Do Humidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Using a humidifier indoors adds moisture to the air and prevents dryness of the air. Humidifiers have been considered effective in managing numerous skin and respiratory conditions.

Skin irritation, especially for individuals who have dry skin can necessitate the need to use humidifiers for prolonged periods in your home.

Since most humidifiers use electricity, concerns regarding the electricity consumption of a humidifier are likely to emerge. The good news is that humidifiers do not use a lot of electricity and would not significantly increase your electricity bill.

If you are thinking about buying a humidifier and you are asking yourself, do humidifiers use a lot of electricity, then this article will offer you the insights you need to answer your queries.

Humidifiers do not use a lot of electricity. The amount of electricity used by a portable humidifier is approximately $0.08 per hour, which is about $1.92 for 24 hours. The electricity consumption of your humidifier is likely to be much lower if you use it for a few hours daily and consider the power rates in your state.

This article provides you with more information regarding the electricity consumption of humidifiers, calculations that can be used to determine the annual electricity cost of a humidifier, and considerations for energy-efficient models that you can use to reduce your electricity consumption.

Additionally, this article will also help you identify approaches that you can use to humidify your home without necessarily using a humidifier.

In this post, we address the following:

Do Humidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Humidifiers generally do not consume a lot of electricity. When compared with other electrical appliances in your home, humidifiers consume less power than air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers, and hairdryers. Humidifiers work by breaking water molecules to form a mist that is then released into the air.

In terms of electricity consumption, large-sized humidifiers meant to be used for the whole house cannot consume the same amount of electricity as small portable hand-held humidifiers.

The design of the humidifier also influences its energy consumption. Humidifiers that have been designed with low-energy consumption in mind, such as energy star humidifiers, are likely to consume less electricity.

While humidifiers do not consume a lot of electricity when compared to other home electric appliances, for clarity, it is important to check the product specification when buying a humidifier to identify one that will suit your needs without skyrocketing your electricity bills.

How Much Electricity Does A Humidifier Use?

Humidifiers meant for the whole house generally use more electricity because they cover large surface areas, which means that they generate more steam. Whole-house humidifiers often require a separate 220V breaker because of the amount of electricity that they draw.

Some energy-saving whole-house humidifiers use the regular 110V breaker. Whole-house humidifiers can use approximately 250 watts. Averagely, these humidifiers are likely to use between 250 watts to 280 watts of electric energy per hour, which equates to 0.25 to 0.28 kilowatts/hour.

This means that even if you use your humidifiers daily, your electricity bill will not be extremely high. If you live in a large house and use your humidifier for the whole house, you are likely to notice a significant increase in your electricity bill than if you live in a small house or if you use your humidifier in one room of the house only.

Portable or hand-held humidifiers consume approximately 30 to 50 watts per hour, which is significantly low when compared to whole-house humidifiers. The precise level of electricity used depends on the type of humidifier and the size of the mist generated.

The most important thing to remember is that humidifiers consume energy to enable them to generate the energy that you use, which means that as long as you use an electricity-powered humidifier, some level of electricity will be consumed.

If you use reverse osmosis to purify your humidifier water, the overall electricity consumption associated with the use of the humidifier in your home will go up.

If the water around the area where you live is hard water, you should consider using alternative water-softening approaches if you wish to lower your electricity consumption.

Related: Why Hard Water is Problematic For Humidifiers

How Much Does It Cost to Use a Humidifier?

Knowing the amount of electricity consumed by your humidifier per hour is the first step in determining the average electricity you would be required to pay if you buy a humidifier.

In terms of costs, the amount of electricity consumed by household humidifiers would be between $0.08 and $0.16 per hour, which would in turn be between $1.92 and $3.84 for 24 hours. If you are not using your humidifier throughout the day, you would pay even less.

From this, you can calculate the average electricity bill that would need to pay annually. Note that this might differ from person to person based on their usage of the humidifier during a day or during different seasons.

Before you calculate your expected electricity expenditure ensure you consider the type of humidifier you will use, the number of hours you will run your humidifier, the average cost of electricity within your state, and your existing monthly bill.

Below is a simple formula that you can use to determine the electricity consumption of your humidifier.

