How Much Does It Cost to Run a Dehumidifier?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

A dehumidifier can be a great addition to any home in climates that are particularly humid. Not only can it be quite uncomfortable to live in that kind of humidity, but the added moisture can be a major detriment for the health and cleanliness of your home.

The average cost to run a dehumidifier for 10 hours a day is $446 per year. Homeowners spend $2.10 per day to run a dehumidifier. Old dehumidifiers cost up to $1,227 per year to run if they are outdated.

What is the Approximate Cost of Running an Electric Dehumidifier?

Most standard electric dehumidifiers will run at about 280 Watts per hour. With a current power rate of around 15 cents/kW, you can safely estimate that it will cost 4.2 cents per hour of power to run the dehumidifier.

Doing the math on that is then a bit easier. Let’s say that you want to run the dehumidifier for about 10 hours each day. With that, we can determine that 10 hours at 4.2 cents per hour is about $0.42 per day. If you were to use the humidifier every single day, that would come out to just a shade over $150 annually. Reasonably speaking, you shouldn’t have to use the dehumidifier every single day of the year but if you live in a warmer climate, there’s a chance that you may.

What to Consider When Buying A Dehumidifier

The amount of power and the subsequent cost of running a dehumidifier all comes down to the size of the room. The bigger the room, the longer you will need to keep it on. And the longer you keep it on, the more money it will cost in the long run.

You’ll also want to consider the space that you plan to run the dehumidifier in. Depending on the age of the house, not every room will have the proper power sources available. Keep that in mind before you purchase your dehumidifier.

Energy Consumption Levels of a Dehumidifier

Bar-none the most important thing that you want to keep in mind with a dehumidifier is the energy consumption or kilowatt-hour (kWh) of the device that you go with. You’ll also want to know just how efficiently the device that you choose uses that energy.

Generally speaking, you will find the energy consumption rate on the sticker or label on the dehumidifier itself. The energy efficiency, which may also be known as the energy factor, is based on the kWh. This basically tells you how many liters of water will be removed from the air for every kWh.

Believe it or not, larger dehumidifiers are often times more efficient than the smaller units. Keep in mind that it may save you money over time, but the upfront costs of the dehumidifier may be on the pricey side.

Should You Leave a Dehumidifier Running All the Time?

This can depend largely on the quality of the air in your home as well as moisture levels in the air in your particular area. The point of the dehumidifier is to such the moisture out of the air, making it so that the air quality is greatly improved.

Depending on the dehumidifier that you choose, this can take quite a bit of time. In some instances, you might need to leave the dehumidifier running for quite some time to maintain the air quality in your home for an extended period of time.

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day?

While costs are certainly an important factor to keep an eye on, the whole point of the dehumidifier is to drain out the moisture that can make the air feel heavy. So, how long do you need to run the dehumidifier to achieve improved air quality and make the room more comfortable?

It is recommended that you run a dehumidifier for at least 12 hours each day. This can depend greatly on how damp the room you’re using it in is, the capacity of the unit, and any built-in features that the dehumidifier may have.

If you are trying to improve the condition of a room that is very damp, it may be a good idea to let the dehumidifier run for the whole day or perhaps a few days to get the air quality and moisture levels where you would prefer them to be.

Will Running a Dehumidifier Kill Mold?

Mold is known to grow in areas that are cool, dry, and dark. It tends to stay dormant, in a sense, on surfaces or in the air even when there isn’t that excessive moisture available to allow it to properly grow the way that it wants.

But if you’re counting on your dehumidifier to kill that mold, you are mistaken. Still, even if the dehumidifier cannot totally kill the mold, it can work to prevent it by reducing the amount of moisture in the air. If you currently have a mold issue, it’s best to have a professional remove the problem first. Running a dehumidifier after the fact is a great way to not only improve the air quality but to prevent mold growth from happening again.

Is It OK to Sleep with a Dehumidifier On?

Before we get into that, just know that you can leave a dehumidifier on overnight without any issue. But if you plan to sleep in the same room as that dehumidifier, it is a good idea to clean the unit before going to bed.

Not only that, you’ll want to check some of the features to ensure that the room will not be totally dried out when you wake up. Depending on the settings of the dehumidifier, it could create an uncomfortably dry setting to sleep in.

How Often Should I Empty My Dehumidifier?

The general rule of thumb is that you may need to replace it as often as twice per day with every couple of days being a possibility as well. For smaller units, you will need to empty your bucket or the internal storage unit a few times per day.

The number of times that you have to empty the container can also depend on the conditions of the room. If you try to dehumidify a basement, for example, you are working against a lot more moisture and a larger space. In that instance, you would probably need to empty the dehumidifier several times per day depending on the size of the unit.

Can a Portable Dehumidifier Work for a Whole House?

No, a small or portable dehumidifier will not work for a whole house. They are created specifically to handle smaller rooms and areas and simply do not have the power or capacity to take care of an entire home.

If you’re looking to dehumidify your entire home, it may be worth investing in a whole-home dehumidifier. These will be able to handle larger spaces but they may also have the ability to drain into a utility sink or out of the house entirely, saving you from having to empty the dehumidifier on your own.

All of this depends on your dehumidifying needs and the size of the space that you plan to use it in.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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