how much does a dehumidifier cost to run

How Much Does a Dehumidifier Cost to Run?

 You’ve heard that using a dehumidifier alongside your air conditioning system is a good idea. It’s true. A dehumidifier can help suck excess moisture out of the air, making your AC cycle less often. Sounds great, but how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?

Just how much extra you'll pay depends on a few key factors. Let's break it down so you can budget accordingly.

Dehumidifier Size and Capacity

Think of dehumidifiers like air conditioners - the bigger the unit, the more power it needs to run. Dehumidifier sizes are measured in pints, referring to how many pints of water the tank can extract daily.

A small 30-pint dehumidifier might be perfect for a basement or single room. But for larger spaces or humid environments, you'll need a higher-capacity 50, 70, or even 120-pint model. The higher the capacity, the more electricity it will consume. Here are some estimated operating costs for different dehumidifier sizes:

Estimated Dehumidifier Operating Costs 

Size Watts Cost per Hour

Cost per Month

30 Pint




50 Pint  590W  $0.094


70 Pint 700W  $0.112


120 Pint  950W $0.152


*Costs estimated at $0.16 per kWh electricity rate. Your actual costs may vary.

For example, a 30-pint dehumidifier may cost around $17-$18 per month, while a large 120-pint unit could run over $36 monthly.

Humidity Levels in Your Climate

Where you live makes a big difference too. Dehumidifiers have to work harder (and run longer) in muggy, moisture-filled areas like:

- Coastal regions

- Tropical locations

- Basements and crawlspaces  

The cost to run a dehumidifier will vary from region to region. If you live in a drier climate, your dehumidifier won't need to run as frequently, saving you money.

Energy Efficiency Rating  

Just like other appliances, dehumidifiers have energy efficiency ratings you'll want to pay attention to. ENERGY STAR-certified models meet strict efficiency criteria set by the EPA. While an efficient dehumidifier may cost more upfront, it can save you 15% or more on operating costs compared to conventional models. Over the lifetime of the unit, those savings really add up.

How Long It Runs Each Day

At the end of the day, operating costs come down to how many hours per day your dehumidifier is chugging away. The more it runs, the higher your electricity bill will be.

To estimate costs, you'll need to know two key specs:

1. The wattage of your unit (check the manual or product specs)

2. How many hours per day you run the dehumidifier

Let's say you have a 600-watt dehumidifier that runs 12 hours per day. Multiply 600 watts by 12 hours and divide by 1,000 to get the kilowatt-hours (kWh):

600 x 12 = 7,200 / 1,000 = 7.2 kWh per day  

If your electricity rate is $0.12 per kWh, then:

7.2 kWh x $0.12 = $0.86 per day

Over a 30-day month, that $0.86 daily cost becomes $25.80 added to your utility bill.

Of course, this is just an example. Your actual costs could be higher or lower depending on the factors above. But you can use this formula to calculate an estimate for your situation.

5 Tips to Reduce Dehumidifier Costs

While dehumidifiers inevitably increase energy usage, there are some simple tips to help minimize operating costs:

1. Use Fans to Improve Air Circulation

Stagnant air allows moisture to accumulate. Running fans helps circulate the air, so your dehumidifier can work more efficiently. Position fans to draw air towards the dehumidifier's intake and push dehumidified air outwards. This allows the unit to remove moisture from a larger area using less energy.

2. Close Off Unused Rooms

There's no need to dehumidify spaces you're not using. Close doors and air vents to any unoccupied rooms, basements, or additions. This reduces the square footage your dehumidifier needs to service, allowing it to run for shorter periods.

3. Set to Higher Humidity Levels When Comfortable

Most dehumidifiers let you set the desired humidity level, usually between 30-50%. The lower the setting, the more frequently the dehumidifier will cycle on to remove moisture. Setting it to the highest comfortable level, around 50%, can reduce run times.

4. Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR Certified Model

ENERGY STAR dehumidifiers are up to 15% more energy efficient than conventional units. While they cost more upfront, the energy savings quickly pay off that premium through lower operating costs over the life of the unit.

5. Choose the Right Size for Your Space

Using a dehumidifier that's too large for the area wastes energy. Refer to sizing guides to select the smallest capacity that can handle the square footage of the space. An undersized unit will run constantly, driving up costs.

You should also clean the air filter regularly. A dirty filter makes the dehumidifier work harder, wasting energy.

When a Dehumidifier Makes Sense

A dedicated dehumidifier is often the most cost-effective humidity control solution for enclosed, humid areas. But for whole-home dehumidification, running your air conditioner may be cheaper than a large-capacity dehumidifier. In crawl spaces and basements, the AlorAir 120 PPD Sentinel HD55S Crawl Space Dehumidifier is an excellent option.

Designed for energy efficiency, it can remove up to 120 pints of moisture daily while minimizing power consumption through features like low-temperature operation and continuous drainage. Its compact size fits perfectly in tight spaces, and the digital controls make it easy to monitor humidity levels.

Smaller spaces can get by with cheaper passive dehumidifiers like desiccants. But these disposable products need frequent replacement. Weigh your specific needs based on your climate, home size, and budget to determine if a dehumidifier is worthwhile for you.

Take Control of Indoor Humidity

While dehumidifiers use more electricity than some appliances, the benefits of reducing moisture often outweigh the expense for many homeowners. Proper humidity levels prevent mold, protect belongings, and improve indoor air quality.

Do your research to choose the right dehumidifier for your needs. And implement the tips above to minimize operating costs. With a little planning, you can enjoy the convenience of a dehumidifier without breaking the bank. Visit us at AlorairCrawlspace for the best crawlspace dehumidifiers on the market today. Our helpful experts can recommend the most cost-effective options for your situation.