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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 19496
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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What is the difference between an atmospheric vented hot water

Customer Question

what is the difference between an atmospheric vented hot water heater and a direct vent hot water heater.and which is better
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.
An atmospheric vent relies on a natural draft for the exhaust to escape. A hot column of air will create that draft. If you're having a lot of down drafts your unit may not be vented properly. There are 2 types of direct vent heaters. The most common version uses a fan to create the draft so the unit can be vented out a side wall (with PVC pipe) instead of a chimney. The other less common type is sidewall vented with a concentric intake and exhaust vent but it is technically atmospheric since it has no fan.
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.
One is no better than the other if installed properly. However in places without a chimney a sidewall vented unit has a big advantage in that it doesn't need a chimney