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The Best Power Vent Water Heaters

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

best power vent water heater

Only the best power vent water heater can give you peace of mind whenever you have your system running in your home. It effectively expels dangerous combustion byproducts or flues into the outside of your home, ensuring your family will never have to deal with serious health problems. Choosing the right power vent water heater can also improve your energy expenditure.

Of course, the keyword here is ‘right.’ Do not worry if you are still clueless about how you can choose the right power vent water heater for your home. This article will take care of that.

Top 1

AO Smith GPHE-50

Weight ‎140 pounds
BTU Rating 76,000
Capacity 60 – 65 GPH

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Top 2

Rheem PROG50-42N RH67

Weight  ‎160 pounds
BTU Rating 42,000
Capacity 32.4 – 42.4 GPH

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Top 3

Eccotemp FVI12-LP

Weight  ‎20 pounds
BTU Rating 80,000
Capacity 60 GPH

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Table of Contents

Best Power Vent Water Heater Reviews

1. AO Smith GPHE-50 Water Heater

The GPHE-50 is a reliable gas hot water heater with power vent that prevents you and your family from inhaling dangerous exhaust gas. It is a safe and efficient system that delivers sufficient water supply for a family of four.

This AO Smith power vent water heater has a thermal efficiency rating of 90%, ensuring you have the savings you need. Going on an adventure with your family is now more possible than ever. There will always be hot showers to welcome your return.

I love this appliance’s 76,000 BTU rating, which is almost twice the BTU rating of other brands. A higher BTU rating translates to faster water heating, requiring less energy in the process.

This appliance’s recovery rating is also commendable. Most 50-gallon systems can only recover about 60 to 65 gallons of hot water per hour. This baby can recover an astonishing 92 gallons per hour. You will never complain of not having sufficient hot water in your household, even if you have three people showering simultaneously.

I also love its dual venting design, allowing you to mount your exhaust pipe on top or the side. Very few systems can offer you such flexibility.

I appreciate this product’s six-year warranty. That may come in handy since some customers complained about their system failing in a couple of years.

This unit can be easy to install. However, I strongly recommend getting a professional to install it for you. It may cost you some more, but it will save you from leaks and other potential problems.
  • High thermal efficiency for improved cost savings
  • High BTU rating for faster and more efficient water heating
  • High recovery rate for optimum water consumption
  • Dual venting options for maximum installation flexibility
  • Recommended for a three-bath household
  • It may be not as durable as claimed
  • Professional installation recommended
The AO Smith GPHE-50 is a workhorse in today’s energy-efficient homes. It works like a charm in delivering sufficient hot water for your family without endangering their health.

2. Rheem PROG50-42N Residential Water Heater

The Rheem PROG50-42N RH67 PV is one of the most impressive power vent gas water heaters on the market. It has a commendable design that provides a family of three sufficient hot water for their showering and other needs.

At the core of this water heater is an eco-friendly burner with several notable features. I like its self-diagnostic module because it allows you to control the amount of natural gas your system burns. Its electronics also facilitates effortless monitoring of the water heater’s performance, making troubleshooting problems a breeze.

Its exhaust management design offers peace of mind to your family. It also has an air/fuel shutoff mechanism to give you an additional layer of safety. You will sleep better knowing this Rheem power vent water heater will not leave noxious nitrogen oxides in your home. Breathing will be as normal and safe as ever.

The tank features the company’s patented R-Tech anode rod that improves the water tank’s corrosion resistance. Its blower mechanism is also sturdy and powerful, capable of venting flues for up to 100 feet. This unit will serve your family for many years.

I love this appliance’s overall design. Unfortunately, I find its 0.67 energy factor disheartening. I was hoping its EF was at least 0.80. It also does not help soothe the mind that its recovery rate is only 32.4 to 42.4 gallons per hour.

