Power Vent water heaters are becoming more and more common especially in older homes built prior to the 1980’s. Improper drafting conditions can produce low levels of carbon monoxide which may not be detected by most CO detectors. Most CO detectors will not go off under 40 parts per million.
Homes built prior to the 1980’s usually don’t have a flue liner for the water heater and furnace to vent. Instead they vent into the masonry chimney. Today’s standards no longer allow for many of the connections made in past years. A flue inspection can be performed to verify the transition from type b vent pipe to the clay liner most older homes have. Visit our page on Flue Liners to find out if your older home will require special attention when replacing your next water heater.
For many older homes with a masonry chimney a Power Vent vent water heater may be a safer alternative to an Atmospheric Vent model. Similar to a high efficiency furnace, a power vent water heater vents out the side of the house instead of a traditional flue or chimney.
A power vent water heater is usually about twice the amount of a traditional water heater. While some models may be higher efficiency and energy star qualified, some are only slightly more efficient than standard models.
Power Vent water heater work similar to a high efficiency furnace in the way they vent through the side of the house instead of the flue.
Not all power vent water heaters are created equally. Currently baseline power vent models have an energy factor of .62, Energy Star power vent varieties have an energy factor between .67-.82. Our AO Smith GPVT 50 200 has an energy factor of .70 and has an operating cost of only $233 per year.