Power-vented water heaters -- what say you?
November 4, 2009 12:35 PM Subscribe
Replacing a water heater... to power-vent or not to power-vent? That is the question.
posted by sesquipedalia to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
Old water heater (possibly as old as 18 years) is leaking and will go away soon. It's currently chimney-vented; I'm pretty sure the chimney has a liner, but I don't know much about its size (so it's hard to tell if the current venting is effective at venting the heater's output). The furnace no longer vents to the chimney. This has all been unchanged for the past 7 years and there have been no problems, no carbon monoxide alarms aboveground, etc. The house is old and the basement windows (most windows, actually) are far from airtight, so there should be sufficient drafts for convection.
Plumber is recommending a power-vented heater instead of ventung the new one throughy the chimney too. His main argument is that as houses get tightened up and more airtight, chimney convection gets much less effective.
We're probably moving out of the house in the next 5-10 years and don't currently plan on doing an energy audit / making the house more airtight / replacing the basement windows etc in the meantime.
Plumber's quote is $800 for straight replacement with a new chimney-vented heater); $1500 for installing a power-vented one, setting up the venting, etc.
What experiences do you all have with power-vented heaters? Pros and cons? Do you think it's worth doing in this case? And is the cost differential (and the actual amount quoted) reasonable?
Thanks, hive mind!