Gas Water Heater Venting Options – Which One Best?

Is it time to consider which type of vent your new water heater will require? Some homes have an already established vent that cannot be changed, but in other instances a remodel may need a change.

One of the most common plumbing issues for homes with a natural gas water heater is that people often don’t realize the origin of their problem.

water heater venting options

Which Type of Water Heater Vent Do You Need?

When choosing a water heater vent, you should consult with an expert such as our licensed plumbers. Let’s look at some of the options available today:

Every gas-powered water heater needs a ventilation system to filter out the byproducts, or flue gasses, produced during use. The vent also pulls in fresh air from outside so fire can continue via combustion.

The water heater vent type needed for your water heater is contingent on the location of your unit and the model you have. There are three main types of vents that are used in residential units: power-vent, direct-vent, and atmospheric.

Power-Vent Water Heater Vent Type

These vent types rely on a series of fans to move gases, namely from substances in the air that are used by fire or heat. This allows these vents to be installed and utilized for both vertical and horizontal positioning within your surroundings.

Additionally, the heater may be installed a fair distance away from the termination point. However, these systems are among the more expensive options available. These heaters must use stainless steel or other metal venting pipes as by-products would not work in any less expensive pipe option.

Direct-Vent Water Heater Vent Type

Direct-vent heating and cooling systems isolate the combustion process, making them airtight and designed with a sealed chamber. They rely on a horizontal pipe system to move byproducts through the external wall of your home.

These type of vents need a separate vent pipe to draw in fresh air and require a zero tolerance for the safe movement of the flue gases. They are quieter than power-vent types when installed properly and more flexible in terms of installation.

Atmospheric Water Heater Vent Type

The atmospheric ventilation system is the most common heating system used in residential homes. The system makes use of natural air currents to limit the emissions coming from combustion devices.

These heaters are built with a metal tube that extends upwards from the main body of water heater. The stove’s flues dispose of waste gases outside the house via a pipe, giving it an advantage over other types of heating because the gas discharge unit and chimney installation cost less money.

Deciding on a water heater vent type for your gas water heater is both an art and a science. Remember to take into account installation restrictions, the area of installation, local laws and guidelines when making this decision.

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