On the bright side, I know you will love its 87-gallon first-hour rating. You will enjoy more hot water for the whole family, even if it means showering simultaneously.
  • High first-hour rating for optimum water consumption
  • Exclusive R-Tech anode rod technology for exceptional tank corrosion resistance
  • Innovative air/fuel shutoff mechanism for improved safety
  • Advanced self-diagnostic system for hassle-free maintenance
  • Low-NOx design for additional safety
  • Modest efficiency rating
  • Lower recovery rate than other brands
The Rheem PROG50-42N RH67 PV may not be as energy efficient as you would like it to be. However, it makes up for it by giving you exceptional reliability, durability, and a first-hour rating that very few brands can best.

3. Eccotemp FVI12-LP Tankless Water Heater

Whether you live in the US or Canada, the Eccotemp FVI12-LP is an exceptional buy. It is perfect for small homes, apartments, or cabins because of its compact size and installation. This unit can have your water heating requirements to a tee with its reliability and efficiency.

This power vent tankless water heater comes with a propane-powered heating element that delivers 80,000 British Thermal Units. You can enjoy up to 140-degree water in less time than other systems. Since it is tankless, you also get better savings. Your propane gas only fires up when your home uses hot water.

I love the appliance’s thoughtful design, including its high-contrast digital temperature display. You know what water temperature you are using in your shower or going to your dishwasher with its clean display.

While the temperature information is digital, its thermostat is fully manual. It is as easy as twisting the knob to your desired water temperature, and you can have your warm shower within minutes. I also like its quiet operation. There is no fan or blower to keep ringing or buzzing in your ears.

This wall-mounted unit is easy to install. You may want to add a water heater power vent kit to ensure safer propane combustion flue evacuation.

I cannot say I like this appliance’s 3.6-gallon per minute flow rate. Other tankless systems can provide as much as 6 gallons per minute.

Moreover, I wonder why the company only provides a two-year warranty when other brands offer at least five years. It may not be a cost-effective solution if you do not install it correctly and care for it properly.
  • High BTU rating for faster water heating
  • User-friendly digital display for effortless operation
  • Manual temperature controls for enhanced customization
  • Quiet operation
  • Compact design for easy installation
  • Modest water flow rate
  • Short product warranty
Regardless, I think the Eccotemp FVI12-LP remains an excellent choice for any home that wants an on-demand system for its hot water needs. It has a compact design and reliable water-heating performance sufficient to make your family happy during the colder months.

4. AO Smith GPVL-50 Power Vent Water Heater

If you want the best power vented gas water heater for your home, the AO Smith GPVL-50 ProMax is the one to get. This appliance offers exceptional cost savings, reliable and safe operation, and a hot water output few brands can ever come close to matching.

With its Energy Star certification, the GPVL 50 ProMax’s energy efficiency is superb. It provides 214 Therms, besting other units on the market.

Its first-hour rating is also phenomenal, capable of delivering a whopping 90 gallons in the first hour alone. Most water heaters can only provide about two-thirds. It is not surprising why this water heating appliance enjoys five-star ratings on power vent gas water heater reviews.

I love its three-position blower because you can orient your flue ducts in any direction. It simplifies installation, requiring no significant modifications in your space.

I also like its DynaClean II dip tube because it improves energy efficiency by optimizing inlet water pressure. The company also ditched the classic pilot light for a more reliable hot-surface igniter. The electronic gas control also makes it easy to fine-tune your fuel consumption.

My only concern about this product is its short venting length. The Rheem PROG50-42N RH67 PV can deliver flue gases outdoors at 100 feet. This AOS product can only do so within 40 feet. You may have to get creative during its installation to optimize its features.

By the way, I recommend getting a professional to install this unit in your home.

  • Three-position blower outlet for optimum installation flexibility
  • High first-hour rating for more efficient energy use
  • Better cost-savings than other brands
  • Multiple technologies for more efficient operation and enhanced durability
  • Energy Star certification for peace of mind
  • Lower venting length than other brands
  • Professional installation required
The AO Smith GPVL-50 ProMax is the right choice for anyone who wants a reliable and efficient power vent water heater. It gives you exceptional cost and energy savings better than other systems.

