It is important to note that a direct vent water heater is used for gas water heaters in areas that make it difficult to vent through the roof. In fact it is ideal for homes or apartments that have difficult angles. The unit has it’s own built-in venting system that consists of a dual pipe that brings in fresh air from the outside and exhausts it through an adjacent wall. The system itself provides an airtight chamber for combustion of the gas that prevents back drafting, in which gas fumes foul up the air surrounding the water heater.
Installing this system will depend largely upon the layout and architecture of the dwelling. Switching to a tankless gas water heater will eliminate many of the problems associated with a tank-type heater. However, since it is still gas that is being used to heat the exchanger, fumes will come into play and using a direct vent system to exhaust them through the side of the building.
Since gas needs oxygen to burn properly, getting air into the unit is just a critical as removing the fumes. Fortunately, the smaller size of the tankless gas water heaters means that they can be installed in places that would normally not be used for a tank-type heater. One of the better aspects of this type of hot water heater is that the unit’s cover is sealed and does not use any air from the surrounding area.
Venting and installation of the units does require the use of a licensed plumber in almost all states. It is always recommended and highly encouraged to seek professionals for proper installation and safety.
The advantage of using a direct vent water heater is that it does not compete for air from within the home. In cold climates, non-direct vent installations can be affected by non-combustible air entering the home and causing negative pressure, thereby freezing the unit and causing an expensive repair bill. Since the tankless gas water heaters can be place anywhere with a direct vent and fan assisted, there usage and value cannot be underestimated