Exhaust fans are the most effective way to ventilate bathrooms according to building code requirements. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use other methods to improve air circulation and eliminate excess moist air in the room. Which alternatives to the exhaust fan you can use in your bathroom?

You can use a ductless or household fan, open the bathroom windows and doors, or introduce plants in this room. Additionally, dehumidifiers can help ventilate your bathroom better in place of an exhaust fan.

If you’re looking for alternative ventilation in place of an exhaust fan for your bathroom, we’ll show you what to settle for and why. Here are great alternatives to exhaust fans:

Alternative To Exhaust Fan in Bathroom

Open The Windows

One of the simplest ways to ventilate your bathroom is by opening the windows after bathing. Such a trick is more effective for small bathrooms. However, the kind of windows in your bathroom also determines the effectiveness of this method. For example, bigger windows will ventilate the room better than the smaller ones.

Ductless Bathroom Fan

You can ventilate your bathroom using a ductless fan instead of an exhaust fan. The ductless bathroom fan is easy to install as you don’t need to cut holes in the roof and create a ductwork route. This type of fan requires you to attach it to the wall or ceiling and have it work. It uses a charcoal filtration system to eliminate the foul smell and moisture in the bathroom.

Introduce Plants in The Bathroom

Plants can also help you circulate air in the bathroom and absorb moisture. You can introduce plants like a fern, Boston, or English ivy. The plants will also help beautify the space and improve oxygen flow in the room.  

However, plants may not remove much moisture as the exhaust fan would, making it a better option for smaller bathrooms.  You will also have additional work of taking care of the plants, which can be tiresome, especially if you’re not into plants.

A Household Fan

You can also use the normal household fan used anywhere within the house to help ventilate the bathroom. It can be an oscillating, larger household or box fan that works in place of the exhaust fan. Using this kind of fan is easy as you get to switch the fan on after a shower. After achieving the desired results, you can remove the fan from the bathroom. But you need to be cautious when using these fans with cords which can be hazardous when they come into contact with water.

Use Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can also work well, just like an exhaust fan in the bathroom. The humidifier will help control the humidity level in the bathroom and ensure it’s at a good level. When there is too much humidity in the bathroom, the humidity sensor will coordinate with the unit and turn it on automatically. If you want better results, invest in high-quality dehumidifiers, although they are expensive.

Open The Doors

You can also ventilate your bathroom by opening the doors without an exhaust fan. The open doors will help remove the moist air in the bathroom. Opening doors can help if your bathroom doesn’t have windows, but you’re looking for a simpler way to ventilate the room.

However, this method can be disadvantageous if your bathroom has an unpleasant smell as it will travel to the other rooms.

Install A Ceiling Fan

Another alternative to an exhaust fan in the bathroom is a ceiling fan. The fan will help remove humid air and foul smell in the bathroom. A ceiling fan is a better alternative since it also helps regulate the temperature in the bathroom, making it a good choice for bathrooms with hot showers and heat-generating lights.

Choose a ceiling fan designed for bathroom use to get desired results as they are damp-rated. However, you need to open the windows for the fan to work effectively. This is because the window will help regulate airflow and vent out moist air.

Can You Have a Bathroom Without Ventilation?

No. the building code requirements stipulate that every bathroom must have proper ventilation to help regulate moisture levels and remove bad smells. This is because moisture buildup on the window and the walls when you take a hot shower while the mirrors get foggy.

Most municipalities have clear building code requirements requiring bathrooms to be vented through an open window or exhaust fan. The openable windows act as a bare minimum requirement and are mostly viewed as an unreliable ventilation option.

Bottom Line

Installing an exhaust fan is a requirement by most municipalities’ building codes. But since the exhaust fan can be expensive on your side, you can look for an alternative to ensure your bathroom is vented. 

You can opt to open the windows and door to regulate the moisture level in the toilet. Introducing indoor plants or using a household fan can also help.  A dehumidifier or a ceiling fan can also help you regulate excess moisture, stuffiness, and mold making the bathroom fresh.
Read More: How to Vent a Bathroom with No Outside Access?