Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan: What is Better?

Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan

The bathroom is one of the most commonly used rooms in your home, even if it isn’t something that everyone talks about! 

Most bathrooms are equipped with some form of exhaust system in order to vent out smells, condensation from the shower, and more. 

Since the bathroom is often the worst room for creating condensation in the first place, there are some who think that a good dehumidifier might be the best solution.

So, what’s the best option for your bathroom?  Is it a dehumidifier or an exhaust fan?

Let’s take a look.

Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan: The Difference

A lot of the debate can be sorted out by taking a look at different roles that these options can offer up the modern bathroom. 

A dehumidifier is a programmable unit that you plug into the wall and its job is to suck the humidity from the air and get it to meet a certain set humidity level. 

An exhaust fan, on the other hand, is designed to quickly circulate the air in the room itself and, when combined with an open window, helps fresh air circulate through and clear out the condensation and humid air. 

These can be pre-mounted in the ceiling, put in a window, or just placed in the bathroom itself.

So, when it comes to using a dehumidifier or an exhaust fan in the bathroom – the best option for your bathroom, regardless of the weather conditions is going to be a dehumidifier, especially when you want to keep your bathroom dry and free from extra humidity.  

Dehumidifier for Bathroom: Pros and Cons

While it is the best solution for your bathroom, a dehumidifier does have some pros and cons to consider before you make your final decision — recommendation aside, that is — on what is best for your needs.


1- A set programmable level:

Whether you have a small, rudimentary dehumidifier or a fancy one with plenty of buttons, all dehumidifiers are designed to lower the humidity of the air to a set level that you can adjust any time based on your needs or whoever it is that is using the bathroom.

2- Great for humid weather conditions:

If you live somewhere in which the weather is especially humid and uncomfortable, a dehumidifier will be the best choice to clear condensation and draw out extra humidity from the environment out of your air. 

3- Have lots of choice for features:

Since there are many kinds of dehumidifiers, you can have your pick of options.  Some will give you timers. 

Others will have push reminders to empty them, and others can be connected to your central system to help spread the dehumidified air throughout our entire home.


1- Have to clean it and empty it regularly:

Push notification-enabled or not, even the fanciest dehumidifier is going to have to be emptied regularly to leave room for more water to be filtered from the air directly into the machine. 

This can be time-consuming for the scheduler.

2- Takes up space in your bathroom:

Since most dehumidifiers are built into the wall (or they are, they’re very high-end), a dehumidifier will take up both space and electrical energy in your bathroom, which is something to consider.

Exhaust Fan for Bathroom: Pros and Cons

An exhaust fan is often what is used in a lot of older homes or apartment units or even in laundromats where there is no space or no inclination to put something in place such as a dehumidifier system. 

They can be wall-mounted, added to a window, or even inset in the ceiling.


1- Can be preinstalled or post-installed:

If your home doesn’t have a fan installed before you move into it, you can do it after the fact easily by getting a window system or even a classic tabletop or floor fan. 

Worst case scenario, the minor ductwork for a ceiling or wall-mounted fan is inexpensive as well.

2- Require no maintenance:

Since there are no computerized parts to a fan, there is no need for cleaning (other than a quick vacuum now and again) or maintenance as far as a system check.

A fan is simply a spinning disk and that simplicity has its perks!  They can also be upgraded to a bigger one relatively cheaply.


1- Offer no humidity control at all:

One of the downfalls of relying on an exhaust fan is that there is no control for humidity at all. 

It simply circulates the air around, which can clear condensation and general humidity after a time.

2- Can take a while to clear condensation:

Pre-installed or not, even the best fans in use in the bathroom can take a while to clear the condensation and damp feeling. 

This time can be even longer if you have a large bathroom.  If time is an issue for you, this is something to consider!

3- Only work in optimal conditions:

If you live in cold, and humidity-free locations, a fan is great.

But otherwise, it’ll often not work very effectively against keeping the bathroom clean and comfortable after a shower or bath.

A lot of people end upbringing in a dehumidifier into space during the hot and humid months of the year, anyway.

What is Better for Your Bathroom Dehumidifier or Exhaust Fan?

As the pro and con list for each option prove to you, a dehumidifier is going to be your catch-all solution to when you want your bathroom to stay condensation-free and manageable even in humid weather conditions. 

Remember, if you continue using your bathroom without removing the excess moisture sooner or later you will be seeing molds or mildew growing in various places of your bathroom.

While you may be able to get away with a classic exhaust fan for those less humid places, the one-stop solution will still be a good quality dehumidifier.

Whether we like talking about the amount of time we spend in our bathrooms or not, there is a lot of time that is spent in there. 

If you want that space to be as comfortable and as climate-controlled as possible, you’ll find that a dehumidifier is going to be the best option for the job, no matter where you live or what time of year it is!