The amount of energy consumed by a humidifier is dependent on the type of humidifier in question. Not all humidifiers indeed consume the same amount of electricity, especially when they are not in the same class or size. Some classes of humidifiers, however, consumes more energy than the others because of their design (the process of breaking water into mist).
About size, we cannot expect a whole house humidifier to consume the same amount of electricity as a portable but large-sized unit. Furthermore, a large portable unit would not consume the same amount of electricity as a smaller unit that is designed for small-sized rooms. For clarity on the exact amount of energy consumed, you can check the product’s specifications.
Energy Consumption of a portable vs. whole-house humidifier
A portable humidifier’s power supply system is not designed the same way as that of a whole-house humidifier. Whole-house humidifiers have a higher voltage and current rating. Therefore it consumes much more electricity compared to portable units. Due to this, they usually have a separate power box (like a breaker), that needs to be installed outside of the unit.
Portable humidifiers have all their accessories built-in, with an external plug that you only need to connect a power cable to. The power connection consists of a stepdown transformer, as well as other components that fine-tune electricity needed by the unit. Only older models of portable humidifiers have their transformer outside. More recent devices have the whole power connection unit completely sealed within.
Like we said earlier, the amount of energy consumed by a humidifier totally depends on that unit itself. Factors like the type and size of a humidifier can also help us grasp a range in which the unit’s energy consumption would fall in. The larger the humidifier, the more energy it would consume, and the more mist it would be able to produce per hour.
Portable units consume the least amount of energy among humidifiers and also use the 110V power outlet. There are even some that can be powered through a 5V USB outlet, like that of a computer.
However, the larger the “portable humidifier,” the more energy it consumes. Among portable humidifiers too, steam vaporizers consume more energy than ultrasonic or evaporative humidifiers. See why we said energy consumption is down to the specific unit?
Ultrasonic humidifiers consume the least amount of energy, while whole-house humidifiers generally consume more energy than portable ones.
Also Read: What causes low humidity in a house
How much electricity does a whole house humidifier use?
Do humidifiers use a lot of electricity in whole house Humidifiers?
Whole-house humidifiers require more energy because they generate more steam, and are used for covering wide areas (a whole house), hence the name “whole house humidifiers.” They most times also require a separate 220V breaker, compared to the 110V of regular portable units, and have a high current rating too.
The current rating depends on the design of the unit, but some products draw up to 16amps (like the Aprilaire 800). Regarding the total energy consumed, they can use up as much as 250 watts or more. This could be more or less depending on the unit in question. Some whole-house humidifiers even make use of 110 – 120V.
Also Read: How lomg do humidifier takes to work
How to minimize the energy consumption rate of a whole-house humidifier
Firstly, you cannot do anything to directly reduce the amount of energy in watts that the humidifier consumes. The only way to change this is if you are some kind of electrical genius that can tear apart the circuitry and rebuild from scratch. If you aren’t, there are still ways you can manage energy consumption.
The first step to consuming less energy is to purchase an energy star rated product. Products that have the energy star rating have specially designed systems, which allows it to consumes lesser energy compared to a fellow unit in the same class. It is indicated by stars, and the more the number of stars, the more efficient it is at managing energy. Products today have ratings between 1 and 6 stars, and more is better.
Also, you can minimize energy consumption by the use of inbuilt features like timer and automatic humidistat. A timer allows the product to run for a duration of your choosing and shuts it off after that. For example, you can set the unit to run for 3 hours, and leave your home or go to bed, after 3 hours, it goes off. This is a great way to humidify with intent and preserve power in the process.
A humidistat, on the other hand, helps the humidifier run independently. You always get just what you need. It balances humidity in the air by shutting off as soon as relative humidity reaches a certain level, and coming back on when it falls below a certain level. With this function, the humidifier only runs when needed, therefore consuming energy in the process.
Also Read: Best portable whole House Humidifier
Merits of energy star humidifiers
Energy rated humidifiers have advantages in the following areas:
- Economic: the economic benefit of running an energy-efficient humidifier is that it results in a lower energy bill at the end of the month. Energy-efficient units require far lesser energy to run; therefore, they consume lesser energy and reduces your bills.
- Environmental: energy-efficient units are environmentally friendly. They lower pollution emissions as well as decreasing the amount of water used. By decreasing water use, it also lowers your water bills.
- Energy consumption: these humidifiers consume less energy, therefore making more energy available for use elsewhere.
Conclusion: How many watts does a humidifier use?
Do humidifiers use a lot of electricity? Well it boils down to many factors
Portable humidifiers consume around 30 to 50 watts. The precise rating depends on the size (mist generation) and type of humidifier. Whole-house humidifiers, on the other hand, could use up to 250watts or more. This once again depends on the specific capacity of the unit.
One thing we all agree on is that humidifiers consume energy to generate mist, and this is one of the determinants in the increment level of your energy bill come month-end. However, you can always counteract this by purchasing an energy star product.