Bathroom Dehumidifiers vs Exhaust Fans

Dehumidifier In A Bathroom

Dehumidifiers and exhaust fans are both great options for reducing bathroom humidity. It's important to know which one is best suited for your needs since each of these options can have a big impact on the quality of air in your bathroom.

Exhaust Fans

The exhaust fan is one of the most important features in any bathroom. They are used to circulate fresh air into the room which removes all the excess moisture created by hot showers and baths.

Compared to dehumidifiers which can be expensive, an exhaust fan is simple, affordable, and accessible – as you likely already have one.

Exhaust Fan Pros

  • Compact and light

Exhaust fans are lightweight and can be installed within an external wall or an internal wall or ceiling with the appropriate ducting in place.

  • Inexpensive

Inexpensive to purchase with fans starting at $15.

  • Easy to install

Easy to DIY install if desired.

Exhaust Fan cons

  • No control over humidity

An exhaust fan simply transfers the air in your bathroom to the atmosphere. What they don’t provide is fine tuned control over the exact humidity levels in your bathroom.

We find that you can expect a RH of around 50 – 60% when used properly.


Dehumidifiers work by passing humid air over cold coils so that the moisture in the air condenses. This is how dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air to reduce humidity.

Dehumidifiers don’t circulate fresh air into your home. They simply extract moisture from moist air to reduce humidity.

Dehumidifier Pros

  • Excellent for humidity control

Dehumidifiers allow you to select your desired humidity level inside your home. They are very efficient at removing excess moisture from the air.

  • Better health and comfort

Humid air isn’t great for your comfort or your health. As humans, we prefer an environment that is around 40-60% RH. Any higher than that can cause respiratory issues and feels ‘muggy’ to be in.

Mold and mildew grow with excessive damp. If left unresolved, they can become a source of serious health problems.

Damp can also damage plaster and grout in your bathroom leading to unnecessary repairs.

Dehumidifier Cons

  • Expensive

Compared to exhaust fans they are relatively expensive, although you will rarely need to spend more than $200.

  • Bigger and Bulkier

Dehumidifiers have a larger footprint compared to exhaust fans. You will need to find a suitable place to locate them which can be tricky in a small bathroom.

Final Verdict

Whether you live in a humid environment or not, you will need to control the level of humidity in your bathroom. If you live in a very humid climate, you will likely need to use both a dehumidifier and an exhaust fan to control humidity.

Our preference is to use both, as a drier bathroom brings many benefits and is more comfortable to use.

We can help you choose the best dehumidifier for your bathroom.

About the Author Lets Remove Mold

If you're looking to buy a new dehumidifier then you're in the right place. Through years of HVAC and mold remediation experience, the team at are able to provide advice on the type of dehumidifier you need for your home.

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