5. AO Smith GDHE-50-NG Gas Water Heater

The GDHE-50-NG is a trustworthy 50 gallon power vent water heater perfect for the modern family. It has the badge of reliability and phenomenal water-heating performance people expect from AO Smith.

This water-heating appliance surprises you with its 100,000 BTU-heat exchanger that drew inspiration from the classic commercial-grade Cyclone system. You will never run out of hot water, ensuring you have longer hot showers and more efficient dishwashing. Since it quickly heats the water, you will consume less energy.

Its 96% thermal efficiency will also blow your mind. Most products can only provide a thermal efficiency of about 80 to 90 percent. Its efficiency rating further validates its quick-heating performance without putting a dent in your energy bills.

You will never experience a significant water temperature drop in your system. Every household member will have access to hot water for showering, washing the dishes and the clothes, or even making coffee. As the company put it, you will have more reasons to get another hot shower.

I love its 129-gallon per hour recovery rate, making it almost twice faster than other systems in raising the water temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You can slash the waiting time and head straight to the bathroom.

This power vent hot water tank has a couple of drawbacks.

First, it has a shorter real-life lifespan than its published six years. However, I found some users who claim that their water heater lasted them more than seven years. Second, you need a professional to install this unit in your home if you do not want any leaks from the system or maximize its energy efficiency.
  • Higher BTU rating than most water heaters
  • Advanced Cyclone-inspired heat exchanger design for optimum energy efficiency
  • Higher thermal efficiency than other products
  • High recovery rate for optimum water use
  • Ideal for three-bath households
  • Short lifespan
  • Professional installation recommended
Durability issues aside, the AO Smith GDHE-50-NG is nothing less than remarkable. It gives your home commercial-volume hot water quickly. Running out of hot water for every member of your household to use will never be a concern again.

6. Camplux CA318 Propane Water Heater

If you have the latest technologies and sleekest gadgets in your home, the Camplux CA318 will fit right in. This propane-powered tankless water heater has one of the most elegant and striking designs on the market. It is like having a slice of the future in your home.

This appliance is not your typical power vent propane water heater because it does not have a built-in blower mechanism. You will have to install a separate system for venting exhaust gas to the outdoors. This water heater is perfect for those who want an easy-to-install appliance. It is compact and mounts nicely on your wall.

While this product cannot beat the AO Smith GDHE’s astonishing BTU rating, its 82,000-BTU heat exchanger still bests other products in the market. Heating water is faster, allowing you to enjoy hot showers without waiting too long.

I love its elegant all-black design, making it look like a conduction stove. All it needs is a subtle touch to activate and control everything else. While it does not come in full color, its black-and-white scheme still makes it beautiful.

This product also has enough protections to ensure safer operation, including overheating, freezing, low-water flow, dry combustion, high-water pressure, and flame failure protection. You can go on vacation and never worry about your appliance.

The only downside I can think of is its 3.18-gallon per minute water flow rate. This may be enough for your household of three. Unfortunately, if you have more than five people in your home, this unit may not provide you with enough hot water for everyone.

I also learned about some product durability issues, especially how it does not seem to last more than two years.

  • Ideal for a small, two to three-person household
  • High BTU rating for more efficient heating
  • Sleek and ultra-modern LED touch screen user interface
  • Multiple protective technologies for improved safety
  • Easy to install
  • Modest water flow rate
  • Some issues with product durability
Regardless, I would still recommend the Camplux CA318 for anyone who wants a sleek-looking water heater that does its job commendably.

7. AO Smith GPVT-50 Residential Water Heater

This water heater looks like any other system on the market. However, a closer inspection reveals a unique blower assembly that gives it exceptional venting flexibility.

You can turn its blower assembly in three different directions, allowing you optimum installation options. This power vent natural gas water heater should do well in households with an existing chimney. If not, you can always route the duct towards a section in your wall.

