You’ve done your research and taken your time, but you finally found the perfect dehumidifier for your home. You paid a fair amount for it and got it all hooked up and ready to go. So, you’re all done—right? Well, not exactly. While it’s true that the initial purchase of a dehumidifier is going to cost you a fair amount, it’s also going to cost you to keep it running and properly maintained. However, don’t worry too much about it—you won’t have to sell your firstborn to pay for it.
Let’s take a closer look at what it actually costs to own a dehumidifier and learn some ways that you can decrease those costs.
Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?
Just like any other electrical appliance, your dehumidifier needs electricity in order to function. So, the actual cost of running your dehumidifier will vary, depending on several different factors.
First, the cost will depend on the make/model of your dehumidifier. In addition, the amount of electricity used by your dehumidifier will depend upon the actual humidity levels in your home. Additionally, your electricity rate plays a prominent role in determining how much it will cost you on your electric bill to run your dehumidifier.
Of course, there are some things you can do if you want to decrease your electric bill. First, you want to make sure that the dehumidifier you choose has an Energy Start certificate. This means that particular unit consumes less power than those that don’t have an Energy Start certificate. While it’s true that a unit without a certificate will cost you less up front, you’ll end up paying the difference—and more—in the long run through your electric bill.
One way that you can get a clearer picture of how much your dehumidifier is going to cost you is to divide the wattage by 1,000. This will let you know how many kilowatts/hour it consumes. Next, you’ll multiply that with your rate per kilowatt/hour. Then, you’ll take that and multiply it by how many hours your unit runs. This will give you a basic idea of how much it’s going to cost you to run your dehumidifier. If you’re not able to find the wattage anywhere on the label, you’ll want to take the voltage and amperage and multiply them together.
On the other hand, owning a dehumidifier will also save you money. Think about how often you crank up the AC when it’s hot. When you are hot and sweaty, there’s more at play than the temperature in the room—relative humidity is also part of it. If you own a dehumidifier, it keeps the humidity down so you don’t use your AC nearly as often. This saves you money because running a dehumidifier is cheaper than running an AC.
Just like any other appliance, your dehumidifier will need some maintenance. Of course, it won’t cost a lot because it really won’t need much maintenance. You will need to replace the air filter from time to time, but they can last for several months or even up to one full year. The process of maintaining your dehumidifier is fairly simple—you’ll just need to remove the water from the collection bin, replace your hose, and do a general cleaning from time to time.
How can you reduce the cost of running a dehumidifier?
Though your dehumidifier isn’t going to cost a whole lot out of pocket to run, there are lots of things that you can do to decrease the cost and still remove the excess moisture from your air. Here are a few of them.
Circulate air with fans and windows
One way to save some money is to get fresh air circulating in damp areas. One of the major reasons that basements and other areas get dank is because the water vapor collects in them and doesn’t have any way to escape. However, when you create air flow and have a way that it can get out, such as through windows/vents, and adding fans to help with air circulation, it helps alleviate humidity issues.
Use calcium chloride
Calcium chloride is a substance typically found in de-icer products. It is a salt crystal that absorbs the moisture from the air. You can find calcium chloride products in your local hardware/home-improvement stores. These products are meant to be an alternative to a dehumidifier. Simply place the product in a container in a damp room and it will pull the moisture from the air; the crystals will turn to brine. You may then dump the brine down your toilet. Keep in mind that calcium chloride can be hazardous to consume, so make sure that you keep it out of reach of small children.
Get an energy-efficient dehumidifier
If you feel like you must use a dehumidifier, make sure that it is Energy-Star approved/preferred. According to the information found on energystar.gov, an Energy Star-approved dehumidifier will use 10-20% less energy to remove the same amount of humidity from the air than a standard model. This will save you at least $25 on the annual cost of your electricity. You may pay a little more for an Energy Star approved model, but the savings are well worth it overall.
Limit the amount of time you run your dehumidifier
One thing to keep in mind is that a dehumidifier typically doesn’t work well in 65° temperatures or less. Therefore, it makes sense to only use it in rooms that are above that. In states like Minnesota, you will typically only need to run your dehumidifier in the summer months. If you keep your basement warm in the winter, this is especially true. Warm air rises to the upper levels, so the basement is kept fairly dry.
The truth is that a dehumidifier really is not going to cost a whole lot to run and maintain. Of course, you should know that it’s beneficial to choose a model that has a built-in humidistat. Sure, they’re going to be more of an investment to start with, but you’ll earn your money back in time. The thing to keep in mind is this: If you want to save money, a cheap dehumidifier is not the best option.