If you’ve decided that replacing your water heater is better than fixing your old one, you might be in a hurry to move forward. However, it’s important you consider ventilation before you spend money on a new unit if you want to stay within your budget.
A lot of people don’t realize that different water heaters use different methods of ventilation. Unless you get a water heater that vents the same way your old one did, you will have to install new pipes in your home. You must also explore the cost of each type of water heater and what you can expect when using it.
Understanding Water Heater Ventilation
Water heaters have come a long way in recent years, and some people opt to use electric water heaters instead of ones that use natural gas. The only problem is that electric water heaters run up your power bill each month and cost more in the long run.
That is why most homes still use water heaters powered by natural gas. When your water heater burns natural gas to heat the water in the tank, it gives off a toxic byproduct that you don’t want in your home. The vent allows the toxic gas to safely leave your home so that you don’t have to worry about it.
With atmospheric venting, your water heater needs a vent that goes straight up to your roof. The byproduct of the natural gas is lighter than the air in your home, allowing it to go up through the vent. The biggest benefit of atmospheric venting is that you don’t need a fan to exhaust this toxic air from your home.
This design, however, does have some downsides. Since an atmospheric vent requires access to the roof, installing the pipes is often a complex and expensive process. Also, these vents remove air from your home, and outside air will rush in to replace it. This problem can increase your heating bill in the winter. Since your water heater accounts for up to18% of your energy use, choosing an energy-efficient option is wise.
Direct and Power Venting
Rather than sending the exhaust up through the roof, direct and power vents send the exhaust through an exterior wall near the water heater. These types are a little cheaper to install because they don’t require an extensive retrofit. A direct vent pulls air from outside and uses it to push the exhaust out of your home. A power vent, though, pulls air from around the water heater to achieve its goal. You can go outside and look for vents near your water heater to tell what type of ventilation system you have in place.
Getting Expert Advice
If you want to get the most for your time and money, nothing compares to the guidance of trained and experienced experts. The team at the Air Treatment Company can help determine which type of water heater would be best for your home. If you would like to discover what we can do for you, visit ourservice page or call (703) 270-0881 to request a consultation.