the air is generally drier when cold because the air can’t hold the water droplets.

However, it isn’t recommended to run most dehumidifiers in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (3). This is due to the risk of the removed moisture freezing on the coils, causing damage to the unit.

Is It Safe to Run a Dehumidifier Overnight?

The answer to this question depends on the dehumidifier you have. Most new dehumidifiers have an auto-shutoff feature that turns the unit off when the bucket is full. Some have a timer that you can set to your preferred number of operating hours. In such cases, it would be safe to run overnight.


Doing the Math

Buying a dehumidifier is a significant investment, not just initially, but also in the long run. Dehumidifiers aren’t cheap, and their energy consumption can be rather surprising. Luckily, you can quickly calculate the estimated daily, monthly and yearly costs before even buying the unit.

If you already have a dehumidifier and want to lower the monthly bills, there are plenty of ways to do so. For instance, you can increase the air circulation inside by working a fan and opening a window. Likewise, you can use moisture adsorbers along with your dehumidifier to minimize the job.

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About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

As a writer with keen interests in DIY and HVAC, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.
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