Dehumidifier Power Efficiency: Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

As with every device powered by electricity, it makes sense to look into dehumidifier energy use.

When looking at how many watts does a dehumidifier use, you can see that dehumidifiers don’t draw that many amps or watts.

For everybody worried if dehumidifiers are expensive to run, here’s a quick answer: No.

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

Not really. You can calculate exactly how does it cost to run a dehumidifier using this dehumidifier running cost calculator.

How Many Watts Does A Dehumidifier Use?

Dehumidifier energy use is rather low. An average small 30-pint dehumidifier uses 300W of energy. An average big 70-pint dehumidifier uses 700W of energy.

To put the energy use in perspective, here are how many watts some other devices draw:

how much wattage do dehumidifier draw compared to other appliances

Essentially, a dehumidifier draws much less electricity than a water heater, an air conditioner, and even a hair drier. An average dehumidifier draws about as much energy as a computer. If you check here how dehumidifiers work, you can see that majority of that energy is used to compress refrigerant gas.

Nevertheless, it makes sense to buy the most energy-efficient dehumidifier. Let’s see how we can evaluate which dehumidifiers are more energy-efficient than others.

Running the most energy-efficient dehumidifier for 10 hours can cost you less than $1.

Calculating The Energy Efficiency Of Dehumidifiers (Energy Star Label)

Energy-efficiency of dehumidifiers is expressed by ‘Energy Factor Value‘ or EEV for short, measured in liters per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh). By knowing the capacity and power of a dehumidifier, we can (with a bit of unit conversion) calculate the energy factor for every dehumidifier.

Here’s a quick calculation of how much running an EEV 2.0 (very energy-efficient) dehumidifier costs versus an EEV 1.0 (very energy-inefficient) dehumidifier. For the energy usage calculation, let’s assume the following:

  • Both of them have a 70-pint capacity.
  • We run them for 1,000 hours.
  • The average cost of a kilowatt-hour (kWh) is 13.19 cents.
Energy-Efficient Dehumidifier (EEV = 2.00) Energy-Inefficient Dehumidifier (EEV = 1.00)
(Yearly) Electricity cost: $91,01 (Yearly) Electricity cost: $182,02

It’s quite evident that it makes sense to shoot for the more efficient dehumidifiers. Here the difference in electricity bill can be almost $100/year. Energy efficiency has the biggest effect in the case of big commercial dehumidifiers. That’s why we ranked commercial dehumidifiers based on energy efficiency in this post.

In the list of the best dehumidifiers you can check here, we’ve calculated the energy factors and took them into account when specifying which ones are the best. All of them have the Energy-Star label for high energy efficiency. You can check the requirements for the Energy-Star label of the dehumidifier here.

Opt for dehumidifiers with high energy-efficiency to drive down the electricity costs. Dehumidifiers with the EEV of 1.5 or above are ideal.

Here are some key considerations to have in mind when figuring out power costs for a dehumidifier:

  • Smaller dehumidifiers will have lower running costs. For example, these small 20-pint dehumidifiers will use a lot less electricity than big 50+ pint units.
  • To optimize running costs, you should adequately size a dehumidifier. If the dehumidifier is too big, it might use more electricity than needed. You can check what size dehumidifier you need here.
  • Running a dehumidifier on low, medium, or high setting will spend a different amount of electricity. If you don’t really know which setting is the best to use, you can consult this article about low vs medium vs high dehumidifier setting.
  • If the dehumidifier electricity expenditure starts to increase, you might have a problem with your dehumidifier freezing up. This will cause a spike in the electricity bill. You can check symptoms of dehumidifier freezing up here to check if you have an icing problem.


8 thoughts on “Dehumidifier Power Efficiency: Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?”

  1. My roommate has the large Frigidaire humidifier she runs it at night so approximately 8 to 10 hours a night but it is plugged in 24 hours a day my electric bill it’s like $60 more than it usually is does that have anything to do with it believe it’s a 70-pint

    • Hello Judy, let’s presume a Frigidaire dehumidifier (70-pint) runs on 700W and it runs 10h per day. In a month, that 300h running time, and electricity expenditure of 210 kWh. 1 kWh might cost up to 30 cents; that means that 210 kWh * $0.30 per kWh = $63 per month. Sounds about ‘$60 per month more on electricity’, right? When it’s plugged in and not running, it doesn’t spend any electricity (or just an absolute minimal amount). Running a large 70-pint dehumidifier can incur such costs. Hope this helps.

