Dehumidifiers draw a LOT of power (as you might expect of something which is basically a modified air conditioner or refrigerator). I do want the humidity in my basement kept at a comfortable level, but I don't usually need it controlled very precisely.

So I'm trying to decide whether it makes sense to set the hygrometer and let it run, or to run it in alternating six-hours-on/six-hours-off cycles. One of my previous units had that option built in; I'd have to put this one on an external timer...

Has anyone seen a trustworthy statement regarding whether cycling the beast that way would be more, or less, power-efficient?

  • 1
    I doubt it makes any difference at all to power use, if your humidistat setting is equivalent to the average humidity you achieve with 6 on, 6 off. Reducing water infiltration to the basement would be a better place to concentrate on for saving money on running the thing.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 28, 2014 at 2:27
  • Actually, water infiltration is pretty minimal... but it's a brick-over-fieldstone foundation, so there's always going to be some water vapor coming through. Actually, the thing that will help most will probably be when I move the laundry upstairs.
    – keshlam
    Aug 28, 2014 at 2:29
  • What make/model are you using? Ours is solely 205 watts to my surprise, which is basically nothing!
    – Neeku
    Sep 1, 2014 at 0:17
  • It's a GE. I haven't put the usage meter on it yet; I suppose I should. In my house, 205 watts continuously would be significant; I'm mostly using CFLs and LEDs and other low-power devices.
    – keshlam
    Sep 1, 2014 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


From an overall point of view, it'd be slightly more efficient to run it on a timer with the hygrometer set to your arbitrary humidity choice. Doing that won't make much (if any) difference in the compressor's run time, but it'll force the air-circulation fan to shut off instead of continuously sampling room air.

  • That's sorta what I was thinking. The one I had previously seemed to actually pause the fan between samples; I'm not sure this one does. (And it isn't in the best place for that circulation to actually be useful; someday I'll fix that.)
    – keshlam
    Aug 28, 2014 at 15:47

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