How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?

These experts help to break down the cost of running a dehumidifier

A modern, dark painted office with a dehumidifier
(Image credit: Duux)

As energy bills soar, we're all looking for the best ways to save a few pennies while also being kinder to the planet. As it turns out, some appliances are a lot more costly than others - we all know it's best to only use electricity-guzzling machines like the dishwasher or tumble drier when necessary. But how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?  

For those of us who live in humid climates or homes that are prone to damp, switching off the dehumidifier might not be a simple option. In many cases, these nifty little machines are vital to making rooms feel comfortable as well as keeping mould at bay. However, it's still useful to know how much they're contributing to our electricity costs so we can adjust our spending. 

Thankfully, we've conjured up some answers from experts in this field so you can gauge an idea of how much your dehumidifier is really costing you. What's more, they also have a few words of advice to help us make our dehumidifiers more energy efficient to reduce bills and save energy

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

To know how much it costs to run a dehumidifier, you have to first establish how much energy it uses. Despite the many benefits of dehumidifiers, they do use a lot of electricity, but this varies greatly depending on the age and model of your appliance. 

'Dehumidifiers don't have to be high users of energy in your home,' explains Sarah Lavine, energy expert at Envirohome (opens in new tab). 'Many humidifiers are now energy star certified meaning they follow strict energy performance standards set by the EPA.'

The fact is, dehumidifiers aren't the bulky, inefficient machines that they once were. Modern models are small and compact and often have eco settings which improve their energy efficiency.

'Dehumidifiers also consume proportionally to their dehumidifying capacity, so higher capacity dehumidifiers are more energy efficient,' explains Ludovic Chung-Sao, founder of ZenSoundproof.com (opens in new tab).

According to Ludovic, this means a 50 pint dehumidifier will typically consume around 1 kWh to remove 3.30Lof water whereas a 35 pint dehumidifier will use the same amount of energy to remove 1.80L of water.

'Manufacturers typically specify the energy efficiency in Liter per kWh on their products. So, you can deduce the kWh spent every time you empty your water bucket,' he explains.  

best dehumidifier GE ADHB35LZ 35-Pint Portable Dehumidifier

(Image credit: GE)

How much does it cost per hour to run a dehumidifier?

You can check the voltage and current (amps) on the label of your dehumidifier and with a bit of simple maths, you can find out how much it costs to run. To calculate power consumption of any appliance, you have to multiply the wattage by the number of hours it is being used to find out how many kilowatts of electricity it consumes in a hour.

Of course, this figure will greatly depend on how many hours a day you use your dehumidifier. 'There are some brands that are bulkier and use more energy, but most stores are required to tell you the electrical consumption,' explains Camden Benoit, founder of Sustainably Off-Grid (opens in new tab). 'In my experience, it costs me about 5 cents an hour to run my dehumidifier.'

Should you leave a dehumidifier on for 24 hours?

Like any appliance, dehumidifiers will cost a lot more with constant use. Not only will leaving the machine on increase your energy bill, but you'll need to clean your dehumidifier more often, and it might begin to have negative effects on your environment, too. 

'I don't recommend leaving your dehumidifier on for more than 12 hours at a time,' says Camden. 'It will eventually get costly and probably make your home too dry for comfort.' 

It's a good idea to use a timer plug or an inbuilt setting on the dehumidifier to limit how long it's used for. Other more modern dehumidifiers will turn off once they reach the desired humidity level percentage. 

'This percentage varies from home to home, person to person, and state to state but we suggest targeting between 45 to 54 percent,' says Sarah. 'If a higher humidity level is chosen, the dehumidifier won't need to run as often leading to lower energy consumption.'

Besides setting the desired humidity level higher, there are a few other tricks you can use to preserve energy on more modern dehumidifiers. 

'Some dehumidifiers have a setting for low energy consumption which are always best to use,' Camden says. 'If not, you can turn the power to a lower setting or adjust the temperature and make it lower.' 

Lilith Hudson
Junior writer

Lilith Hudson is the Junior Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news articles for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration that you need in your home. She discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. Lilith now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London (a degree where she could combine both) and has previously worked at the Saturday Times Magazine, ES Magazine, DJ Mag and The Simple Things Magazine.