Best Power Vent Water Heaters of 2021 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: September 24, 2021

Everything is becoming energy efficient now. Before buying any product, people are also concerned about their carbon footprint. This is why companies producing products that consume gases and pose a risk to the environment are shifting to more “green” products.

Power vents are one of the ways water heater manufacturers reduce emissions and increase efficiency in their products.

This article reviews the best power vent water heaters that you can buy on the market today. We hope the information provided helps you heat your water while also reducing your carbon footprint.

Comparison Chart of the Best Power Vent Water Heaters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • It is a tankless water heater
  • Uses liquid propane as fuel
  • Comes with an electronic ignition system
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  • Uses propane gas as its fuel
  • It is an outdoor, tankless water heater
  • Highly durable construction that resists corrosion too
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  • Best for the money
  • Has a 12L water capacity
  • Large capacity and highly efficient
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  • Has a 40-gallon water tank capacity
  • Features a great build and limits sediment build-up
  • Best AO Smith and the best 40 Gallon power vent water heater
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  • It has a 50-gallon water capacity
  • Best 50 gallon power vent water heater
  • Ability to serve 3 points simultaneously
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  • Uses propane gas as its fuel
  • Produces 76,000 BTUs per hour
  • Best 75 gallon power vent water heater
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What is a Power Vent Water Heater?

A vent is how the water heater releases its excess and unused gas, heat, and moisture from the tank. There are two main types of vents that a water heater might use.

Direct Vent

Direct vents make use of the pressure created by combustion to push the excess gases out through a chimney. It does not require extra power to expel the gases.

Power Vent

Power vents use a fan or a blower to push gasses out through pipes. It uses the fan to cool the gases down and makes sure that there are no gases left inside that might cause an explosion.

Perks of Getting a New Power Vent Water Heater

Power vent heaters are a great alternative to traditional heaters. Some of the main reasons you might want to switch to a new power vent are:

Placement

Power vents don’t require a vertical vent that runs through your house, and that is why they are more flexible in their placement. They can be placed anywhere, depending on the ease of use. Manufacturers provide fairly long vents that allow this.

Efficiency

These water heaters are more efficient than traditional ones and use less fuel. This will end up costing you less in the long run. They can also recover water faster and are also cheaper than traditional and direct vented water heaters.

Safety

Backdraft can happen if excess gases from the water heater leak into the room instead of going out through the ventilation pipes. These gases contain carbon monoxide, which is a flammable gas. Power vent water heaters remove the chances of backdraft happening. They also have lights that go on if it is not running properly, and it stops heating. This prevents a lot of accidents.

How Do I Choose a Power Vent Water Heater?

Here are some things you should look for when buying your water heater:

Vent Pipe Length

Power vent heaters are used when there is no chimney already in place. They use horizontal pipes and can expel gases either through a side wall or the roof. The length of the pipe comes into play here. If it is long, it will give you more flexibility in its placement. If it is not, then you might need to look for areas near an opening.

Electricity Consumption

Power vent water heaters use fans or blowers to expel gasses outside. These fans require electricity to run. If electricity consumption is a problem for you, then you should check the kind of blower or fan the heater uses. This can tell you about its power needs.

Price

Some traditional heaters can cost a lot of money, like direct vent power heaters. If you are switching to power vents, you would want to look into how much it will cost since this kind of heater also requires extra installation charges.

Review of the Best Power Vent Water Heaters

In this section, we’ve reviewed some of the best power vent heaters so that you can easily pick one for yourself. 

Best Overall:
 Eccotemp FVI12-LP

Eccotemp FVI12-LP Liquid Propane Gas Tankless Water Heaters, White

PROS

  • Produces minimal noise output
  • Electronic ignition system is safer
  • Compact design for space-saving
  • Provides manual temperature adjustment option
  • Equipped with a digital temperature display screen

CONS

  • Water flow is not good

What Recent Buyers Report

This water heater is used by people in small homes or trailers. It is very fast and efficient, as reported by users. It is small, which is important for smaller homes because you need things that don’t take up too much space. People who have been using it regularly for months report good health and performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This liquid propane water heater comes with a wall thimble, termination pipe, 110V UL-listed power cord, instruction manual, hardware pack, and elbow with backflow prevention. It is energy efficient and only heats water when in use. The heating mechanism is very good and will provide hot water instantly.

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater is for indoor use. Since it is a tankless water heater, it is suitable for smaller areas like a cabin, tiny homes, and apartments. You can use this with a propane tank (not provided with the product) and even if you don’t have a chimney or vents installed in your home.

Bottom Line

This tankless water heater is easy to install and energy-efficient. Its blower is not as noisy as other power vent water heaters. It uses standard ½-inch NTP fittings and plugs into 120V electric outlets. Everything you will need for installation is provided in the package.

