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Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

If you live in an area with high humidity, a dehumidifier is necessary. This is because high humidity leads to skin diseases like acne. High humidity can also lead to heat stroke and fainting, especially in elderly family members. A dehumidifier lowers the humidity level in the air and prevents the growth of bacteria and mold, lowering the chances of asthma and allergy.

When it comes to buying a dehumidifier, people hesitate because they are worried that a dehumidifier can increase their electricity bill significantly. We will find out if there is any truth behind the claim that a dehumidifier consumes much electricity. We will also illustrate how to calculate dehumidifier electricity cost and state the steps to save energy cost when using a dehumidifier.

How Does A Dehumidifier Operate?

A dehumidifier contains a fan that traps the air in the room and sends it to its refrigerated coils. The coils condense the warm air and extract moisture from it. After the condensation of the water, the dry air without moisture is released back into the room. The process is repeated until the desired humidity level is reached.

By extracting the moisture from the room air, it prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew as they cannot grow in the absence of ample moisture. In fact, it improves indoor air quality, and if you have a heater or air conditioner, those appliances can run more efficiently.

Is It True That A Dehumidifier Needs Huge Electricity?

Several factors determine the amount of electricity a dehumidifier needs. First of all, there are different wattages of dehumidifiers, starting from low to high wattage. On average, the wattage of the dehumidifier is around 500W. Well, it falls in between an air cooler and an air conditioner. The average wattage of an air cooler is around 300W, while an air conditioner’s is 1000W.

But the most important factor determining the amount of electricity a dehumidifier needs is the time it runs. Ideally speaking, a dehumidifier can run between 12 hours to 24 hours. While running, the amount of electricity consumed depends on the air’s humidity, the room’s size, and the energy efficiency of the dehumidifier. If the air is humid, the dehumidifier needs to run longer at its peak, consuming more electricity. If the energy efficiency is low, the electricity consumption is high.

The bottom line is that if you have a low-wattage dehumidifier for a small room, the electricity consumption is not that high. But on average, a dehumidifier needs a significant amount of electricity as it runs for a long period of time to make the air dry. But you have to know how to calculate the dehumidifier electricity cost to get a complete understanding.

What Is The Wattage of Dehumidifiers?

We have already stated that different categories of dehumidifiers are available regarding their wattage. There are low, medium, and high wattage of dehumidifiers available. Here are the typical wattage of the different dehumidifiers below.

  • Low Wattage Dehumidifier – 125W to 460W
  • Medium Wattage Dehumidifier – 460W to 700W
  • High Wattage Dehumidifier – 700W to 1000W

On average, the wattage of a dehumidifier is around 500W. Therefore, if the dehumidifier runs for 24 hours, it will consume 12kW per day and amount to 360KW per month.

Calculate The Electricity Consumption Of A Dehumidifier

We are breaking down the process of calculating how much electricity a dehumidifier consumes into three parts.

  • Energy Consumption
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Cost

1. How Much Power Does a Dehumidifier Consume?

The energy consumption is measured in kilowatt-hour. To calculate the energy consumption, you will need the following two parameters.

  • Wattage of your dehumidifier which you will find in the manual.
  • The number of hours you run your dehumidifier per day on average.

Power consumed per day = wattage of the dehumidifier x hours per day.

For example, if your dehumidifier is of 300W, and you run it for 12 hours a day, the power consumed per day is 3600 watt-hour or 3.6KWh.

2. How Energy Efficient is Your Dehumidifier?

The energy efficiency of a dehumidifier is measured in terms of how many liters of water the dehumidifier can extract from the air using 1kWh of power. The higher the energy efficiency, the more water it can extract. Therefore, a highly energy-efficient dehumidifier will use less power than a regular or low energy efficient dehumidifier. The difference in power consumption can be 10 to 30 less annually, depending on the energy efficiency of the dehumidifier.

3. How Much Will you Be Paying Per Month?

The cost per unit of electricity differs from one place to another. The unit of electricity is measured in kWh. The cost of electricity is generally calculated every month. Therefore, if your dehumidifier is consuming 3.6kWh per day and the cost of a unit is $0.1 per unit, the cost of electricity consumed by the dehumidifier will be as below.

  • Cost of electricity consumed = Daily energy consumed x cost of electricity per unit x 30
  • Cost of electricity consumed = 3.6 x 0.1 x 30 = $10.8 per month by the dehumidifier.

4. How To Reduce the Energy Cost of Running A Dehumidifier?

Here are certain steps to reduce the energy cost of running a dehumidifier.

Get The Size Right – Different dehumidifier sizes are available, and you have to choose based on the size of your room. There is no benefit of buying an oversized dehumidifier. In fact, it will only consume more power uselessly and make the air too dry, which could be uncomfortable.

Upgrade Your Dehumidifier – If you have an old dehumidifier, upgrade it to the latest model. This is because the latest dehumidifiers are more energy-efficient, so you can save a lot on the electricity bill in the long run. You should invest more in purchasing a highly energy-efficient dehumidifier as a one-time investment.

Run As Necessary – Running a dehumidifier throughout the day is unnecessary. If your dehumidifier allows, you should set your dehumidifier to turn on as soon as the air in the room reaches a certain level of humidity and turn off when the humidity reaches a lower level. If your dehumidifier allows this smart setting, you can save nearly 30% of your electricity bill.

High-Quality Coil Coating – A dehumidifier with a hydrophilic coil coating has been found to extract moisture from the air faster than others. When the extraction is faster, you do not have to run the dehumidifier for long. Therefore, while purchasing a dehumidifier, you should choose a dehumidifier with hydrophilic coil coating.

Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity – FAQs

1. Can I run a dehumidifier all the time?

Ans: Yes, you can run a dehumidifier all the time because a dehumidifier is designed to serve all day long. However, running a dehumidifier for 12 hours a day is recommended so that the air does not get too dry and uncomfortable. Besides, the coil should get time to cool off, and the machine can sustain for many years.

2. Does the dehumidifier use more electricity than the AC?

Ans: If you are running a dehumidifier for the same duration as an air conditioner, the electricity consumption is going to be more for the air conditioner. Generally, an air conditioner consumes double the energy considering it is of 1000W while the dehumidifier is of 500W.

3. Where should I place a dehumidifier in the room?

Ans: You should place the dehumidifier close to the source of the moist air. Ideally speaking, you should place the dehumidifier in the basement because the basement has the most moist air than any room. For any room, you should place it in any place where the air circulation is ample. You should place it in the middle of the room to get the best result.

4. When should you not use a dehumidifier?

Ans: Whenever the air’s humidity level drops below 30%-50% range, you should switch off the dehumidifier. You should not use a dehumidifier in the winter when the air becomes dry, and the humidity level drops below 40%.


To sum it up, a dehumidifier can use a lot of electricity. But it depends on its size, its energy-efficiency, and most importantly, the hours of usage per day. You can calculate the energy cost of running a dehumidifier. You can reduce energy consumption by following a few simple steps mentioned in detail. You should buy a dehumidifier of the correct size, high energy efficiency, and smart controls.

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