Tankless water heaters are a fantastic option for homeowners who are looking to improve their energy consumption and lower their monthly utility expense. Because these systems are fairly new, most homes need to be retrofitted to accommodate the change in operations from the standard tank water heaters.
Venting the tankless water heater is an important part of the installation process. A tankless water heating system requires a special venting process to release hot exhaust outside of the home. A standard tank water heater limits the way in which this venting can occur, but the new more versatile tankless water heaters provide various ways for venting.
There are several key pieces of information to keep in mind when deciding how your tankless water heater will be vented:
If your tankless water heater is installed inside of your home, it will draw air in from the outside and can be vented in one of two ways: either power vent or direct vent. The difference is basically how much room do you have for your water heater. If you have plenty of room then a power-vent unit will work because these units need adequate air quantity. A smaller space works great for a direct-vent unit.
If your tankless water heater will be installed outside of your home you will have more indoor space and less concern about venting. These units withstand temperatures that are below freezing and come equipped with self-warming components.
If you choose a condensing tankless water heater you can expect lower installation costs. These units are up to 95% more efficient than their non-condensing counterparts and give off a cooler exhaust. This leaves the option for having PVC piping rather than metal which lowers the cost.
Tankless water heaters can be installed using recess boxes, which allows the system to fit inside of a wall rather than attached to the exterior, which is a preference for some homeowners as the water heater attached to the wall can be unsightly.
While it might take some effort and money to get your home configured for a tankless water heater, these units are versatile and provide many options to reduce the cost.