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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Dehumidifier

Dehumidifier Cost


How Much Does a Dehumidifier Cost?

 
low costLow: $40-$250average costMedium: $150-$400high costHigh: $800-$2,500+

Modern homes that are sealed tight to make them energy-efficient are prone to humidity problems. Along with aggravating allergies or asthma, high indoor moisture levels can cause mold, rust, mildew and odors, and may damage electronics and furniture. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, signs of excess moisture[1] include condensation on the windows; wet stains on the walls or ceilings; a stuffy feeling in a room; rotting wood; or musty smells.

Typical costs:

  • Dehumidifier capacity is generally measured by how many pints of water a unit removes from the air in 24 hours. A mini-dehumidifier (1-10 pints) for a bathroom, closet or under a counter usually costs $40-$70. A small- to medium-capacity dehumidifier (11-25 pints) for a living room can run around $100-$250 or more, depending on size and features such as a humidistat to set the desired humidity, auto-shut-off when the tank's full, energy efficiency and quiet operation.
  • Although they range from $150-$400 or more, a large capacity (25-70 pints) dehumidifier for a basement (the dampest portion of most homes) or other large area averages $200-$300. The higher prices are for features such as an extra-large tank or a hose attachment for continuous drainage, frost control or low-temperature operation. A Michigan homeowner[2] spent $300 for dehumidifier for an 1,800-square-foot basement.
  • Large-capacity, low-maintenance (self-draining) dehumidifiers designed for hard-to-access crawl spaces or extra-large basements start around $800-$1,200 and go up depending on capacity, compactness and other features. Whole-house dehumidifiers (suitable for light commercial use) start around $1,000-$2,500 (about 80-260 pint capacity), and industrial/commercial models can go as high as $5,500-$6,500 or more.
  • Most dehumidifiers are relatively easy to install and are often a do-it-yourself project. Hiring someone to install one can run $100-$400 or more, depending on local labor rates, ease of access to the installation site (a crawlspace may cost more than installing one in a basement corner) and whether an electrical outlet needs to be added near the unit.
Related articles: Basement Waterproofing, Repairing and Sealing a Basement, Downspout Extension, Mold Inspection, Mold Remediation

What should be included:
  • Because a basement or crawl space (under a home without a basement) tends to be the dampest area in a home, most often that's where a humidifier is installed. The most common type is a refrigerant humidifier, similar to the heat pump in an air conditioner or refrigerator. HomeTips.com provides an overview[3] of the types of humidifiers.
  • Colder climates require less dehumidification than warmer ones, where a humidifier might be used all year long. A dehumidifier requires regular maintenance[4] . This might include emptying the bucket/tank; cleaning the internal filters about every two weeks; checking the coils each season to be sure they're free of dirt; and, if the unit has a removable front cover with a foam filter, cleaning it regularly. ThisOldHouse.com lists tips[5] for getting the most out of a dehumidifier.
Additional costs:
  • Recommended indoor winter humidity levels are 30-40 percent. To determine the humidity in your home, buy a hygrometer (humidity gauge) for $15-$80 (mechanical models are the least expensive; electronic versions cost more) and take readings in different rooms at different times.
  • Operating costs used to be fairly high for most dehumidifiers, but with energy-efficient models, operating costs now range from $2-$35 monthly, or $12-$420 annually. The Energy Star program provides a list of energy-efficient[6] dehumidifiers and manufacturers.
Shopping for a dehumidifier:
  • A consortium of New England energy providers hosts a dehumidifier calculator to help determine what size dehumidifier you need. It's best to buy a higher capacity than you think you need; it's possible that some models may remove less pints per hour than claimed.
  • Features to consider include whether the unit has a bucket that has to be emptied or a hose attachment. Newer models may vent the water directly outdoors. The Environmental Protection Agency lists the basic factors[7] to consider, as well as several optional features[8] that might be desirable.
  • Both EnergyStar.gov[9] and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers[10] provide lists of dehumidifier manufacturers.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dehumid.pr_need_dehumidifiers
  2.  www.city-data.com/forum/house/250899-de-humidifier-cellar.html
  3.  www.hometips.com/buying-guides/dehumidifiers.html
  4.  www.sump-pump-info.com/article4-basement-dehumidifiers.html
  5.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,219633,00.html
  6.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=DE
  7.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dehumid.pr_basics_dehumidifiers
  8.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dehumid.pr_features_dehumidifiers
  9.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=estar_partner_list.showPartnerResults&s_co...
  10.  www.aham.org/consumer/index.php?display=Brands&products=Y&prodcat_id=433
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