Its 96-gallon first-hour rating is also noteworthy. You will never have to worry about spending too much on your water heating ever again. According to the company, you can spend as low as $260 every year on water heating alone. If you are judicious in your use, you can still lower your energy expenditure.

I am glad the company included its time-tested Dynaclean II and CoreGard technologies in this unit. You can bet the tank has exceptional corrosion resistance, translating to durability. Its dip tube extends near the tank bottom, ensuring no cold water will ever interfere with the hot water layer on top.

Not all power vented gas water heaters have exceptional energy factor ratings. Unfortunately, this product is one of them, with an EF that is 0.02 points lower than the Rheem PROG50-42N RH67 PV.

It also has a lower hot water recovery rate of only 53 gallons. It is not a problem if your family will not use hot water simultaneously or if there are only two to three people in your household.
  • Three-position blower/fan mechanism for greater venting flexibility
  • High first-hour rating for more efficient energy use
  • Higher cost savings than other similar systems
  • CoreGard and Dynaclean II technologies for superior durability
  • Straightforward to install
  • Modest energy factor rating
  • Lower recovery rate than other AO Smith products
Regardless, I still believe the AO Smith GPVT-50 makes a great power vent water heater for small families. It allows for effortless installation and has exceptional anti-corrosion technologies that will see this unit working for your home for many years.

What Is The Best Power Vent Water Heater


The best power vent hot water heater looks and operates like any gas-powered water-heating appliance. It uses either natural gas or propane, depending on which one the household prefers. The main difference between power-vented and traditional gas water heaters is the direction of the flue gas or exhaust gas.

Traditionally, flue gases move along a vertical pipe and exit the house through the chimney or other similar structures. On the other hand, a power vent water heater moves the exhaust gas along a horizontal pipe and exits through a vent on the wall of your home. It does this by adding a blower/fan mechanism that propels exhaust gas horizontally.

Because the venting pipe or duct is horizontal, it is easier to install. You also have the freedom to choose where to install the appliance.

A power vent water heater is perfect for those who want to prevent flue gas accumulation in their house. It is ideal for families who do not like to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. A power vent water heater is also suitable for households that want to reduce installation costs and improve overall energy expenditure.

Power Vent Water Heater Buying Guide


Buying the right power vent water heater for your home should not be difficult, especially if you already have an existing water tank. This appliance is not that different from an ordinary water heater. You only have an additional blower component that expels flue gases horizontally instead of vertically.

If this is your first time buying a water heater, this buying guide should help you breeze through the selection process.

  • Conventional Water Heater or Tankless

In general, tankless water heaters are more cost-efficient than systems with storage tanks. Tankless systems heat the water only when there is a need. As such, you only use your propane or natural gas when you need hot water.

On the other hand, a storage-tank water heater has to continue heating the water. It cannot stop because it will cause the water temperature in the storage tank to drop.

Whether you use a power vent short water heater with a tank or a tankless system, you will still need a blower mechanism to expel flue gases horizontally. A tank system already has this blower built-in. A tankless water heater will require you to install a power vent kit.

  • Capacity

Most manufacturers rate their water heater capacity in terms of the number of bathrooms and water appliances their product can supply hot water simultaneously. For example, a 75 gallon hot water heater can provide hot water for four bathrooms and a washing machine simultaneously without experiencing a substantial water temperature drop.

It is essential to remember that capacity is more than a function of volume. You also have to consider the water heater’s first-hour rating and recovery rate.

  • BTU Rating

Ideally, you will want a water heater with a higher BTU rating. For instance, a 100,000-BTU system can heat water faster than a 50,000-BTU water heater. It is more powerful, allowing you to heat water faster. You also will not use that much fuel, giving you the savings you need.

However, some products may have a low BTU rating yet can still provide you with a better energy efficiency rating than high-BTU-rated products. As such, a power vent water heater 40 gallon unit with 50,000 BTU can still be better than a 70,000 BTU 50-gallon unit.

  • Energy Efficiency

Gas water heaters’ energy efficiency rating is lower than electric-operated systems because of a more profound heat loss in the duct systems. A power vent water heater is no different. However, it is always best to choose a product with a high energy factor.

