Ashburn, VA

How much does a dehumidifier cost to install?

$1,500 – $3,500 whole-house dehumidifier cost
$1,100 – $2,800 basement or crawl space dehumidifier cost

Get free estimates from HVAC installers near you, or view our cost guide below.

December 8, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 3 expert HVAC services on HomeGuide.

Dehumidifier cost

A whole-house dehumidifier costs $1,100 to $3,500, depending on the size, type, ductwork, and existing HVAC or furnace system. A small to medium portable dehumidifier costs $250 to $450. The cost to install a dehumidifier in a basement is $1,100 to $2,800. A crawl space dehumidifier costs $1,500 to $2,500.

Dehumidifier cost by type - chart
Dehumidifier cost by type - chart

Dehumidifier cost
Type Pints Use Average cost installed
Small portable dehumidifier* 1 – 10 Bathroom or closet  $40 – $100
Medium portable dehumidifier* 11 – 45 Bedroom or living room  $130 – $300
Large-capacity dehumidifier 50 – 65 Basement or crawl space  $1,100 – $2,800
Whole-house dehumidifier 70 – 200+ Whole house  $1,500 – $3,500

*No installation required.

  • The cost to run a dehumidifier adds $10 to $30 per month on average to your energy bill.
  • Renting a dehumidifier costs $40 to $70 per day or $200 to $300 per week.
  • Dehumidification reduces the excess moisture, mold growth, allergens, odors, deterioration of the structure, and improves indoor air quality.

Average whole-house dehumidifier installation cost

The following table shows the average cost to install a whole-house dehumidifier.

Average whole-house dehumidifier cost - chart
Average whole-house dehumidifier cost - chart

Dehumidifier installation cost
National average cost $2,200
Minimum cost $1,200
Maximum cost $4,000
Average cost range $1,500 to $3,500

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

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HVAC or whole-house dehumidifier cost

A whole-house dehumidifier costs $1,500 to $3,500 installed on average, depending on the capacity, the layout of the home's HVAC system, and whether the dehumidifier ties into the existing ductwork or a dedicated return duct.

Whole-house dehumidifier cost
Water capacity Unit price Total cost installed
70 – 80 pints $1,100 – $1,700 $1,500 – $2,900
90 – 100 pints $1,300 – $2,000 $1,700 – $3,200
120 – 200 pints $1,500 – $2,300 $1,900 – $3,500
  • Whole-home dehumidifiers are also called HVAC, central AC, or furnace dehumidifiers.
  • Homes using a heat pump typically do not need a dehumidifier because the heat pump itself dehumidifies the home.

Whole-house dehumidifier system installed
Whole-house dehumidifier system installed

Portable whole-house dehumidifier cost

Portable or standalone dehumidifiers cost $250 to $450 on average and do not need professional installation. Portable dehumidifiers require more energy and maintenance than ducted whole-house dehumidifiers. A home may need multiple standalone units depending on the size and layout.

Portable whole-house dehumidifier pros and cons
Dehumidifier type Pros Cons
Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy setup
  • Can take with you when you move
  • Inefficient
  • High maintenance
  • Takes up living space
Duct-mounted
  • Low maintenance
  • Out of sight
  • Reduces total energy cost
  • Expensive initial investment
  • Requires professional installation
  • Permanent; not portable

Permanent basement dehumidifier system cost

Installing a dehumidifier in a basement costs $1,100 to $2,800, depending on the size and if it's ducted through a wall. Some units balance humidity throughout the home by dehumidifying only the basement air, where moisture is highest. Basement dehumidifiers may also be ducted to output dry air to another room.

  • Choose a dehumidifier explicitly designed to operate at temperatures below 65° to handle cooler basement air.
  • Models with an automatic drain connected to a floor drain or sump pump are ideal for homeowners looking for low maintenance.

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Crawl space dehumidifier cost

A crawl space dehumidifier costs $1,500 to $2,500 with installation or $800 to $1,600 for the unit alone. Crawl space encapsulation costs $3,000 to $15,000 and includes installing a dehumidifier. In milder climates, dehumidifying the crawl space may be enough to balance humidity levels throughout the home.

