A standard household compressor-type dehumidifier uses 125 watts on average. The smallest models use 20 watts while large models use up to 500 watts. Desiccant dehumidifiers use more energy. Small desiccant models use 300 watts while larger models use up to 700 watts. When run constantly, dehumidifiers will consume 90 kiloWatt-hour per month on average.
Dehumidifiers, like all appliances, have a label that shows their wattage. The number of watts stated on an appliance is the amount of energy it uses when running for one hour. So, for example, a 200 watts dehumidifier uses 200 Watts (0.2 kiloWatt) when running for one hour. The amount of energy used is then 0.2 kWh (kiloWatt-hour).
This is, however, not the exact amount of electricity they use all the time, but the maximum amount they can use, according to energy.gov. Their energt use fluctuates when running, and differs depending on the mode it is running in.
For example, my 200 Watts dehumidifier, even when running at maximum speed, uses about 163 Watts. The picture below is a screenshot of its energy use as I’m writing.
How to know the exact energy use of your device
The energy use information in the picture above is from an app connected to a smart socket. This socket can show details like energy use. It is also able to set a timer to turn the socket, and therefore the attached device, on or off. I really like these smart sockets since it allows me to turn my devices on and off with my smartphone or set a timer. You can find these kinds of smart sockets here on amazon.com.
Energy use is related to coverage area
The energy use of a dehumidifier is mostly related to the capacity of the device. A device that can dehumidify a relatively large area requires more energy. Compressor-type dehumidifiers use relatively few energy compared to the less common desiccant variants. Desiccant-type dehumidifiers include a heater to warm the air going through the device. This leads to higher energy consumption.
The following table shows the energy use of a variety of compressor-type household dehumidifiers. As you can see, not every device is as energy efficient.
For more details and prices of these dehumidifiers, use the links in the table to go to the product on amazon.com.
|Energy use (on average)
|330 sq. ft.
|480 sq. ft.
|1000 sq. ft.
|125 W (max 205 W)
|1500 sq. ft.
|120 W (max 200 W)
|2000 sq. ft.
|128W (max 230 W)
|4500 sq. ft.
|195 W (max 320 W)
A standard American living room is on average 330 sq. ft. Therefore, based on the table above, a dehumidifier for the living room will use about 48 watts. A typical American basement can be as large as the rest of the house. Therefore, a 1000, 1500, or 2000 sq. ft. dehumidifier is often required. A 1000-2000 sq. ft. dehumidifier uses about 125 W.
How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?
Currently, in late 2022, energy prices are at a record high. Electricity prices are around 0.1475 dollars per kiloWatt-hour. The monthly costs of running a dehumidifier depend on the model you are using. Let’s look at an example:
- Electricity price: $0.1475
- The dehumidifier uses 200 watts (0.2 kW per hour)
- The device runs 24/7 for 30 days
0.2 kiloWatt times 24 hours times 30 days is 144 kiloWatt-hours. This amounts to 144 times $0.1475 equals: $21.24 per month.
A desiccant dehumidifier uses more electricity
The information in this article (until now) is based on common household (compressor) dehumidifiers. They use a small amount of energy to run a fan and cool an element that causes the air to condensate. Desiccant dehumidifiers use more energy because they run a fan, a desiccant wheel, and a heating element.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are more common in industrial settings where the hot and humid exhaust air can be transferred outside. However, desiccant dehumidifiers are being created for household purposes as well.
A desiccant-type dehumidifier fit for private use consumes somewhere between 300 and 700 watts.
if you want to know more about how these types of dehumidifiers work, I recommend reading my article: