Are you in the market for a new water heater? If so, you may have found yourself feeling overwhelmed with all of the different types, styles and options available to choose from. One thing to consider is whether or not you should purchase either a direct vent or power vent water heater.
Both of these offer various advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation, including energy efficiency, lifespan and installation costs.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss both types of water heaters—direct vent vs power vent—so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to replace or upgrade your home’s hot water system. You can also check out this article by Hurliman, a reputed HVAC provider, to learn more about the differences between these two types of water heaters.
What is the difference between direct vent and power vent water heaters?
Direct vent water heaters and power vent water heaters differ primarily in the way that air is supplied to the unit and vented outside.
A direct vent water heater utilizes a dual pipe system, with fresh air and exhaust gases both being drawn from the exterior of the home. This type of ventilation makes them exceptionally energy efficient, as it prevents a significant amount of hot combustion byproducts from entering the living space while also reducing standby heat loss more than non-direct vent models.
On the other hand, power vents rely exclusively on an electrical motor to move the air and gases out of, or into, the flue pipe. As this type of system requires no extra piping, they are less expensive than direct vent units.
However, they can cause added stress on your wallet in regards to electric bills, as dually piped direct vents offer greater savings potential for homeowners who may want to reduce their utility costs.
Which type of water heater is better for my home?
Deciding which type of water heater is the best choice for your home depends on several factors, including your budget. Direct vent and power vent models are top contenders in the residential water heater market, and both have their pros and cons.
Generally speaking, direct vent models use a small electric motor to remove combustible gasses through two pipes: one for intake air that is externally vented, and another for exhaust gasses also externally vented.
Power vent models also rely on an electric motor to facilitate ventilation and capture gas from the unit’s flue. However, rather than being externally vented, this model channels exhaust fumes through the home or business’ existing ventilation system.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine which is the best choice for your home or business, but investing in professional guidance can help you make an informed decision about which type of water heater will be most cost effective and efficient for you in the long run.
How do I know if my home can support a water heater installation?
Keeping your home comfortable and safe with a functioning water heater is essential, but it’s also important to make sure you know what type of water heater installation may be suitable for your home.
When considering direct vent vs. power vent options, there are certain factors to consider such as the size of your roof venting system and if there is access to an exterior wall that can accommodate an intake and exhaust pipe.
Additionally, it’s important to check if the air circulation in your area will provide enough oxygen to maintain quality combustion and if the fuel source available can support these types of tanks.
Talk to a local plumber or contractor to have a better understanding on what could be the best fit for your home.
Energy efficiency of direct vent vs. power vent
When it comes to energy efficiency, both direct vent water heaters and power vent water heater models have significant advantages. Direct vent models draw air from outside directly into the combustion chamber and can be vented vertically or horizontally, eliminating the need for a venting system.
On the other hand, power vent models rely on an exhaust fan for ventilation which allows for easier installation in an existing home and nearly any type of fuel can be used. Depending on your budget, space constraints, and fuel source, either of these types of water heaters could represent a great choice for efficient operation that also meets your needs.
Ultimately, researching each model’s efficiency rating is the best way to determine which one is right for you — no matter if you choose direct or power.
How much will it cost to install a new water heater in my home?
Installing a new water heater in your home can vary in cost depending on the type of heater you choose and the labor involved. Factors such as the size of the water heater, brand name, hard-to-access plumbing locations, and any additional parts required also have an effect on the cost.
Generally speaking, tankless water heaters are more expensive than traditional units. They require specialized labor to install and sometimes require extra facilities or hardware. Before installation, be sure to research different brands so you can select one that fits within your budget and meets your needs.
Seeing an itemized quote before installation is always best practice for budgeting ahead and understanding exactly what will be used for this project.
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