How Much Does It Cost to Run a Dehumidifier?

By: Evan Scoboria, Last updated: June 27, 2023

Running a dehumidifier, especially a high-capacity unit, can transform your home's air quality by removing as much as 70 pints of moisture per 24hr. It's important to understand that this does come with a cost. Let's look at how to estimate the daily running cost of any dehumidifier you want to purchase. 

Dehumidifier, cost to run.

Calculating the Cost of Running a Dehumidifier

The cost of running a dehumidifier depends on several variables: the power usage of the dehumidifier (measured in watts), the number of hours the dehumidifier is running per day, and the cost of electricity in your area (measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh).

Step 1: Determine the power usage of your dehumidifier

You should be able to find this information in your dehumidifier's manual or on a label on the unit itself. It is usually given in watts. For example, let's say your dehumidifier uses 500 watts.

Step 2: Determine how many hours per day you run the dehumidifier

This will vary depending on your personal needs and the humidity levels in your home. For this example, let's assume you run your dehumidifier for 10 hours daily.

Step 3: Find out the cost of electricity in your area

This information can usually be found on your electricity bill or by contacting your electricity provider. The cost of electricity is typically given in cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For this example, let's say the cost of electricity in your area is $0.12 per kWh.

Step 4: Calculate the cost of running the dehumidifier

The formula for calculating the cost of running an electrical appliance is as follows:

Operating Cost = (Wattage × Hours of Use × Cost per kWh) / 1000

The division by 1000 is necessary to convert watts to kilowatts, as the cost of electricity is typically given in kilowatts per hour.

Applying this formula to our example, we get the following:

Operating Cost = (500 watts × 10 hours × $0.12 per kWh) / 1000 = $0.60 per day

So, in this example, it would cost roughly $0.60 per day to run the dehumidifier for 10 hours at the specified electricity rate.

Factors Affecting Dehumidifier Operating Costs

Several factors contribute to the cost of running a dehumidifier, including the unit's capacity, energy efficiency, and duration of use.

  1. The Dehumidifier's capacity: A dehumidifier's size and capacity are directly related to its power consumption. Larger dehumidifiers designed to remove a higher volume of moisture (measured in pints per day or PPD) generally consume more power. However, they can be more efficient in high-moisture environments because they can remove moisture more quickly and may not need to run as long as smaller models.

  2. Energy Efficiency of the Model: The energy efficiency of the dehumidifier model plays a crucial role in its operating cost. Dehumidifiers that have earned the ENERGY STAR® certification meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These models use more efficient components like compressors, fans, and better insulation to reduce heat loss. Thus, they can save significant energy and lower operating costs than non-certified models.

  3. Duration of Use: The longer the dehumidifier operates, the more energy it consumes, thus increasing the cost. Some dehumidifiers have built-in humidistats or can be connected to external hygrometers that measure the moisture level in the air. When the humidity level in the room falls below the set point, the dehumidifier automatically turns off. This feature can help to minimize unnecessary operation and save energy.

  4. Local Electricity Rates: The cost of electricity in your local area is a significant factor in the operating cost of a dehumidifier. Areas with higher electricity rates will naturally result in higher operational costs.

  5. Dehumidifier Settings: Higher settings on the dehumidifier will result in more energy consumption. For instance, setting the unit to maintain a very low humidity level will require more energy than a moderate humidity level.

  6. Condition of the Home: The state of your home also affects the cost of running a dehumidifier. If your home is well-sealed and insulated, it will retain conditioned air better, reducing the need for dehumidification. However, a house with many leaks or poor insulation will require a dehumidifier to work harder, thus consuming more energy.

By understanding these factors, you can make better decisions to reduce the operating costs of a dehumidifier in your home.