Cost factors to install a dehumidifier

Factors affecting the cost of whole-house dehumidifier installation include:

  • Automation – Dehumidifiers with Wi-Fi, touch screen, and automatic functionality are priced higher than manual control models.
  • Dehumidifier brand and type – A whole-house dehumidifier costs more to install than a portable standalone unit, but duct-mounted models are more efficient.
  • Drainage – The dehumidifier's proximity to the nearest drain or outside access affects the labor and materials required to run the drainage line.
  • Energy-efficiency – ENERGY STAR rated dehumidifiers may cost more upfront, but they cost less to run over the long term.
  • Home age and seal – Older homes with drafty doors and windows require a larger dehumidifier than a newer, tighter-sealed home.
  • HVAC system layout – Disconnecting and removing the HVAC system costs $90 to $120 on average. Some installations require the temporary removal of the AC unit.
  • Installation complexity – Adding a dedicated return duct typically takes longer than tying the unit into an existing HVAC return. A space that is difficult to access also impacts the installation labor.
  • Location and climate – Geographical location affects labor rates and the necessary humidifier capacity.
  • Electrical work – Installing an electrical outlet costs $120 to $150 on average. Most dehumidifiers require a dedicated GFCI outlet.
  • Old unit – Old dehumidifier removal and disposal cost $40 to $200.
  • Permits are typically required when installing new structural ductwork or a new electrical circuit.
  • Warranties – Higher-priced units often have longer or more extensive warranty coverage.
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Dehumidifier system prices by brand

Household dehumidifier prices are $1,000 to $3,000 on average for the system alone, depending on the brand and capacity.

Dehumidifier system prices by brand
Brand Dehumidifier price range*
Aprilaire $1,000 – $2,200
Carrier $1,000 – $3,000
GeneralAire $1,300 – $1,900
Honeywell $1,300 – $2,400
Lennox / Healthy Climate $1,500 – $2,300
Sani-Dry $1,200 – $2,500
Santa Fe $1,200 – $2,500

*Installation not included.

  • Aprilaire, Carrier, and Lennox Healthy Climate are among Energy Star's 2021 rated most efficient whole-house units.
  • Honeywell and LG also offer standalone models for $200 to $400 that may provide adequate whole-house dehumidification if properly sized and placed.
  • Installing a ventilation system like Humidex, Wave, or EZ-Breathe costs $1,000 to $2,000. Ventilation systems use a fan to pull air from the home's upper levels into the basement and release musty air outside via a vent. These systems are not recommended as a substitute for a dehumidifier.

Labor cost to install a dehumidifier

Installing a dehumidifier costs $400 to $1,200 in labor, depending on the type, job complexity, and local rates. A whole-house dehumidifier connected to the home's HVAC system and ductwork typically requires more labor to install than a crawl space or basement dehumidifier.

HVAC technicians charge $75 to $150 per hour for dehumidifier installation. Installation takes a two-person team 3 to 6 hours on average.

Ductwork for dehumidifier

Installing a new duct run costs $270 to $500 and is typically included in the dehumidifier installation estimate. The ductwork required depends on the home's existing air handling setup and the new dehumidifier location. Installing a dedicated return duct with a separate vent may increase the cost.

Dehumidifier drainage options

Large capacity dehumidifiers like basement, crawl space, and whole-house units offer two drainage options:

  • Gravity – Most dehumidifiers connect to a hose and use gravity to drain the collected water to a nearby drain or sump pump.
  • Pump – Adding an external pump to an existing dehumidifier costs $50 to $300. Some dehumidifiers contain an internal condensate pump. Pumped water allows more flexibility when choosing the dehumidifier location.

Cost to run a dehumidifier

Running a dehumidifier costs $10 to $30 per month or $120 to $360 per year on average, depending on the size, usage time, and electricity rates. Using an energy-efficient or Energy Star rated dehumidifier typically reduces total energy costs due to improved air quality and appliance efficiency.

  • Dehumidifier filters cost $10 to $30 and should be replaced at least once a year.
  • Humidifier repairs cost $70 to $400 on average.

DIY cost to install a whole-house dehumidifier

Installing a whole-house dehumidifier DIY costs $800 to $2,300, saving 30% from labor costs. Installation involves duct and electrical work, handling heavy equipment, and working in tight spaces. Hiring a pro ensures the setup is safe and correct. Most warranties are only valid with professional installation.

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Dehumidifier rental prices

Renting a dehumidifier costs $40 to $70 per day or $200 to $300 per week on average, depending on the size.

Dehumidifier rental prices
Rental period Average price
Per day $40 – $70
Per week $200 – $300

Dehumidifier rental may be necessary for:

  • Water damage restoration – Dehumidification is crucial to prevent mold growth and rot after water damage.
  • Waterproofing a basement costs $1,900 to $6,300 on average. Removing moisture from the space with a dehumidifier before waterproofing ensures the encapsulation process does not trap water.
  • Carpet cleaning service costs $100 to $300 per room. Replacing carpet after a flood is recommended, but water extraction and dehumidifying may suffice in some situations.
  • Radiant heating – Temporary dehumidification may help stabilize moisture levels when installing a radiant heating system. Homes in mild climates using radiant heat typically do not require continuous dehumidification.

