How Much Does It Cost to Run a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier may be essential for a wide range of people, those living in humid climates or suffering from allergies could certainly benefit from using one. As all of us know, effective appliances are often power-hungry and can severely impact the electric bill so, will a dehumidifier break the bank?

how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier

In order to know how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier, first, you must know how to choose the right one. Running a standard dehumidifier doesn’t necessarily cost much. On the other hand, a bigger capacity dehumidifier will cost you a little more to run.

If you’re considering running an energy-efficient dehumidifier, you should expect to see a lesser impact on your electric bill once you find the right one for you.

Dehumidifier’s wattage ranges anywhere from 215W up to 970W, with the average wattage being 480W.

According to the average electricity rate in the U.S which is 10.42 cents per kilowatt-hour, a 480W dehumidifier running 24/7 will have a daily cost of $1.20, a monthly cost of $36.53, and a yearly cost of $438.44.

Considering that the median wage in the U.S currently sits at $51.168 per year, the yearly cost to run an average dehumidifier is less than 1% of the U.S median wage!

Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?


Power consumption will depend on the appropriate size dehumidifier for your needs. 

Total moisture removal capacity is the method used to determine the size of a dehumidifier. This is measured in pints removed per 24-hour period (1 US pint = 0.125 gallons).

Choosing the right size dehumidifier is not enough though. To properly assess how much it costs to run a dehumidifier, it’s important to take into account how damp is the area destined for its use.

Here’s a rough estimate for the electricity cost of differently sized units:

Small Unit (Between 24- and 39-pint capacity)

  •  Ideal for damp areas between 500 and 1500 square feet
  •  Average wattage: 300W
  •  Average yearly cost (running 24/7): $274.02

Medium Size Unit (between 40- to 59-pint capacity)

  • Ideal for damp areas between 2000 and 2500 square feet
  • Average wattage: 500W
  • Average yearly cost (running 24/7): $456.70

Big Unit (60-pint or greater capacity)

  • Ideal for damp areas of 2500 up to 4500 square feet
  • Average wattage: 700W
  • Average yearly cost (running 24/7): $639.39

Whole House Dehumidifiers (Around 100-pint capacity)

  • The best solution for non-continuous spaces (several different divisions)
  • Average wattage: 850W
  • Average yearly cost (running 24/7): $776.40

If the area is more on the wet side rather than damp, consider choosing a larger capacity unit than shown above to maximize the effectiveness.

Should My Dehumidifier Run All the Time?

Dehumidifiers don’t have to run all the time, in fact, this practice is harmful.

Most models have a built-in humidistat that automatically shuts down the system once the relative humidity threshold (typically between 30% to 45%) is reached.

The same holds true for the water reservoir, most units come equipped with a mechanism that shuts down the machine once the reservoir is full to avoid spillage.

Running a dehumidifier 24/7 is not only bad for your wallet but it’s also bad for your health, dry air can potentially cause skin irritation as well as several respiratory ailments.

Does a Dehumidifier Use More Electricity Than an Air Conditioner?

An HVAC unit will use more electricity than a dehumidifier more often than not, but are these 2 appliances even comparable?

The answer is yes to some extent.

Although the main function of an HVAC unit is to extract hot air from a room and bring in cool air, it does so by also removing humidity, this is where both devices share functions.

Damp air usually feels warmer and in some specific cases, running a dehumidifier is enough to bring down a room’s temperature without the need for air conditioning.

Running a central air conditioner will easily set you back between $900 to $1200 per year whilst a dehumidifier will roughly cost you half the amount during the same period.

Are New Dehumidifiers More Energy Efficient?

Dehumidifier Energy

Yes, new dehumidifiers are more energy-efficient than older units since the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987.

These laws were made to create mandatory standards for the energy efficiency of household appliances.

Since then, manufacturers are obliged to make their products meet these standards before public release.

This doesn’t mean energy-efficient dehumidifiers are less capable units though. Besides saving energy, these also have new perks to set them apart from their old power-hungry relatives.

What do newer units offer?

  •  ENERGY STAR ® certificate (more of that below).
  • Humidistat – a way to measure the room’s relative humidity.
  • Built-in timer – A way to automatically shut down the dehumidifier to save energy.
  • Auto-restart – This makes sure that the dehumidifier returns to run without human intervention in the event of a power outage or when the relative humidity level rises.
  • Frost Sensor – Dehumidifiers running in cold environments can build up frost on the condenser coils, a frost sensor will put the work on hold to defrost in order to ensure efficiency.
  • Air cleaning functions – Some newer models promise to purify the air and kill bacteria.
  • Wider range of operating temperatures.

The Most Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers

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If you’re concerned about how much it costs to run a dehumidifier, then an ENERGY STAR® labeled dehumidifier is the right choice for you.

The ENERGY STAR® label is the government’s approved symbol for energy efficiency. It helps the consumer save money and protect the environment without sacrificing performance.

It was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants resulting from inefficient use of energy.

Now that you know why an energy-efficient dehumidifier is the best option, have a look at some of the best in the market below:

30 Pints 


Removes up to 30 pints a day with an 8-pint removable tank
Removable, washable mesh filter
Humidistat with LED digital display
Built-in indicator light and audible alert system notifies when full

50 Pints 

Ivation Dehumidifier 4500 Sq.ft

So quiet you might even forget it’s there
3.2 liter water reservoir
Can remove up to 50 pints of water every 24 hours
Humidity level monitoring

70 Pints 

Honeywell 4000 Sq. Ft

Ideal for large areas
Wi-Fi-Enabled and compatible with voice commands
Removes up to 70 pints of moisture from the air
No filter replacements necessary

The Bottom Line

How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier? Probably not nearly as much as you thought.

Dehumidifiers don’t have to be running 24/7 to be effective, new units are designed to shut down once the optimal relative humidity threshold is reached.

Most HVAC systems consume way more energy than a dehumidifier and sometimes, the latter is enough to keep a room cool without the need for air conditioning.

You can use an ENERGY STAR® labeled dehumidifier to save even further, these are designed to operate at maximum efficiency without compromising results. 

Not enough money to run a dehumidifier? Check out our article on cleaning houses for money to start earning right away.

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