Why Are Dehumidifiers so Expensive?

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on why dehumidifiers are considered to be so expensive. There are three different types of humidifiers:

  1. Mini-dehumidifiers
  2. Refrigerant Dehumidifiers (Compressor)
  3. Desiccant Dehumidifiers

The smaller mini dehumidifiers cost between $10-$40 and those are fine for a small room such as a bedroom. They are not that expensive, but they are disposable, so when the crystals inside get used up, then you need to replace the unit. Typically these are used for gun safes, closets and small spaces of that nature.

So these are not crazy expensive but they clearly do have limited uses.

It is the larger 50 to 70 pint refrigerant or compressor dehumidifiers that most people consider to be very expensive. They also just happen to be the most popular. These cost on average anything between $200-500. So what, if anything justifies these high price tags?

Before leaving this introduction though we also wanted to mention the desiccant rotor type humidifiers that are cheaper than the refrigerant styles. They just use slightly different methods of working. Again these are quite limited for smaller spaces.

You can recharge these so we think they are a better buy than the mini dehumidifiers. They cost around $40-70.

understanding dehumidifier costs

Quick Explanation of How a Dehumidifier Works?

We are going to focus on the most popular dehumidifiers because that is what most people buy every day.

Before trying to explain the high costs, it is worthwhile understanding the basics of how a dehumidifier works. A dehumidifier sucks air from inside your room, removes the moisture, and then blows it back out into the room again with the moisture removed.

That is simply all that it does and it stops damp air from causing various problems in your home like mold and damp.

Like any machine, or electrical appliance, manufacturers will construct and build the machine using a number of parts. What will eventually determine the price of any piece of equipment or appliance is the initial core manufacturing costs.

These include things like number of parts in the appliance, the quality of the parts used and the manufacturing cost of those components. Those basic components that make up the functioning unit are known as the core manufacturing costs.

On top of those costs, there are also labor costs, testing costs, administration costs and shipping costs. All of those can quickly add up. At that stage you have only made the dehumidifier built and placed in the factory ready to be sold.

The manufacturer then adds on a profit mark up to the distributor. The distributor adds on a mark up and then send the dehumidifier to the Retailer who is the eventual seller of the machine to the customer. The retailer of course has to make some money, so they will add on their profit margin.

That leaves the end consumer, just like you and me, paying for the dehumidifier unit at the retail price. This is a simple supply chain, and each link in the chain increases the core costs.

Click Here To Read Our Dehumidifier Full Buying Guide

What Are the Core Costs of Manufacturing a Dehumidifier?

We are not going to bore you by listing the range of all the individual parts as there are over a hundred individual parts. However, we do like to provide you with enough information to be able to understand why these cost so much.

A dehumidifier has really got three main parts which are expensive. They are:

  1. The filter system for the air that it takes in from the room, and this system is simply where the air in the room gets filtered and cleaned
  2. The second part is where the moisture is removed from the air, using the same principle as a fridge, and the dehumidifier cools that moisture so as it turns into water where it is then collected inside the unit in a collection tank
  3. That air is then dried and blown back out into the room by a small heating system

There are lots of small to medium sized component parts inside a dehumidifier that make all of these three systems work. They include parts like filters, gaskets, lights, knobs, hoses, valves, regulators, capacitors, condensers, covers, controls, blades, motors, water pumps, ice probes, micro switches, sensors and many more.

Then there is also the actual housing unit where everything is contained. The manufacturer buys all of these parts and assembles and tests the dehumidifier. There will be a core cost for doing this which will include labor, and the running costs of the company. They will then add a profit margin before passing these over to the distributor or wholesaler.

The core costs will vary a lot depending on what is being produced. For example a pencil is really just a piece of wood with some graphite in the center of that. That will be very simple and cheap to produce. A dehumidifier however has lots of parts and takes longer to assemble so is going to be much more expensive.

In other words the core parts of a dehumidifier are expensive as is the assembly of these units. Even though most of these are made by robotic factory machines, the parts still have to be bought, as do the actual automated machines, along with software etc.

Manufacturer to Distributor to Retailer Supply Chain

 The Hidden or Unknown Costs

Dehumidifier Supply Chain Costs

In any given supply chain there is a combination of companies who perform different functions. In the case of dehumidifiers there are manufacturers who actually make the product like Honeywell, Frigidaire, Danby Energy, Ivation etc.

Once these have been made, tested and boxed up, they will be sent to distributors or wholesalers. They in turn will supply the various Retail companies. The Retail companies then supply the product to the consumer.

In each of these company chains there will be other companies who supply services in logistics, finance, marketing, and information technology. The bottom line is that all of these companies only exist to make a profit. As each one of these makes their profit, the cost increases and is always going to be have to be picked up by the end user, who is of course the customer like you and me.

Most products that come to market will follow some sort of supply and delivery route. That is because the manufacturer wants to focus on making and creating new products and existing products. They don't want to get caught up in transportation or the marketing and selling of their products.

Wholesalers specialize in those functions and make their money by adding a charge on to the Retailer that covers the wholesale costs, such as transport, delivery, labeling and tracking.

Some manufacturers do of course sell directly to the public, but they prefer to use a supply chain and keep their focus on the manufacturing of their products and doing research and development for future products.

Dehumidifier Manufacturing Costs

Manufacturers are organizations that actually make a product. They may make their own components or they may simply buy those in from other companies. To get to the finished good which is in this case a dehumidifier, they will either use raw materials and make their own components, or they will simply buy good made by other producers to create their products.

Either way, there will eventually be a core cost. That cost may fluctuate if the costs of raw materials rise and fall. There are lots of small parts inside a dehumidifier, and even though manufacturers buy these at competitive prices, the combined price adds up quickly.

Manufacturers don't share this type of commercially sensitive information, so most likely we will never know the real cost at this stage. We do know the costs will differ depending on the quality of parts being used, the features that they add and the efficiency of their organization.

Dehumidifier Distributor Costs

Distributors or wholesalers will take dehumidifiers in bulk from manufacturers and deliver them to retailers. They sell products in larger quantities that an individual consumer would usually buy. Distributors then buffer the manufacturers from fluctuations in product demand by stocking inventory.

They also do a lot of the sales work to find and service customers. Distributors basically deliver products when and where the customer wants them.

Their costs include:

  • Stock management
  • Warehouse operations
  • Product transportation
  • Customer support and post sales service

They add on a charge for this to the cost of the dehumidifier that they buy from the manufacturer.

Dehumidifier Retailer Costs

Retailers will also stock a few dehumidifiers as they will sell in smaller quantities to the general public. This type of store either offline or online will also also closely track the preferences and demands of the customers that it sells to. 

In addition to that they will advertise to their customers, and as we know, they will use some combination of price, product selection, service, and convenience as the primary draw to attract customers for the dehumidifiers that it sells. 

Customer Dehumidifier Price Points

Finally our dehumidifier is sitting on a shelf in the store. It has been made, tested, boxed, shipped and advertised for sale. The bottom line is that with any product or service this process happens.

As it moves from the factory floor to the customer's homes, a wide variety of charges are added.

These add up and the consumer ends up paying for all of them.

Hopefully this article has helped explain a little about the costs of dehumidifiers, and why they are expensive to buy.

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