Do you ever wonder if a dehumidifier can help reduce heating bills during the winter? That makes the two of us. As someone who often pays hundreds of dollars in heating, I want to know if a dehumidifier can lower operating costs.
The answer is yes; a dehumidifier can potentially reduce heating costs when you use it properly. The appliance can remove excess moisture from the air, making the room feel drier and more comfortable in the winter. That means you are less likely to turn the heater on, saving money in the long run.
However, improper use of the dehumidifier can increase energy consumption and lead to higher electric bills. Below, I’ll cover the factors you must consider to ensure the dehumidifier reduces heating costs. I’ll also share some tips on how to minimize energy consumption.
Will a Dehumidifier Reduce Heating Costs?
Yes, a dehumidifier can reduce heating costs as long as you use it properly.
Dehumidifiers work by reducing relative humidity levels in your house. They can minimize excess moisture in the air and decrease condensation. These result in drier air, which feels relatively comfortable in the winter. Since the cold temperature is more tolerable, you may not see the need for a heating device.
Or, you can choose to turn the central heating on for only a few hours instead of overnight. Running the heater less frequently means cheaper operating costs. This is possible because dry air is easier to heat than damp air.
However, dehumidifiers themselves aren’t cheap appliances. Before you purchase them, check the relative humidity level in your home. You can buy a basic thermo hygrometer for this task. Test the indoor air humidity. A dehumidifier is unnecessary if you see levels between 30% and 60%. But if the humidity exceeds 60%, you can benefit from this device.
If you decide to use a dehumidifier, you must regularly maintain it. Empty the water containers and clean the filters. Doing so ensures the device works efficiently and, thus, reduces heating costs.
Does a Dehumidifier Reduce Energy Consumption?
While a dehumidifier uses energy to run, it can actually reduce energy consumption in your home. It balances humidity levels and improves overall indoor air quality. It ultimately allows your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to run more efficiently. In some cases, it can even eliminate the need for these devices. As such, it potentially decreases your energy costs.
For example, if you use a fan, you only circulate the humid air inside your home. Although you may feel cool, it is only temporary because you’re not really eliminating the source of that hot, icky sensation. With a dehumidifier, you can remove or lose heat sources and feel more comfortable.
Some dehumidifiers even have better energy efficiency than others. Look for larger and newer models because they tend to save more energy than smaller, older units. Better yet, invest in ENERGY STAR-certified dehumidifiers to reduce power consumption and save money on operating costs.
How To Ensure Your Dehumidifier Is Energy-Efficient?
Besides buying an energy-efficient model from the start, you may wonder how to run a dehumidifier efficiently. Below are some steps to take to ensure the appliance works economically.
Choose the Right Location
The positioning of the dehumidifier can affect its energy efficiency. Avoid placing it against the wall or near furniture because it has to work extra hard to draw in moisture.
Instead, choose a location that is close to the main cause of dampness. This is usually a window, a door, or even cracks in the wall. Placing the dehumidifier near these moist areas makes it easier to remove excess water vapor. Doing so ultimately helps reduce energy consumption and save money.
Close Doors and Windows
You must also check the doors and windows in the room to ensure the dehumidifier works efficiently. Keep them closed to prevent extra moisture from entering your home, which makes the device work harder.
Better yet, seal the door with weather stripping to make it airtight. You can also consider installing energy-efficient windows to save on energy bills.
Repair Cracks and Leaks
Wall and foundation cracks are the most common causes of humidity in homes. They can lead to mould spores, mildew, and dust mites when left alone.
Search your home for these types of cracks where the water may leak. Repair them immediately because they can affect the relative humidity and temperature indoors. Once you seal them, you make it easier for the dehumidifier to do its task efficiently.
Take Advantage of Advanced Functions
Remember to use the advanced features of the dehumidifier to make it more energy-efficient. These include a humidistat, self-timer, and laundry mode.
A humidistat helps you monitor the humidity levels in the air. It helps you ensure the dehumidifier is running in optimal conditions. It can shut off the appliance once the target setting is reached. If it detects an increase in humidity, it automatically switches on the dehumidifier again.
Meanwhile, a self-timer allows you to program the dehumidifier to turn on and off after a certain period. It is useful if you’re going outside or sleeping in with the appliance on.
Finally, the laundry mode lets the dehumidifier run for six hours, which is the average time of drying clothes. After six hours, it automatically shuts off the appliance to save electricity.
Maintain the Dehumidifier
Doing all the steps above is useless if you don’t maintain the dehumidifier regularly.
Clean the internal filters to ensure the appliance works efficiently. Unclean air filters force it to work harder, increasing energy consumption and operation costs.
You must also drain the water tank to keep the dehumidifier functioning.
Cranking up the heater is the standard during winter. However, constantly running a heating device can increase electric bills.
Fortunately, a dehumidifier can reduce heating costs by removing excess moisture and making the room feel more comfortable. The drier air is easier to heat, meaning you can use your heater less frequently. That can minimize overall energy consumption.
Do you have other questions about dehumidifiers? Visit our blog page for more information about these home appliances!