Dehumidifier vs Fan: Which is Better?

Dehumidifier vs Fan: Which is Better?

Sharing is caring!

Do you have too much humidity in your home or apartment? Do you find your bathroom is gathering too much condensation after you use it and you’re wondering what is the best way to get rid of the excess moisture?

While there are many options, here we are looking at using a dehumidifier vs. using a fan. There are pros and cons to each but in this guide, we will end the debate once and for all. We will answer all the questions and give you all the facts you need to know to make the right decision.

We will look at the benefits of dehumidifiers vs. fan heaters as well as answer which is better – a bathroom dehumidifier or exhaust fan. While a fan can circulate air from outside or push drier air into your home or the basement, a dehumidifier works by actively removing moisture and then storing it to be drained away.

Read on and discover – dehumidifier vs. fan: Which is better?

Comparison Table

Type Features
  • Removes moisture from the air
  • Low maintenance
  • Control the exact humidity level
  • Does not remove moisture
  • Needs maintenance to prevent clogging
  • Cannot control humidity level

The Main Differences

is a fan better than a dehumidifier?

As mentioned briefly above, the main difference between a fan and a dehumidifier is the way they work. A fan basically circulates air through your apartment or basement. This can be a great way to make sure your home is ventilated and there is a constant supply of fresh air replacing the stale air inside. They are a lot less complex than dehumidifiers and usually, anyone with a little DIY know-how can install them.


Dehumidifiers are a lot more complex and actually work by drawing air through the unit where it condenses over cold coils to remove the water from the air. The “dried” air is then pushed back into the room. This method doesn’t actually bring fresh air into your home, it merely dehumidifies the existing air in your home.

Fan: Pros and Cons


Fans have been used to ventilate homes for more than 50 years and they are generally an inexpensive way to make sure the air in your home, basement or even crawl space is fresh and well-circulated.

They are also very easy to install. Fans are generally fitted onto windows or vents that push air from outside into your home where it is circulated around. This works really well and can be added to any outside wall.

A dehumidifier needs to have its water collection bucket emptied regularly or it will have to be linked up to a drain so the water can be pumped away. Fans don’t need this sort of regular upkeep or installation.


If the problem in your home is dampness, then a fan will only go some way to fix it. This is because while you may have drier air being pushed in from outside, the fan won’t actually remove moisture from the air as a dehumidifier does. So if you have a particularly bad damp problem, a fan just won’t cut it.

A fan can also become clogged. As the system is essentially one moving part, anything that causes this part to become clogged or blocked (dust, debris, etc.) can cause your fan to become overworked which can burn out the motor.

One of the worst downsides to a fan is that it will actually make your moisture problem worse if you live in a hot climate and use air conditioning to cool your home. If you use a fan to push in warmer air from outside, say into a crawl space, the air inside your room will already be cool due to the air conditioning system. This means you will have hot air from outside hitting cooler air inside. This will cause condensation and could actually make your damp problem worse.

Dehumidifier: Pros and Cons


Dehumidifiers have been used commercially for years and they have become a popular way to remove moisture from homes and basements.

A dehumidifier unit works by actually taking water from the air. You can see the by-product of it working through taking out the water collection bucket or watching the hose drain the water away. This gives you peace of mind that the water in the air is actually being removed from your home instead of just masked or circulated around.

Another great feature with a dehumidifier is the fact you can control exactly the level of humidity in your home. Several units come with a built-in humidistat which monitors the air moisture level and operates the dehumidifier until the level is at a preset limit. This means you can have 70%, 50%, or any level of humidity you want to suit your own preferences.

Although a dehumidifier looks like a complicated machine, they are actually pretty low maintenance. They will need some general cleaning and upkeep around twice a year but mainly you can just leave them to get on with the job.


A dehumidifier differs from a fan in that it does need to empty away water somehow. This can either be collected in a bucket which is then manually removed and emptied or a pump system will push the water out through a hose and into a drain. This does mean you need to either set it up in an area with access to a drain point or be prepared to empty the bucket fairly regularly – a difficulty if you’re going away on vacation.

Dehumidifiers can also be louder than a fan. While you can get quieter units, it is something to bear in mind if you need to dehumidify a bedroom or other quiet living space.

Generally, dehumidifiers take up more space than a fan. A bathroom dehumidifier versus a vent fan can end up using floor space in what is usually a smaller room.

The Right Solution for Your Space

If you really want to remove moisture from your home effectively then a dehumidifier is the right choice.

While a fan can take up less space and give you fresh air, it won’t actually remove moisture and, as explained above, can actually make a dampness problem worse if you’re living in a home with air conditioning.

If you found this article helpful, or have any questions at all regarding fans and dehumidifiers, feel free to comment and share below.

Dehumidifier vs Fan Which is Better

Sharing is caring!

1 thought on “Dehumidifier vs Fan: Which is Better?”

  1. Is it ok to leave extractor fan running while dehumidifier is on at the same time?

Comments are closed.