Hot Water Ottawa

Direct Vent vs. Power Vent Water Heaters

Direct Vent vs. Power Vent Water Heater

Buying a new water heater can be difficult, especially with today’s variety of styles and types available. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you’ve likely discovered that there are direct vent water heaters and power vent water heaters.

The difference between the Direct Vent vs. Power Vent Water Heaters is that a direct vent water heater vents the exhaust gases into the atmosphere, whereas a power vent water heater removes them with an electric blower fan.

Both are popular, so how do you know which is the best water heater for you? Hot Water Ottawa is here to help!

When Do You Need a Direct Vent Water Heater?

A direct vent water heater is best suited for an installation space with insufficient ventilation. It draws air for combustion from outside your home, rather than inside, and the exhaust gases and excess heat are vented back outside.

Because this water heater has separate chambers for intake and exhaust air within the venting system, there’s less risk of backdrafting within your home. Direct vent water heaters are a good choice for you if you don’t have—or aren’t able to retrofit—any additional venting structures in your home. These types of tanks are commonly seen in condominiums, where installation space comes at a premium.

Energy Efficiency

A direct vent water heater uses a simple system that works through physics—the heated combustion air rises above cold air and is vented vertically. No extra power is required, and the overall hot water heating costs are fairly low.

When Do You Need a Power Vent Water Heater?

A power vent water heater can have venting that runs either vertically or horizontally, and adapt to your home’s structure much more easily than a direct vent water heater. If you need more flexible installation options, a power vent unit can allow for that.

Energy Efficiency

A power vent water heater can give plenty of energy savings, as it’s designed to use combustion gases to heat water. Instead of being lost in the vent pipe, the heat found in exhaust gases is used to heat the water. With lower exhaust gas temperatures, you can use less expensive PVC piping for your water heater exhaust venting.


Due to the fact that a power vent water heater needs to run a fan, there might be some excess noise that comes with this type of system. Compared to a nearly-silent direct vent water heater, power vent heaters are usually louder. However, if your water heater is tucked away in the basement, it likely won’t be loud enough to disturb your living space.

For All Types of Hot Water Heaters, Turn to Hot Water Ottawa

There are several differences between direct vent vs power vent hot water heaters, and the choice you make will depend on your budget, home layout, and installation space.

Power direct venting is more energy efficient and can save you money on your utility bills. This type of water heater is good if you have the budget and want a more efficient system.

A direct vent water heater requires no extra power, but if you don’t have access to a vertical vent or chimney, it likely won’t be the most economical option if you have to spend money in order to fit the correct venting. This type of water heater is a good choice if your home allows for direct venting.

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a water heater, a new water heater is a major purchase. It’s good to be informed as much as you can before you buy.

The experts at Hot Water Ottawa are available to help you take the guesswork out of your decision. Our qualified technicians know the ins and outs of both types of water heaters, and we’re ready to provide you with information, quality equipment, and skilled installation services.


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