  • First-hour Rating

As a rule, you should always choose a power vent water heater with a high first-hour rating. It reassures you of more hot water during the first hour of use after complete water heating. Remember, your water heater tank continuously receives cold water.

  • Recovery Rate

Water heaters with tanks continuously receive cold water to heat. With every hot water use, the system replaces it with cold water. The appliance should heat the cold water fast enough to continue supplying hot water to the households. Its ability to do that is what we call recovery rate, expressed in gallons per hour (GPH).

Always pick a water heater with a higher GPH recovery rating. For example, a 90-GPH unit is better than a 50-GPH system.

  • Blower Unit Power Rating

Your power vent water heater does not only use natural gas or propane gas. It also uses electricity to power its blower/fan mechanism. That is why it is also essential to determine the blower’s power rating. You may be saving money from your gas expenditure, but not on the electricity required to run the blower.

  • Venting Length

The more powerful the blower mechanism, the farther it can move flue gases along the pipework. For example, a 100-foot venting length is better than a 40-foot system because it can expel flue gases up to 100 feet before assuming a vertical flow. As such, you can install your unit somewhere in your house and channel the exhaust gas in another section some 100 feet away.

  • Installation Ease

Power vent water heater installation should be straightforward. However, some manufacturers only acknowledge their warranties if an authorized or recognized professional performs the installation.

Are Power Vent Water Heaters More Efficient

In general, a power vented water heater is more efficient than other venting systems. However, energy savings are modest, ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $25 per year. Your cost savings depends on the prevailing natural or propane gas prices where you live.

For example, North Dakota homeowners enjoy the cheapest natural gas prices at only $5.74 for every 1,000 cubic feet. On the other hand, Hawaiians will be bummed to learn that they can pay as much as $38.60 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

Here is a tip. The higher the cost of natural gas, the more pronounced the cost savings you can get from your water heater.

You also have to understand that the appliance’s fan or blower mechanism runs on electricity. You have to plug the unit into your electrical outlet to draw combustion air and expel it outside your house. As such, you may not be able to enjoy the cost savings you get from its energy efficiency.

What Is The Difference Between A Direct Vent And Power Vent Water Heater

All gas-powered water heaters require the correct venting of harmful combustion byproducts or exhaust gas. In traditional gas water heaters, exhaust gas travels through a pipe and exits via the chimney. People call this venting type atmospheric. Flue gases move vertically.

A power vent water heater has a device that works by drawing combustion air from the room containing the water heater. It then uses a fan to move the exhaust air through the pipe and vent outside the house.

On the other hand, a direct vent water heater hinges on the natural tendency of hot air to move upwards. It does not need any fan or blower to assist in moving exhaust gas. It is almost similar to an atmospheric system, except that you can run the exhaust pipe through the wall.

The difference in venting underscores one crucial thing. It is easier to install a direct vent water heating system than a power vent because you can install it almost anywhere. If you have to install a power vent, ensure adequate airflow in the room where you will install the appliance.

Can You Put A Power Vent On Any Water Heater

No, you cannot put a power vent on any water heater. However, if your water heater already came with a power venting mechanism and you only wish to replace it, you can purchase a replacement part. It is essential to understand that power-vent water heater manufacturers design and build their products from the ground up.

What may interest you is a tankless water heating system that runs on gas. You can place a blower fan kit to direct the exhaust in any direction, similar to a power vent system. It is a surprisingly innovative way to address water heater power venting.


The best power vent water heater provides your home with a sufficient hot water supply, regardless of simultaneous use. It has excellent thermal and energy efficiency to give you the cost savings your family needs for a beautiful vacation.

Above all, it safeguards your family against harmful gases that result from the combustion process. You and your loved ones will feel more secure with this system in your home.

If you have not made up your mind about which power vent water heater to buy from our reviewed products, our buying guide can be your reliable compass.

5/5 - (3 votes)