Probably you have heard about direct vent water heater units, power vent and conventional venting options using a chimney, but you don't know what they are, what you have to do with it and how they will affect your budget.
Direct vent heaters and other venting options are to be
considered for fuel fired
heating systems only. If buying an electric water heater you don't have
to worry about venting or combustion gases and you will not have
For combustion and igniting of natural gas, propane or oil, the air is required. Needed air can come either from the outside as fresh air through the venting pipes, or from the inside of your home where you live.
Some hot water heaters have two venting pipes, one pipe is for air, the other for gases; or concentric venting system with the same purpose.
With the direct vent hot water heaters you will notice that there is no chimney needed, as it vents directly through the wall and it uses the fresh air from outside. Also, direct venting doesn't require electric fan or external power supply.You should consider this direct venting option if; you don't have a chimney, and if there is no electrical source close to the water heater to power the vent.
Some manufacturers like GSW and its DV models are designing its gas appliances with the long vent lengths and through the vertical wall, eliminating the need to raise up.
Direct vent Rheem water heaters are another example of these popular models where manufacturer builds DV heaters to meet a high demand. You can buy a direct vent hot water heater from one of the five series and based on the installation options:
Power Direct Vent Series with the induced draft, vertical or horizontal termination and direct vent pipe length up to 100 ft.
Fury Direct Vent Series with the horizontal option only. It uses an aluminum adjustable coaxial vent for flexibly installation and requires no electrical power.
Fury Direct Vent Series with the vertical option only and as the horizontal venting model it also works without the blower.
Warrior Direct Vent Series for manufactured housing.
Warrior DVX Series with co-axial direct venting for manufactured housing.
Flexible venting is also an option and has the great advantage when running the flex pipe around plumbing, copper piping and whatever it is on a way.
Direct vent gas water heaters< are designed with a sealed combustion chamber that is air tight so back-drafting will not occur. They are silent, as there is no fan to blow, and safe so the installation won't be a problem. There is no risk of the Carbon Monoxide leaking so they can be installed virtually anywhere as they draw the fresh air in from outside.
The vent system must terminate with the proper clearances and per local codes in order to prevent blockage, condensate or vapor to create a nuisance or hazard, property damage, or damage on the component parts and affect proper water heating operation.
Note: When you are installing a direct vent heater make sure that all vent-air intake joints are sealed (sealant is usually provided).
Power vent water heater is similar to direct vent option, but it uses an electrically powered vent for assistance. The fan-assisted venting system you can use if there is no chimney as an option, if the heater is close to the exterior wall, and if you have an access to the electrical power.
Direct vent water heater will not affect or be affected by other appliances or changes in pressure inside the home, while powered vent option, when installed in the building can contribute significantly to building depressurization and affecting the performance of other combustion appliances.
If conventional vent is what you are planning to use, have in mind next options: type B, double-wall metal vents or a tile-lined brick chimney. It can be shared with other furnaces and boilers, but there are restrictions.
Note: Direct vent water heater, power vent option or venting with the chimney must have the vent size according to the regulations and codes.
Indoor tankless gas water heaters are vented vertically or horizontally to the outside, using the manufacturer's approved venting kit. Don't risk your warranty, performance and safety using non-factory venting material.
Recommendation is to inspect vent system at least once a year after initial installation, in order to maintain the proper water heater operation.