Ventilation System vs Dehumidifier: What's the difference?

A great ventilation system, such as Unovent brings fresh, dry air into your home pushing out damp foul air efficiently and quietly from the home, creating a healthy home environment

humid homes refresh renovations ventilation

When we think of a comfortable home, we imagine a nice, warm, dry house free of mould and mildew caused by moisture-laden air. The exact opposite is iconic in horror movies – dark abandoned homes with peeling wallpaper and creaky floorboards, infested by unknown bugs galore in dark corners. Most homes can avoid this dreary fate with proper maintenance, sufficient daylighting, and of course, good ventilation. A great ventilation system, such as Unovent® brings fresh, dry air into your home pushing out damp foul air efficiently and quietly from the home, creating a healthy home environment for Kiwi families.
However, some people may think that simply installing a dehumidifier to “dehumidify” the air and reduce moisture is enough. More often than not, this is not the case. Ventilation systems and dehumidifiers may have overlapping benefits, but they work very differently. Generally, dehumidifiers don’t provide the desired air impact that people expect.
If your house is suffering from problematic dampness, it’s time to find a better solution. As the experts in home ventilation, here at Unovent, we answer the age-old question: which one is better – a ventilation system or a dehumidifier? We compare the two in more detail below.


A dehumidifier absorbs excess moisture in the air with a fan. It takes the moist air, condenses it into the water, and drips the condensed water into a collection bucket. Dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes and models, extracting up to 30 litres per day. This container limit means you have to empty out the bucket once it becomes full. Additionally, typical dehumidifiers only treat small, contained areas, and aren’t powerful enough to move a lot of air and provide proper air circulation. A ventilation system, however, is designed for whole home ventilation, especially Unovent. It pushes damp, moist air and odours from the entire building while allowing fresh air to come in. This means your entire home is getting ventilated with fresh, warm, dry air, making it especially great to have in the winter. Plus, there’s no bucket to empty every so often.


The costs to dehumidify your home can vary according to its power usage. Depending on its size, the dehumidifier’s power requirements, and frequency of use, costs can quickly rack up every month. You’ll need to ensure your dehumidifier is only turned on at the most crucial parts of the day to maximize its benefits. Allowing it to run during cold winter nights does get rid of more humid air, but it’s not exactly the cheapest way to keep your home dry. Ventilation systems such as Unovent work more cost-efficiently than the average dehumidifier costing less than $1 a month to run.

Overall Effectiveness

Dry air is cheaper to heat than moist air, and both a dehumidifier and ventilation system work to achieve this. However, a dehumidifier has a much more limited range and scope, allowing damp air to continue to circulate elsewhere in your home, and doesn’t replace this air with any fresh air either. If there are specific problem areas that you want to treat, and especially if your house is older and isn’t quite draft-proof, then maybe a dehumidifier is the better product for your home. But if you want a system that displaces excess dampness and moisture, while providing fresh air in an energy-and cost-efficient way, then a ventilation system is the best choice.
Here at Unovent we are always committed to helping Kiwis create healthier living environments for their families. For more information on Unovent please go to

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