Power Vent vs. Chimney Liner


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Old 11-20-08, 07:57 AM
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Power Vent vs. Chimney Liner

Recently I changed out my furnace with a high efficiency side vent furnace, and now I'm led to believe I need to make changes to my hot water heater. I currently rent a standard unit that exhausts out of a metal chimney.

I'm told my two options are either to get the existing chimney lined, or to have a power vent water heater installed. I'm really torn here regarding what's better and why. I know the power vent isn't necessarily any more efficient, and if I go that route I'll have a slight increase in electrical cost (running the venting motor...although I can't imagine it's constantly running) and I'll have to get the chimney capped (no idea what that'll cost), but having a liner installed isn't cheap either.

What I'm looking for is any advice anyone has.
Thanks.
Rob.
 
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Old 11-20-08, 03:37 PM
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Not sure where you are, but is most states, the renter can not make those decisions. If you are rentee, that is different.

You don't have to install a power vent water heater, you do need to downsize the flue pipe for proper draft. If the heater is gas, you can use a 3" aluminum pipe to the chimney exit(CHECK LOCAL CODE FIRST). if it is oil fired, it must be stainless. Kits are available from a local heating supplier or on line.
 
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Old 11-21-08, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm the renter in that I rent the hot water tank. Apparently that's odd for most of the world but it's quite common here. I have the option of either the power vent or the chimney line, and neither is really more costly than the other regarding rental rates (install is included in the rates). In other words, there's no incentive for me to keep the old HW heater, they just send someone to take it out and replace it with the power vent one.

So, the issue basically boils down to cost to run and which one is more "future proof" with the house, and I really can't find a good pros & cons for either, meaning I'm right now leaning to a power vent because of uninformed gut feeling.
 
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Old 11-21-08, 07:42 AM
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I recently (about 1 week ago) had the same dilemma. My water heater blew and rather than buy a new one I inquired regarding renting one. I live in Canada - one of the main renters of water heaters is a company called Reliance. The basically offered to put in a water heater that vents through the chimney for ~$10 per month or a power vented unit for ~$20 per month. The catch with venting through the chimney was that it would cost 395+tax to have a chimney liner installed (my chimney did not have a liner). Reliance has a program where they pay their contractor to install the liner and you pay Reliance back over the course of the year, interest free, over 4 payments. So that's the route I took. Having the power vented until would have cost me $$ to get it installed and I figured that in the long run this was the most cost effective route.

Best of luck, not having hot water in this cold weather can be quite trying.
 
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Old 11-21-08, 07:50 AM
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Hey golantr,

Thanks....that's pretty much where I am too. Reliance is who I rent from right now, and it's not a fun dilema. Maybe a chimney liner is the better plan. The guy putting in my furnace told me the power vent is naturally more efficient since the exhaust gasses don't have to be as hot to provide convection updraft needed to exhaust out the chimney, but I'm not sure if that's right.

I'm currently paying about $15 a month for a standard HW heater, and the power vent runs $21 a month, so really there's not that much difference (esp if the power vent is mildly more efficient).
 
 

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