Whole-house dehumidifier pros and cons

A whole-house dehumidifier costs less to run than a portable model and creates a healthier and more comfortable atmosphere. A duct-mounted system costs more upfront but is a better long-term investment for homes in climates with high humidity.

Whole-house dehumidifier pros and cons
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Alleviates allergies and respiratory symptoms
  • Filters out dust mites and other contaminants
  • Food stays fresh longer, and clothes dry faster
  • Improves AC efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • Out of sight, quiet, and efficient
  • Protects the home from mold, mildew, and moisture damage
  • High upfront cost
  • Large and heavy
  • Complex installation
  • Requires more space
  • May over-dry the air in dry climates
  • Not portable

Cost of dehumidifier vs. air conditioner

Installing an air conditioner costs $3,350 to $5,900 on average. An air conditioner reduces some humidity as it cools the air. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air, making warmer temperatures more comfortable.

A two-stage air conditioner costs $1,000 to $2,000 more than a single-stage AC but offers more humidity control with a combination thermostat/humidistat.

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Frequently asked questions

Are dehumidifiers worth it?

A dehumidifier is worth it for homes in very muggy climates or homeowners with allergies or other respiratory conditions. Dehumidifiers improve indoor air quality by filtering dust and allergens and reducing mold risk. Homes in arid climates do not typically need a dehumidifier.

Can a portable dehumidifier work for a whole house?

A portable dehumidifier can work for a whole house up to 2,000 square feet or more if the unit has large enough capacity and is placed in an area with sufficient circulation. An average home typically requires a 30- to 50-pint portable unit, depending on the location and humidity level.

Permanent dehumidifiers are more efficient for dehumidifying a whole house.

How long do dehumidifiers last?

A well-maintained whole-house dehumidifier lasts 5 to 10 years on average. A portable dehumidifier lasts 3 to 5 years. Dehumidifier life depends on the quality, environment, and usage. Dehumidifiers in muggy climates typically have shorter lifespans since they must work harder.

What size dehumidifier do I need?

Choose a dehumidifier size based on the space's square footage and humidity level. Homes in wet climates require a higher capacity dehumidifier than those with low-to-moderate humidity. A high-capacity, duct-mounted, whole-house dehumidifier is not typically necessary for homes under 2,000 square feet.

What size dehumidifier do I need?
Humidity level Capacity (pints per day) by square footage
300 – 500 SF 700 – 1,000 SF 1,500 – 2,500+ SF
50% – 60% (Feels damp) 1 – 10 20 – 40 40 – 50
60% –70% (Very damp, musty) 20 – 30 30 – 50 50 – 60
70% – 80% (Noticeable condensation) 40 – 50 50 – 60 60 - 70
80% – 100% (Very wet; mold risk) 50 – 60 60 – 70 70 – 100+

Choose a capacity on the higher end if:

  • Multiple people live in the space.
  • The space has multiple doors and windows.
  • The space has a washer and dryer nearby.

How much energy does a dehumidifier use?

A dehumidifier uses 300 to 700 watts per hour, depending on its size. Larger capacity units use more energy. Still, they dehumidify the air faster and are typically more efficient over the long term.

Dehumidifier energy usage
Pints per day Average watts per hour Amps (at 120V)
30 300 – 500 2.5 – 4.2
50 500 – 600 4.7 – 5.0
70 600 – 700 5.0 – 5.8

Do you need a dehumidifier if you have central air conditioning?

A dehumidifier is helpful if the home feels humid when the central air conditioning is set to 72° F or lower. Homes in muggy climates typically need a dehumidifier. Desert homes and homes in the northern U.S. don't usually require a dehumidifier because the air is already dry enough.

  • An improperly sized AC unit that cools the house too quickly may cause uncomfortable humidity levels.
  • The EPA recommends an indoor relative humidity between 30% and 50%.
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Hiring a dehumidifier installer

Before hiring an AC technician to install a dehumidifier:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.
  • Look for a NATE-certified technician with experience installing whole-house, crawl space, or basement dehumidifiers.
  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for more than five years.
  • Ask for references.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • What experience do you have installing dehumidifiers?
  • What type of dehumidifier do you recommend for my home, and why?
  • How long will the installation take?
  • Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?
  • What is and is not included in the estimate?
  • What additional costs should I expect?
  • What permits do I need, and will you obtain them?
  • What do you charge for an annual maintenance check?
  • How often do you recommend changing the filter?
  • How do the dehumidifier controls work?

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