Runner-up:
Camplux 10L Outdoor 2.64 GPM Propane Tankless Water Heater

PROS

  • Can be used for drinking water
  • High thermal efficiency at 88.5%
  • Tankless water heater saves space
  • Comes with a gas regulator and adaptors
  • Uses stainless steel burner and copper heat exchanger for corrosion resistance

CONS

  • Not suitable for long use

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this heater delivers hot water fast. It is very sturdy and of high quality. Since it is made for outdoor use, people use it for camping. They also report that it works everywhere. It is very easy to set up and use and has good value for the price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater is extremely efficient with a thermal efficiency (EF) rating of 88.5% and claims to have an 11.5% energy-saving technology. It is a very safe product. It has over-heat, flame failure, anti-freeze, dry combustion, low water flow, and high water pressure protection. You can be sure there will be minimum chances of an accident. It can be powered by 2D batteries in case of power loss.

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater is portable and can be charged with batteries. This makes it great for outdoor use like camping and while on a road trip. Its lightweight and small size allow it to be carried easily. This is a great option for RV trailers as well. However, it’s not suitable for large homes.

Bottom Line

This water heater claims to save you 50% on your water heating costs. It is great for small uses. You can also connect a shower head to it when you are on the road or camping. It comes with everything you need to get it ready and working. The stainless steel material makes it durable and resistant to corrosion as well.

Best for the Money:
Camplux 12L Natural Gas Water Heater

Tankless Water Heater, Camplux Constant Propane Water Heater, 3.18 GPM On Demand Water Heater, Instant Hot Water Heater, Indoor, Black

PROS

  • Heating efficiency up to 90%
  • Oxygen-free copper heat exchanger
  • High capacity
  • Overheat protection
  • Easy to use
  • Black glass front panel for temperature control

CONS

  • Some users report it not working after a few months of use

What Recent Buyers Report

This product has a sleek and modern look. It is easy to use, easy to install, and budget-friendly. Users report that the hot water delivery is very fast. People find this product perfect for small homes and state that it promises a quick supply.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The  Camplux 12L Natural Gas Water Heater has more capacity than other models from the same manufacturer. It is highly energy-efficient and durable. The LCD monitor shows the water temperature and has control buttons. It also has an eco/energy-saving mode and child protection lock mode. It is ignited electrically. The stainless steel pipes needed for venting are included in the package.

Who Will Use This Most

This tankless water heater provides an endless supply of hot water for baths and showers. It is suitable for cabins and small homes. Its energy generation is 42 watts and 0.35 amps, which makes it an incredibly energy-efficient heater.

Bottom Line

This is a budget-friendly alternative to other more expensive options. It offers ideal and safe low-pressure performance. The power consumption is already low, but it still has an energy-saving mode. It is very easy to install and use. You can connect your showerhead directly to it and start using it right away.

Best AO Smith and the Best 40 Gallon Power Vent Water Heater:
A.O. Smith GCR-40

A.O. Smith GCR-40 ProMax Plus High Efficiency Gas Water Heater, 40 gal

PROS

  • Uses thermopile for power generation
  • 40 foot vents for flexibility in installation
  • Internal microprocessor for faster heating
  • Blue diamond glass coating for corrosion resistance
  • Dynaclean diffuser dip tip for reduced sediment buildup

CONS

  • Could be more energy efficient

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this water heater is durable and can give you hot water for many continuous showers. People don’t have much to complain about with this product other than the delivery time. They also claim that it is easy to install and works great for average-sized families.

Why it Stands Out to Us

AO Smith makes some of the best water heater products in America. This water heater has a large capacity for water and a 40 foot long vent. So, you can place it anywhere in the house. It uses blue diamond coating and a Dynaclean diffuser dip tip for easy cleaning and less sediment accumulation. The ignition is safe and easy, thanks to the thermopile.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is built for large homes and long continuous use. It has a fairly high capacity for water. You can use it if you don’t have a chimney installed and want flexibility in placement. It is easy to use with its push-button spark ignition and LED display for diagnostics and temperature monitoring.

Bottom Line

This is a bigger water heater for large homes. It is eco-friendly and reduces NOx emissions by up to 33%. There is limited sediment build-up, which in turn increases hot water output. It is a very durable and sturdy water heater using stainless steel.

Best 50 Gallon Power Vent Water Heater:
A.O. Smith GPVL-50

A.O. Smith GPVL-50 ProMax Power Vent Gas Water Heater, 50 gal

PROS

  • 3-position rotatable blower outlet
  • Energy Star qualified water heater
  • Large water capacity for residential use
  • Stainless steel anode rod for a longer lifespan
  • Can produce hot water for 3 showers at the same time

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

This heater has a high capacity tank that is pretty easy to install. Some consider the price a little high, but that is expected with large water heaters. It does not take too long to heat up, and people enjoy many back-to-back hot showers with this water heater.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater has a good capacity, so you can enjoy hot water for consecutive baths. It uses stainless steel anode for better corrosion resistance that increases the lifespan of your water heater. The three-position blower outlet makes its placement flexible.