  2. Talk about a misleading article. The math to calculate the amount of electricity cost is correct, but this math results in the completely opposite conclusion that YES, DEHUMIDIFIERS USE AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY. For most homeowners with gas-heated homes, AN AIR CONDITIONER IS THE ONLY SINGLE APPLIANCE THAT MAY SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT YOUR ELECTRIC BILL MORE THAN A DEHUMIDIFIER.
    The only functional difference between an air conditioner and a dehumidifier is that with a dehumidifier, the condenser and evaporator coils are both inside, so they are doing all of the same work as an air conditioner, but then just blowing the heat removed from the air back inside, as opposed to an air conditioner that pipes the collected heat outside to be expelled, so it’s almost like running an air conditioner and a heater at the same time, which is insanely inefficient (you could achieve the same result by running a window unit air conditioner completely inside the house, but you better find a way to get the condensation piped to a drain!)

    It is a completely unfair comparison to say “a dehumidifier uses less electricity than a coffee maker” because a coffee maker is only consuming that higher wattage of electricity for about 10 minutes in order to brew a pot of coffee, while a dehumidifier will generally be running all the time (or at least plugged in and turned on, ready to engage at any time based on humidity level) to keep humidity under control.

    My 50 pint Danby dehumidifier is rated at 7.8A, which would be 936W max.

    • Thank you for an HONEST evaluation! I’m trying to find a dehumidifier that won’t drain a small solar powered battery because the main purpose for the battery is an air compressor for a hospice person.

    • Your science is miscued Mike. Yes, the dehumidifiers push out warmer air, but that’s only because it is warming it to dew point so the machine can draw out the water. It’s sucking in cooler, saturated air and pushing out warmer, drier air until it reaches its designated relative humidity. AC units definitely don’t do this and this is why you don’t place them in your crawl space. We place our Dehus in the crawl space because its the exposure to the earth and the source of the humidity current in our house (the stack effect). The energy calculations are based on an average so I don’t think it’s concretely stating this is what the costs will be but it all depends on your own situation like where you live, how high your house sits in comparison to sea level, your crawl space conditions which will determine how much your dehu needs to run. They do have the ability to significantly effect your energy bill by saving around 30-50 bucks a month. I have seen it myself on multiple people’s energy bills. But, if you’re suggesting you set your AC unit straight first then I agree, but it seems like you’re down playing what can actually Dehumidifiers do.

    • You are correct, but…. I have a 15,000 BTU unit in my dining room. On a humid day, it will fill a 5 gallon bucket twice. It uses just under 1400 watts per hour (per watt meter). have a dedicated 20 Amp breaker and outlet for it. I bought a Midea 50 pint dehumidifier last year. It too will fill a 5 gallon bucket up twice. Yes, that’s 160 pints a day. If dew points outside are sub 70, production is lower. I shoot for a relative humidity of 50%. That level of comfort will allow me to set my AC to 82 degrees inside and that’s a dew point of 62. My dehumidifier uses just under 700 watts per hour. I run my dehumidifier in conjunction with my AC. I use digital timers during peak demand and both are off. On timer my AC can potentially run 12 hours per day, it doesn’t. The dehumidifier is set to shut off at 50% humidity. It’s a dance. I save money by using my power company’s demand rate and from 2p to 6p local time, I shut it all down and at 6:05 I turn those unit on. Now 82 can downright be warm, but not when I keep humidity levels down. Sure I can use AC and set the temperature to 78 or lower. Or do the math. The writer of this article didn’t state any of this. What he also didn’t state is a dehumidifier in the winter time matters. AC can go down to 60, dehumidifiers 45 degrees. I can tolerate cold and dry way better than cold and wet.

  3. Allow me to add, that it all depends on much the dehumidifier works to regulate the room humidity. If the weather is very humid, then the dehumidifier will be on almost 80% of the time. If the weather is dry, the dehumidifier will work less than 40% of the time.
    I set my dehumidifier to regulate on 50% humidity. Whenever that is reached, it will turn off automatically. When humidity increases again to almost 55%, it will turn on. With that said, although it’s on the whole day (i turn it off when i sleep), it generally works half the time.
    So numbers will differ on what settings you use, how humid is the air, and how much time your dehumidifier takes to regulate the air.


Leave a Comment