Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan |Which One Do You Need?

  • Author: Irene Mills
  • Date: November 15, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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We all know how important it is to have a good bathroom ventilation system in your home.

The question is, what should you choose?

A dehumidifier Vs. an exhaust fan?

There are pros and cons for both systems, so let’s take a look at them before making any decisions.

This article looks at what each device does, and what they both have to offer.

What Does A Dehumidifier Do?

A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance that removes moisture from the air. It does this by drawing in moist air, cooling it down, and then removing the water droplets from it.

This cooled and dried air is then blown back into the room.

A dehumidifier is perfect for bathrooms because it can help to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which will stop the bathroom from feeling damp and humid. Dehumidifiers also work well in kitchens and laundry rooms, as they can help to get rid of any unwanted smells.

Some high-end dehumidifiers come with advanced features such as air purification, humidistats, and timers.

These features can be very helpful in a bathroom as they can help to keep the air healthy and free from bacteria, and also stop the room from becoming too humid.

Bathroom Dehumidifier Pros

A bathroom dehumidifier comes with a raft of benefits, which include:

It prevents mildew and mold– Mildew and mold love moist air, so a dehumidifier will keep these growths at bay. This can help to stop your bathroom from looking dirty and unhygienic.

It helps alleviate allergies– This is another great benefit of using a dehumidifier in the bathroom. Allergens like dust mites thrive in moist environments, so by reducing the moisture levels you can help to alleviate your allergies.

It keeps your skin healthy– Dampness and humidity can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. A dehumidifier will help to keep the air in your bathroom at a comfortable humidity, which will keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

It prevents damage to tiles and paintwork– Mold loves moisture, so it isn’t just the walls that get damaged when there is too much water vapor in the air.

Tiles can absorb this dampness from time to time, and this can cause them to start to peel and crack. Paintwork can also start to fade and chip if it is constantly exposed to moisture. A dehumidifier will help to prevent all of this damage from happening.

It prevents corrosion and rust– Excessive moisture can lead to corrosion and rust in metal bathroom fixtures, such as taps and showerheads. A dehumidifier can help to prevent this from happening.

It’s energy-efficient– A dehumidifier doesn’t use a lot of energy, which makes it an economical choice for your bathroom ventilation system.

It reduces cleaning– With a dehumidifier in your bathroom, you will no longer have to worry about cleaning up any mold or mildew. The dehumidifier will take care of that for you.

It increases comfort– With a dehumidifier, you are definitely going to feel more comfortable in your bathroom. The air will be at a healthy humidity level, and you won’t have to worry about any mold or mildew growth.

Bathroom Dehumidifier Cons

There are a few downsides to installing a bathroom dehumidifier. These include:

It can be expensive to buy a high-end model– Although there are some cheaper models on the market if you want all of the features that a high-end dehumidifier offers then you will have to pay more for it.

It needs regular cleaning and maintenance– For best results, a dehumidifier needs to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. If this isn’t done then it can start to work less efficiently.

Larger models take up valuable space– This is especially a problem if you have a smaller bathroom. Larger models can be quite bulky and take up a lot of space, which could be better used for other things.

Poor quality models increase energy bills– You are most likely going to save money on your energy bills if you buy a quality dehumidifier, rather than a cheaper model. Poor-quality models can be quite inefficient and end up costing you more in the long run.

Heat and noise– Some people have complained about there being a noise and heat problem with some bathroom dehumidifiers. If this is a concern for you then make sure to read the reviews before you buy.

What Does An Exhaust Fan Do?

An exhaust fan is a vital part of your bathroom ventilation system, as it helps to remove humidity and moisture from the air.

This can be especially important if you take regular baths or showers, as they are likely to increase the humidity levels in your bathroom.

An exhaust fan will also help to clear away any unpleasant odors that may build up over time, and it can also help to keep your bathroom mirror from fogging up.

It also helps remove dirty, muggy, and stale air. It is also an essential feature if you like to take long, hot showers.

The steam from the water can make your bathroom very muggy and damp, which isn’t good for breathing conditions such as asthma or allergies.

When this humid air gets sucked out of the room through a powerful ventilation system, it will help to keep your skin looking and feeling great.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Pros

It eliminates odors: Bathrooms are often known for their unpleasant odors. Whether it’s from the toilet, the shower, or just general dirt and dust, an exhaust fan can help to clear these smells away in seconds.

It helps reduce humidity: As we’ve already mentioned, high levels of humidity can cause a lot of damage to your bathroom fixtures and fittings. An exhaust fan can help to reduce the humidity levels in your bathroom, which will stop any of this damage from happening.

It keeps your mirror fog-free: If you’re someone that likes to take long, hot showers then you know how frustrating it can be when your bathroom mirror starts to fog up. An exhaust fan can help to prevent this from happening, which will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs Exhaust Fan

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Cons

Some can be noisy: Some exhaust fans can be quite noisy, which can be a bit of an annoyance if you’re trying to relax in the bath or shower.

Tedious and invasive installation: Exhaust fan installation can be a bit of a hassle, as it often involves cutting holes in your walls and ceiling.

It can increase your energy bills: If you have an exhaust fan that is running constantly then it may end up increasing your energy bills. However, there are some fans on the market that come with an automatic shut-off sensor, which will stop it from running when the bathroom is empty. This will help to reduce your energy costs in the long run.

It requires maintenance: This is another thing that you need to keep in mind if you decide to install an exhaust fan in your bathroom. Like any other piece of machinery, it will require regular maintenance in order to keep it running at its best.

What Are The Differences Between An Exhaust Fan And A Dehumidifier?

The main difference between an exhaust fan and a dehumidifier is that the former can push drier hair from the outside but the latter is to remove humidity from the inside.

What Are The Similarities Between A Dehumidifier And An Exhaust Fan?

The major similarities between a dehumidifier and an Exhaust fan are that they both suck moisture from the air. They also work to make your bathroom a fresher, cleaner, and more comfortable environment for bathing or showering.

Bathroom Dehumidifier Vs. Exhaust Comparison

DehumidifierExhaust fan
More effectiveSlightly less effective
Not very effective at odor removalRemoves odors
Takes up valuable spaceDoes not necessarily take up large space
Easy InstallationInstallation is quite invasive
Precise humidity controlHumidity control may not be precise


Does a bathroom exhaust fan remove humidity?

Yes, bathroom exhaust fans remove humidity from the air. This is an important function, as high levels of humidity can cause a lot of damage to your bathroom fixtures and fittings.

Can a dehumidifier replace a bathroom fan?

Yes, a dehumidifier can be used in place of a bathroom fan, as they both work to suck the moisture from the air.

However, a dehumidifier is more effective at removing humidity than a bathroom fan.

This is because, apart from being able to be set to deliver precise humidity levels, dehumidifiers also have a built-in water tank that collects the moisture removed from the air.

Should bathrooms have dehumidifiers?

Yes, bathrooms should have dehumidifiers if the humidity levels in the room are high.

This is because dehumidifiers work to remove moisture from the air, which will help to prevent any damage that may be caused by high levels of humidity.

Final ThoughtsIs a dehumidifier better than an exhaust fan?

Both bathroom dehumidifiers and exhaust fans are excellent at helping to keep your bathroom free of unpleasant odors.

However, while an exhaust fan can help reduce humidity levels in the air, a dehumidifier is more effective when it comes to removing moisture from inside the room.

Both appliances also require regular maintenance, but this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle if you choose the right product.

Looking For Dehumidifier Guides?

If you’re looking for more dehumidifier resources, consider checking out our other posts on dehumidifiers.

irene mills author of freshairdevices

(writer & chief editor)

Irene Mills is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.