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Direct Vent Vs Power Vent Gas Water Heater – Let’s Know The Differences

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  • Post last modified:December 14, 2022

Gas water heaters are one of the most useful electrical items one can have in their home nowadays. Direct vent gas water heaters and power vent gas water heaters are the two most popular types of gas water heaters. If you are in a dilemma between these two which you should purchase, you should consider reading this article at least once. 

Are you looking for proper information regarding direct vent gas water heater vs power vent? Then this article will help you to make the right decision. In this article, we have tried to deliver the proper knowledge about direct vent gas heaters and power vent gas heaters in addition to their pros and cons.

Direct Vent Gas Water Heaters

In the Northern Colorado area, direct vent water heaters are very popular. These kinds of gas heaters usually use the air from outside of your house. For separating the incoming and outgoing air most direct vent water heaters have special coaxial venting. In a direct vent water heater, the combustion occurs due to the burning of fuel and the combustion leads to water heating.

To transfer the exhaust gases outside of the home exhaust pipe or chimney is used. Direct vent heater operates properly when the heated air is light in weight than cool air. It also rises naturally as there is a difference in buoyancy between the hot and cold air. If the exhausted gases can be vented vertically this simple system works perfectly.

For these reasons, this system works well without any kind of extra cost of the extra power. As a result, this system is budget-friendly. Now let’s be familiar with some pros and cons of this system.


  • Easy to install and budget-friendly, especially for the older homes with a chimney.
  • Additional power isn’t required to transfer air
  • Doesn’t cause much noise due to fewer moving parts 
  • Maintenance cost is low.


  • There is a limitation for water heaters as direct access to vents or chimneys is required.
  • Combustion can occur due to the shortage in air supply.

Power Vent Gas heaters

Power vent water heater normally uses a power-driven fan to transfer hot air outside of the home. As it gives the user the opportunity to the user to place it anywhere in the home without bothering about the connection with chimneys. This kind of heater can transfer the hot air through horizontal vents or chimneys. This was designed for modern homes and needs a complex venting system in order to push out gases.

In most homes, power vent water heater is used to eradicate exhaust gas and to increase the home’s safety factors. As there is a mechanical pressure the power vent water heater eliminates the chance of the backdraft of air. It leads to the reduction of harmful gases like carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is the most common byproduct of combustion.

Homes these days are built with efficiency keeping all these complexities in mind. For most modern homes the power vent water heater might be the only option. There is a possibility of using an extra motor in most of the heaters which can increase the electricity usage and installation costs. Now let’s be familiar with some pros and cons of it.


  • It lets the users keep the heater anywhere in the house  they want without bothering about the natural ventilation of the exhaust gases
  • Reduction of harmful gases leaking out of the vents or chimneys.
  • Doesn’t need any chimney the exhaust gases can be eliminated through PVC pipes.


  • The initial cost is more compared to the direct vent water heater.
  • Has higher maintenance costs as there are additional moving parts
  • Completely dependent upon electricity.
  • Can increase the electricity bill
  • Can cause noise problems due to the vent fan

Direct Vent vs Power Vent

Direct Vent Power Vent
Typically found in older homesTypically found in newer homes
To evacuate combustion gases, chimneys and exhausts are used.To evacuate combustion fumes, power-driven fans are used.
There are constraints on where the water heater can be placed.The water heater can be installed in any location.
Installation cost is lowerInstallation costs can be high

Which is Better?

Considering the pros and cons and also the differences of both heaters direct vent gas water heater and power vent is a debatable topic. Each type of heater has its individual utility. So if you have a home that is much older than regular ones then a direct vent water heater is the perfect choice for you.

But if you have a home that is built upon modern aged structures then you should consider buying a power vent water heater. This will be more costly than the direct vent water heater but it is the only option for modern aged homes.

Final words

Between direct vent gas water heater vs power vent which is good for you is a debatable question. It totally depends upon the type of house you have. But to make the right choice between these two, you can consider the brief discussion including the pros and cons mentioned in this article. This will help you to a greater extent.

Brian Pierce

Brian Pierce is a professional gardener who has vast experience in gardening and home decorating. Being cultivating his skills, he has been to many home and garden related seminars of typical fashion. So, now he has decided to share his years of knowledge, experience, opinions, tips, and above all his hobby on the internet. Find him on Twitter here. Happy Reading!

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