How Many Watts Does a Humidifier Use?

By: Evan Scoboria, Last updated: November 20, 2023

Humidifiers are crucial in creating a comfortable atmosphere in our homes, especially during drier months or in arid climates. But as we plug in these devices to soothe our sinuses and protect our wooden furniture, many overlook one key question: How much energy is this appliance using? 

How Many Watts Does a Humidifier Use?

Types of Humidifiers and Their Energy Profiles

When considering the energy profiles of humidifiers, it's essential to understand that several types have characteristics that can affect power consumption. Here are the common types of humidifiers and what you can generally expect in terms of wattage use:

Evaporative Humidifiers:

These are the most common types of humidifiers. They work by blowing air through a wet wick filter. Because they rely on a fan to operate, the wattage for these units can range from 30 to 100 watts, depending on the fan speed and model size.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers:

Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency vibrations to produce a fine mist. They are generally quiet and energy-efficient, with 25 to 90 watts of typical power usage.

Steam Vaporizers:

These humidifiers boil water to produce steam, which cools before leaving the machine. They are effective but can be more energy-intensive due to the heating element, with wattage typically between 300 and 500 watts.

Impeller Humidifiers:

Impeller humidifiers use a rotating disk to fling water at a diffuser, which breaks the water into fine droplets that float into the air. These units can consume anywhere between 25 to 85 watts.

Calculating a Humidifier’s Wattage

Identifying your humidifier's wattage should be straightforward—this information is usually listed on the device or its manual. To calculate the energy consumption, you must multiply the wattage by the number of hours used daily. This figure, divided by 1000, will give you the kilowatt-hours (kWh), which you can multiply by your local electricity rate to determine the cost.

Step 1: Locate the Power Specifications. Check the humidifier's label, user manual, or the manufacturer's website for its power specifications. The wattage should be listed, typically within 30 to 500 watts for home humidifiers.

Step 2: Determine Usage Time. Estimate the average number of hours you use the humidifier per day. Be as accurate as possible for a more precise calculation.

Step 3: Perform the Calculation. Multiply the wattage of the humidifier by the number of hours you use it daily. This will give you the watt-hours (Wh) per day.

Example Calculation: If your humidifier's power specification is 250 watts and you run it for 8 hours a day, the calculation is: 250 watts x 8 hours = 2000 watt-hours (Wh) per day

Step 4: Convert to Kilowatt-Hours (kWh). Since electricity is typically billed in kilowatt-hours, convert the watt-hours to kilowatt-hours by dividing by 1000.

2000 Wh / 1000 = 2 kWh per day

Step 5: Estimate the Cost: To determine how much it costs to run your humidifier, multiply the kWh by your local electricity rate (found on your utility bill).

If your electricity rate is $0.12 per kWh: 2 kWh x $0.12 = $0.24 per day

Step 6: Monthly and Annual Costs For a monthly estimate, multiply the daily cost by the number of days in a month. For an annual estimate, multiply the daily cost by the number of days in a year.

$0.24 x 30 = $7.20 per month $0.24 x 365 = $87.60 per year

Remember that the actual cost may vary depending on your utility company's rate structure and your humidifier's specific usage patterns. Some utility companies have different rates for different times of the day or increased rates during peak demand periods. Always refer to your electricity bill or contact your provider for precise rates.