Watts × Time/1000 kilowatts × Power rates = Average cost per day

For example, if you own a humidifier that uses 250 watts per hour and you use it for five hours a day, and assuming that your power rates are 0.15, your energy consumption per day would be:

250 watts × 5 hours/1000 kilowatts × 0.15 power rates = $0.1875 per day

This would mean that if you run your humidifier every day for five hours, for a year regardless of the season or any other factors, the contribution of your humidifier to the cost of your electricity bill will be:

$0.1875 × 365 days = $68.44

How to Reduce Electricity Consumption when Using a Humidifier

Type of humidifier

The type of humidifier that you use significantly affects your energy consumption. Humidifiers that have higher water outputs are generally more effective than those that have a low water output.

Using humidifiers that have higher water output can ensure that you attain the level of humidity that you want in your air faster and thus reduce the time that you need to run your humidifier.

Ensure that you understand how your humidifier works for effective operation.

For instance, if you are using the pure enrichment humidifier, you will need to understand the settings on the humidifiers that determine the level of moisture released to your surrounding. Understanding such factors will help you determine, which setting is appropriate for your space.


When choosing a humidifier, it is essential to check whether the humidifier has a fan. Humidifiers that have fans fill room spaces with humidity faster when compared to those that do not have fans. Both cool mist and ultrasonic humidifiers have been designed with a fan for this purpose.

Buy an energy star product

When purchasing a humidifier ensure that you read the specification information on the product to determine the level of electricity it will require to run efficiently.

You could also opt for an energy star product because such products consume less electricity than their standard counterparts. Since energy star products consume less electricity, you will pay a lower electricity bill when compared to a person who uses the standard products.

Buying an energy star humidifier will definitely lower your electricity consumption as the electricity consumed will not be equal to that used by someone relying on a different humidifier.

Reduce the number of hours you use your humidifier

You might not need to have your humidifier on 24 hours a day.

For instance, if you work outside your home and thus spend only your evenings in your house, there is no need of running your humidifier 24 hours a day. Using your humidifier specifically when you are in your home will significantly reduce your electricity bill.

Improve room ventilation

By improving air circulation in your house, you can reduce the use of your humidifier. If you mainly use your humidifier because of stale smells, opening your windows and doors can promote proper air circulation.

Buy the right humidifier

Choosing the wrong humidifier for your home can subject you to unnecessarily high electricity bills. If you wish to use your humidifier in one room only, you do not need to buy a whole-house humidifier.

Standby mode

Most of the humidifiers in the market have a standby mode. One of these features allows the humidifier to remain on even after running out of water.

Turning off the humidifier when it has run out of water (if you are not interested in using it for a while) will ensure that you do not incur additional costs.

Ways to Add Humidity In A Room Without a Humidifier

Some of the alternative ways of humidifying a room without a humidifier include:

1. Getting houseplants

Plants lose water to the environment through transpiration, which means that the excess water that the plant does not need will be released into the environment. You should remember to water your plants occasionally for this approach to work.

2. Boiling water

Boiling water releases steam into the air. Like humidifiers, you can opt to add herbs like mint, bay leaves, rosemary, or lemon peel into the water for an aromatic experience. It is important to know that, you will need to keep watching your pot of boiling water to avoid accidents.

3. Spray bottle

You can add humidity to your room using a spray bottle. Unlike humidifiers, using a spray bottle can be tiring as you will need to keep spraying the water to ensure that retains the humidity.

4. Leave your bathroom door open when taking a shower

This approach would work if you are taking a hot shower because of the steam produced by the hot water. However, you should know that this approach is not effective in humidifying your whole house.

In Summary

Humidifiers do not consume a lot of electricity. It is also important to note that the level of power consumption linked to the usage of humidifiers is directly related to the type of humidifiers used.

For instance, industry air humidifiers will definitely consume more electricity when compared to humidifiers designed for household usage.

Assessing the electricity consumption of your humidifier will help you determine whether the humidifier is an energy-efficient option.

If you are looking to cut down your electricity consumption, you should note that most humidifiers do not use a lot of electricity when compared to other electrical appliances in your home.

Every time you buy a humidifier or any other electrical appliance for your home, you should ensure that you check the energy star rating of the product.

The information will help you determine whether the product consumes high levels of electricity. Aside from that, you should also read the manual of the product as it usually contains details about the electricity consumption of a product.