Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan: What is Better?

Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan

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

Most bathrooms are equipped with some form of the exhaust system 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, some 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? Can you even use a dehumidifier instead of a bathroom fan?

Let’s take a look.

Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs. Exhaust Fan: The Difference

A lot of the debate can be sorted out by looking at the different roles 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 specific set humidity level. 

On the other hand, an exhaust fan is designed to circulate the air in the room itself quickly 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 has 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 at 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 where the weather is incredibly 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 choices 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 and empty it regularly:

Push notification-enabled or not, even the fanciest dehumidifier will 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 used in many older homes or apartment units or even in laundromats where there is no space or 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. 

In worst-case scenarios, the minor ductwork for a ceiling or wall-mounted fan is also inexpensive.

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. 

It simply circulates the air around, clearing condensation and general humidity.

2- It 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 excellent.

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

Many people end up bringing 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 proves, a dehumidifier will be your catch-all solution 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 see molds or mildew growing in various places of your bathroom.

While you may get away with a classic exhaust fan for those less humid places, the one-stop solution will still be a good quality dehumidifier. There are also dehumidifier-and-fan-combo available, but they are difficult to find; if you can get hands-on with them, it will be a much better option.

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

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