Tankless water heaters can significantly reduce your utility expenses and make your home environmentally friendly. Compared to the standard electric units, propane tankless water heaters can reduce gas emission by 60% and energy cost by 50%. The latest improvements in design contribute both to easier installation and an aesthetically pleasing look. In this article, we are going to discuss tankless water heater venting.
Tankless units need special venting to blow exhaust gas outside. There is a broad range of venting options at your disposal. Take a look at these quick tips for tankless water heater venting that can help you make the right choice.
Quick Tips For Tankless Water Heater Venting
There Are Two Different Ways for Tankless Water Heater Venting
Two different ways for venting your tankless power heater include:
- Direct-vent venting
- Power venting
Direct-vent units are equipped with two vents. The first one is used to pull in air from outside the assembly, while the other serves for exhaust. Power-vent units need only an exhaust vent. Although this may seem like the easy solution, they require placement in a room with enough air to make up for the combustion. On the other hand, you can install direct-vent heaters in smaller areas, such as attics or mechanical rooms.
Direct-Vent Pipes Can Have One or Two Ventilation Pipes
Direct-vent water heaters, in most cases, come with an intake pipe and an exhaust pipe. However, some manufacturers go with a single-piped concentric venting. They place only one tube that contains an external intake vent and an inner exhaust vent. This way, just one hall is needed in your wall or ceiling. However, they demand a larger area for installation.
Non-concentric vents require placement further from the wall because their vent pipes are hot to the touch. Concentric vents always remain cold because the hot exhaust air stays on the inside.
Concentric Venting Increases Safety
The majority of water heater experts recommends concentric venting because it increases safety. A leak in your exhaust vent can be a huge security risk because it lets carbon-monoxide pollute the air you breathe. Concentric vents keep this from happening. Even if there is a faulty exhaust pipe, the air will remain inside, preventing any pollution.
Concentric vent design also keeps your water heater cold to the touch, which prevents burn injuries from happening.
They Can Also Go Through a Side Wall
Tank gas water heaters used the natural draft and required venting through the roof to allow the hot exhaust air to leave the house. The combustion fan of tankless water heaters is different because it blows exhaust horizontally from the unit. It makes the job easier for remodelers and professionals handling installation jobs.
The fact that they can use a side wall means more flexibility and placement options. They can always adjust the plumbing a bit to accommodate the desired position of the water heater, which was not the case with older models.
There Is No Need to Vent an Outdoor Unit
Tankless water heaters have the self-warming capability that keeps them from freezing and cracking. Your job is only to install it outdoors for which you can use the summer or a warm day. After setting it up, your tankless unit will successfully withstand very low temperatures without venting. It’s an easy solution that frees up a lot of indoor space.
The only thing to make sure is that the electric supply is constant. The heating elements run on electricity, which means that if an outage occurs, tankless units can freeze up in cold climates.
Condensing Tankless Water Heaters Can Save You Money
Research shows that condensing tankless water heaters transfer about 95% of the heat they generate to the water. That is much better than their non-condensing counterparts, which transfer only around 80%. Non-condensing units pile up the hot exhaust gas, which then you have to vent through a metal vent.
Unlike that, condensing tankless water heaters emit a cooler exhaust gas, which means you can use an exhaust vent from polypropylene or PVC. You will save a significant sum of money by using a plastic vent, even if a condensing unit costs more to purchase.
Your Venting System Can Be Pleasant to the Eye
Some users were repulsive towards trying tankless water heaters because they didn’t like that pipe sticking out of the wall. They believed that it didn’t fit with the rest of the room and thought it was ugly. The manufacturers then came up with an aesthetically pleasing solution.
They now offer an extensive range of pipe covers and termination points. You just have to choose the desired wrapping, and the rest is up to the technical skills of the installer. If your installer does the job right, then your tankless water heater venting system will be conveniently hidden beyond the outside cover.
If you want to improve the aesthetics further, you can also install a recessed box. It will allow you to fit your tankless water heater unit inside a wall, instead of it being stuck to it.