Can a Gas Water Heater be Vented Out the Side of the House? - An Expert's Guide

Are you looking for an efficient way to vent your gas water heater? Direct-vented gas water heaters are an ideal solution for homes with limited ventilation. This type of water heater draws air for combustion from outside the home instead of the inside, and can be vented out the side of the house. There are three types of ventilation, and only an electrical vent is allowed to end in a side wall. These water heaters come with an electric fan installed on top and can have either vertical or horizontal ventilation ducts.

Ventilation does not rely on the buoyancy of warm air, so it can be operated horizontally to the outside of the house. The fan cools the air, allowing for PVC pipes to be used instead of metal, as required with atmospheric ventilation. The water heater must have an electrical outlet nearby to power the fan. A common problem associated with venting water heaters is retrocurrent, where exhaust gases from the water heater don't leave the house through the vent and instead end up inside.

This is usually caused by fans in bathrooms or kitchens that draw air out of the house and create a vacuum effect that draws exhaust gases down and into the house from the ventilation grille of the water heater. To ensure proper ventilation of gas water heaters, it is important to follow all instructions in the AO Smith Gas Water Heater Owner's Manual for FSPH-75 270 Series gas models. Additionally, consult the latest edition of the National Combustible Gas Code (ANSI Z223,1-latest edition) or, in Canada, the Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code (latest edition B149,1-00) for complete information on putting equipment into operation. Venting a gas water heater out the side of your house is a great way to save space and ensure proper ventilation. However, it is important to follow all instructions carefully and consult relevant codes to ensure that your water heater is properly vented and safe to use.