Who Will Use This Most

For a large home with many people using the shower at the same time, this water heater will be ideal. It can store more water and give you an endless supply of hot water whenever you need it. It’s easy to install and use. It also has an LED control for the status update.

Bottom Line

This large capacity water heater is highly durable. The electronic gas control and hot-surface igniter make it safe and efficient. It uses environment-friendly materials for heat retention. You can install it anywhere you want with its 40-foot vent pipe.

Best 75 Gallon Power Vent Water Heater:
 AO Smith 201 Series ProMax GPVX-75L

AO Smith 201 Series ProMax GPVX-75L Vent Tall Propane Gas Water Heater, 75 gal

PROS

  • Easy installation and use
  • Very high capacity for domestic use
  • Uses 3-position rotatable blower outlet
  • You can take 4 showers at the same time
  • Stainless steel anode rod for better corrosion resistance

CONS

  • Uniform energy factor (UEF) could be better

What Recent Buyers Report

This water heater is perfect for large families. It delivers on its many consecutive hot shower capabilities. Its quality is superb and it is easy to install too. It’s a very durable product, and you get reliable performance even after years of use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is of exceptionally high capacity. Of course, that comes with more power consumption, but you can take longer consecutive showers. The material is sturdy and durable. It has a three-position outlet that makes its placement more easy and flexible. There is a minimum sediment build-up, and it meets Energy Star requirements.

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater is for large homes. You can accommodate an average of about 8 consecutive sinks or 4 showers at the same time. If you have a lot of people in your home who use hot water at the same time, then this water heater will be very convenient.

Bottom Line

Not every home needs a large water heater; mostly, people go for the more energy-efficient, smaller models. But if you have many people living in one house, there is no getting around it. This large capacity water heater will provide hot water continuously and as efficiently as possible.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Power Vent Water Heater

There are other venting options available, so why choose a power vent water heater? Are they the best choice? Let’s put things into perspective by looking at both the pros and cons of these tanks.

Pros

Let’s first see all the good things about a power vent water heater.

Doesn’t Involve a Lot of Money

These units cost way less up front than a direct vent or environmental vent water heater. You can use a cheap PVC pipe with it. It is more efficient and hence costs less money on fuel per month. Plus, it consumes energy more efficiently than conventional water heaters.

Much Safer

It is safer than a direct or environmental vent because it removes the possibility of a backdraft. This is because the gases that go out of the fan are much cooler, and it has a more stable pressure that makes sure no gas stays inside.

Easy to Place Anywhere

You can place it anywhere in the house, depending on the length of the vent pipe. Mostly they are 40 feet or longer. Some outdoor tankless models even run on batteries.

Cons

Nothing is perfect, and so power vent heaters have their downsides as well.

Produces a Lot of Sounds

Because these units use a fan or a blower, they can result in a lot of noise, which is never pleasant.

Difficult Installation

Installation can be more difficult if you were previously using a traditional water heater. In most cases, you will require professional help.  

How to Install a Power Vent Water Heater

Since power vent water heater’s installation can be tricky, here is a short guide. Your heater will most likely have either one of two kinds of venting systems.

The first is the single vent pipe system that is basically installed as a pipe inside another pipe. One of these pipes functions as discharge, while the other serves as the air intake pipe. 

The other kind is the two-pipe system that has two different pipes for venting. One of the pipes provides air from the outside, while the other discharges the combusted products to the outside. 

The actual installation of your unit will depend on the unit you have. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to follow the instruction manual that comes with the unit. 

For detailed instructions and troubleshooting, you can refer to the video below.

Conclusion

This article lists the best power vent water heaters with all their advantages and disadvantages. There are many things you have to look for when buying a water heater, including your needs and home design for chimney location. These products all have great versatility when it comes to placement and uses and will surely make a great investment.

People Also Ask

If you have any more questions about power vent water heaters, then you can refer to these frequently asked questions to find the answers you’re looking for.

What is the Difference Between a Direct Vent and Power Vent Water Heater?

Direct vent relies on the pressure created from the combustion process to expel extra gases. When gases heat up, they become lighter and move to the top. This is how a direct vent releases unused gases from the top.

A power vent water heater uses a fan or a blower for expelling gases. It does not rely on combustion. The power vent system makes expelling gases more efficient and consistent. The gases are also cooler compared to direct vent, and it does not need a chimney.  

How Far Can You Vent a Power Vent Water Heater?

How far you can vent depends on the blower power and vent pipe length. The more powerful the blower, the farther you can vent. Mostly, it is around 40 feet, but some newer versions can vent to about 180 feet as well.

Are Power Vent Water Heaters More Efficient?

When it comes to fuel consumption, they are more efficient. But when it comes to electricity consumption, they can be more costly.



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.