Ventilation Systems vs Dehumidifiers: What's the Difference? | Blog | Unovent

Ventilation Systems vs Dehumidifiers: What's the Difference?

21 May 2019
Ventilation Systems vs Dehumidifiers: What's the Difference? Ventilation Systems vs Dehumidifiers: What's the Difference? Blog

When we think of a comfortable home, we imagine a nice, warm, dry house free of mould and mildew caused by moist, condensed 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 and pushes out damp, foul air efficiently and quietly, creating a healthy home environment for Kiwi families.

However, some people may think that simply using 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 water, and drips the condensed water into a collection bucket. Dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes and models, extracting up to 30 liters 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, whilst 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 maximise 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. Contact us today for a no obligation free quote.