Are you shopping for a water heater? There’s a high chance that you may have come across the phrase “power vent” in your search. A power vent is used for describing how a water heater exhausts the harmful combustion gases from your Katy, TX home. In some homes, having a water heater repair technician install a power vent water heater is the only option. Power vent water heaters tend to be costlier compared to the alternative, a direct vent water heater. Know what they are, their advantages and disadvantages, and even whether you can modify your existing unit to a power vent one.
What’s a Power Vent Water Heater?
Today, there are two main means of powering water heaters; propane or natural gas and electricity. All gas-powered water heaters burn propane or natural gas to heat your water. In the process, they produce harmful combustion gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Therefore, these units need a mechanism to vent these harmful gases off your home.
Although there are many venting configurations, power vents, and direct vents are the most popular ones. It is through the venting configuration that the power vent water heaters get their name. Power vent water heaters use an electrically powered blower fan to push these exhaust gases via the piping. Hence, having a water heater repair technician install it means you’ll have to pay more energy utility bills.
Benefits of Installing Power Vent Water Heaters
Are these water heaters better than direct vents or other units with different venting configurations? Well, there are both advantages of having a water heater repair technician install a power vent water heater at your home, including;
1. Easily Installed Even in Compact Homes
In modern homes, “tighter” building has become more important, requiring less energy and resources for your home to run, resulting in a more energy-efficient home. However, a downside to “tighter” buildings is less natural draft throughout your home, which could mean backdrafts and carbon monoxide poisoning are higher risks. Having a water heater repair technician install a power vent water heater helps mitigate this risk by providing powered airflow that eliminates the need for a natural draft.
2. It Can Be Installed Anywhere
One of the main advantages of power vent water heaters is their flexibility. You can have a water heater repair technician install them wherever you like. Since they vent vertically and horizontally, they can be installed anywhere in your home. They don’t need to be installed near a vertical vent or where there is chimney access. You can also install a horizontal pipe from where you install the water heater at any place convenient at your home.
3. Higher Energy Efficiency
Power vent units are more energy efficient than direct vent water heaters. Power vents can be operated using a fan, which requires less gas and is, therefore, less costly and energy efficient. It benefits you, your wallet, and the environment by limiting the larger reliance on the electric grid. Hence, installing a water heater repair technician to install a power vent unit will save you some cash. Although you won’t save much on your energy bill each month, over time, it can add up, and it will reduce your home’s burden on the electric grid.
4. Lower Potential for Back-drafting
Back-drafting is used when the exhaust gases from your water heater leak or flow back into your indoor space rather than being safely vented outside. As explained above, power vent water heaters have an inbuilt fan for pushing exhaust gases from your home. Therefore, there will be less likelihood of back-drafting. Besides making your Katy, TX home unsafe, back-drafting also can harm your water heater. Hence, to prevent this, you should have a water heater repair technician install and maintain the water heater.
Disadvantages of Power Vent Water Heaters
When a power vent water heater is running, some homeowners notice the noise generated by the fan. If you are sensitive to sound, this could be a problem depending on where your water heater is located in your home. Hence, ensure that the water heater repair technician installs it further from your living room or bedroom if you are a noise-sensitive homeowner.
Installing a power vent water heater is costlier because of the additional blower or fan. Further, you should be aware that additional costs could increase because of the additional use of electrical power and additional piping that could be required.
3. Must Use Electrical Power
For the blower in the power vent water heater to run and blow the exhaust gases out, it must be connected to electrical power. Hence, you have to install an electrical outlet depending on where your unit is installed. This is an extra cost factor, and the unit will not run in case of a power outage.
Is It Possible to Convert a Regular Unit Into a Power Vent?
Though it’s technically possible to convert a regular water heater into a power venting one, any water heater repair technician will tell you it isn’t recommended. Your water heater warranty will almost certainly be voided if you attempt to convert to a regular heater. The problem may even lead to the voiding of your Katy, TX home warranty, or it may affect your insurance claim if there is a serious malfunction. Instead, you should purchase a power vent water heater from a premium manufacturer. Rather than retrofitting a heater for this type of venting, you should consider purchasing one intended for this kind of venting. Changing how a water heater vents its exhaust is dangerous and exposes you to a risk of injury.
Now that you know both the pros and cons of a power vent water heater, do you want to install one at your home? Contact us at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston.