MDM Mechanical

Types of Water Heater Vents: Which One Is Right for You?

Homeowners rarely think about the technology and equipment it takes to keep their home running until those components require maintenance, replacement, or repairs. Water heater vents definitely fall under that category of often-neglected or forgotten-about, but necessary, appliances.

Chances are that unless you work in the HVAC, plumbing, or home improvement industry that you probably didn’t know there are different types of water heater vents that are only compatible with specific units that vent the same way.

If you’re due for a new water heater, here’s what you should know about the different types of water heater vents that are on the market.

Direct-Vent Water Heater

A direct-vent water heater uses a horizontal pipe that’s connected to the external wall of your home to expel hazardous and combustive gases like carbon monoxide. A separate vent is used to suck in fresh air and maintain a steady airflow throughout your home. Direct-vent water heaters are extremely common in old homes and new builds alike. Boasting excellent versatility, and flexibility, direct-vent water heaters are compatible with virtually any structural design.

Power-Vent Water Heater

Similar to direct-vent water heaters, power-vent water heaters also expel gaseous combustive exhaust through a pipe that runs through the exterior wall of your home. The main difference is that a power-vented water heater uses electrical fans to move the gaseous by-products out of your home and safely release them into the external atmosphere more efficiently. Power-vent water heaters are extremely versatile and easy to install.

Since the piping can be installed horizontally or vertically depending on the structure and layout of your home, power-vent water heaters are fairly common just like their direct-vent counterparts. However, they do come at a slightly higher price tag due to the fact that they require metal venting pipes that can handle exposure to acidic and hot exhaust.

Atmospheric Water Heater Vent

Atmospheric water heater vents are the most common and affordable of all of the types of water heater vents for residential structures mentioned here. This system relies on the natural movement of gases that rise out of the water heater’s combustion chamber. These gases go through a flue that leads them upward and expels them into the air through the roof. The pipe that’s connected to the ventilation system must be long enough to run all the way from the water heater to the roof without interruption.

Atmospheric-vented water heaters are extremely common due to their low upfront installation and operational costs. What they lack in versatility and flexibility, they make up for in efficiency and affordability.

Do you have a broken down or malfunctioning water heater vent system?

Choose MDM Mechanical for All Your Water Heater Needs

MDM Mechanical is a family-owned and operated heating and cooling company that serves Hamilton and surrounding areas. Whether you need standard or tankless water heater installation, repair, or maintenance services in Hamilton, you can count on us to get the job done right the first time. We firmly believe that “there’s no shortcut to quality” and we stand by that statement. Contact us today to book a consultation or request a free quote!

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