Tips for Reducing Dehumidifier Operating Costs

Reducing the operating costs of a dehumidifier can be achieved through broader strategies related to your home's overall humidity and insulation. Here are some expanded tips on how to minimize your dehumidifier's operating costs:

  1. Opt for an Energy-Efficient Model: Not all dehumidifiers are created equal regarding energy efficiency. Models with an ENERGY STAR® certification meet strict guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for energy efficiency and reliability. These models can use up to 15% less energy than non-certified models, potentially leading to significant savings over the device's lifetime.
  2. Use a Humidistat: A humidistat is a device that measures and maintains the humidity level in your home. Many modern dehumidifiers come equipped with a built-in humidistat that turns the unit on and off to maintain a preset humidity level. This can prevent your dehumidifier from running continuously and using more energy than necessary. If your dehumidifier has no built-in humidistat, separate ones can be purchased and installed.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Like any appliance, a dehumidifier operates most efficiently when well-maintained. Clean your dehumidifier's filters and coils regularly to ensure it's running as efficiently as possible. Also, inspect the unit for any signs of wear or damage. A poorly functioning dehumidifier can use more energy and remove less moisture from the air.
  4. Seal Your Home: Cracks, leaks, and gaps in your home's structure can let in humid air, forcing your dehumidifier to work harder. By sealing these areas, you can prevent excess moisture from entering your home in the first place. This might involve caulking around windows and doors, insulating your attic, or waterproofing your basement.
  5. Consider Using a Dehumidifier Only When Necessary: While it might be tempting to run your dehumidifier all the time, it might not always be necessary. If the weather is dry, or you're using other methods to reduce humidity (like air conditioning or ventilation), you may not need a dehumidifier. You can always adjust your usage based on the current conditions to avoid unnecessary costs.
  6. Proper Placement: Place your dehumidifier in the area where it's most needed (usually the dampest area) and make sure it's not blocked by furniture or other objects. A correctly positioned dehumidifier will work more effectively and won't waste energy.

By following these tips, you can effectively reduce the running cost of your dehumidifier while still maintaining a comfortable humidity level in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the size of the dehumidifier affect its running cost?
Yes, the size of the dehumidifier does affect its running cost. Larger dehumidifiers typically have a higher power consumption rate than smaller ones, leading to increased energy use and higher running costs. However, they may operate more efficiently in larger spaces or highly humid conditions, potentially saving energy in the long run by completing the job more quickly.

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?
The electricity a dehumidifier uses depends on its size, model, and how often it's running. Smaller, more energy-efficient models generally use less electricity than larger, less efficient ones. On average, a standard dehumidifier might use between 280-500 watts of electricity, but this can vary widely.

How can I reduce the cost of running a dehumidifier?
You can reduce the cost of running a dehumidifier by using it efficiently. This includes using the right dehumidifier size for your space, not set too low humidity, and ensuring your home is well-insulated to prevent excess moisture from entering. Some dehumidifiers also have energy-saving features or modes that can help reduce electricity use.

What is the average annual cost of running a dehumidifier?
The average annual cost of running a dehumidifier can depend on several factors, including the model of the dehumidifier, the cost of electricity in your region, and how often the device is in use. Based on the average electricity rate and usage, the annual cost can range from $30 to $200. However, this can vary widely based on the factors mentioned.

Does using a dehumidifier increase your electricity bill?
Yes, using a dehumidifier will increase your electricity bill as it uses power. The exact amount will depend on how often the dehumidifier is used, its size, model, and the cost of electricity in your region.

Is it more cost-effective to run a dehumidifier continuously or in cycles?
Running a dehumidifier in cycles can be more cost-effective, allowing the device to rest and not continuously consume power. However, the best approach depends on your specific needs and the humidity level in your home. If the humidity level is very high, it may be necessary to run the dehumidifier more frequently to maintain comfort and prevent issues like mold and mildew. It's essential to balance the need for humidity control with energy usage.

Can using a dehumidifier during off-peak hours help save on electricity costs?
Yes, using a dehumidifier during off-peak hours can help you save on electricity costs. Off-peak hours are times when the electricity demand is lower, often during the night or early morning. Some utility companies offer lower rates during these off-peak hours to encourage customers to shift their electricity use away from peak demand periods. If your utility company has such a pricing structure, running your dehumidifier during off-peak hours could save costs. However, it's essential to ensure that this strategy doesn't interfere with your dehumidifier's effectiveness in controlling the humidity levels in your home.


Understanding the factors affecting the cost of running a dehumidifier and taking steps to minimize energy consumption can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a unit. By choosing an energy-efficient model, using a humidistat, and adequately maintaining your dehumidifier, you can effectively control indoor humidity while keeping operating costs to a minimum.