Best Direct Vent Water Heater (2021)

There are tons of different types of water heaters out on the market, and it can become hard to find one that best suits your needs. For that reason, we’re going to use this article to hone in on one of those types, and that is the direct vent water heater. We’re here to make sure you know what the best direct vent water heater is in our opinion, and how you can make that decision for yourself. Hopefully you’ll find the perfect choice for yourself, and come out with all the knowledge you need about direct vent water heaters!

In a Hurry? Here's Our Top Choice:

Rheem RTG 84 DVP, Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater

The Rheem RTG 84 DVP is our top pick when it comes to the best direct vent water heater, and we think you’ll agree too! It’s a tankless water heater unit, which will ensure less maintenance on your part. It is a gas water heater, which is a very efficient model as well, and it has a very low NOx emission, making it great for the environment as well. Among other benefits, definitely our favorite choice!

Now that you know our top 5 choices in terms of direct vent water heaters, let’s look into why we think these are the best ones out there.

Top 5 Best Direct Vent Water Heaters

The first product on our list is the Rheem RTG 84 DVP, and it is a natural gas direct vent water heater. This means that the primary heating element within this water heater uses natural gas. While this is already an efficient means in a water heater, this is made even better with a very good water heat exchanger.

The Rheem RTG 84 DVP comes with a flow rate of 8.4 GPM, and this rate is enough to provide hot water to a large home by allowing multiple appliances to run with hot water at the same time. With the already energy efficient mechanism, you can rest assured that you won’t have a very large water heating bill when it comes to using a tankless water heater system, especially with a good water heat exchanger. On top of that, this unit also has a very low NOx emission, making it friendly for the environment. It also comes with a small and compact body, making sure you can find various places to fit one on. 

Overall, the Rheem RTG 84 DVP is definitely one of the best direct vent water heaters in the market, and you can have a great supply of hot water using this machine. The only drawback with this unit is the fact that the installation takes a bit of time, as you’ll need a professional to make sure it can be done properly.

  • Has 8.4 GPM
  • Reduces your water heating bills in the long run
  • The heat exchanger is made of high quality
  • It comes with very low NOx emission
  • Implements a small and compact body
  • Requires a professional to be installed

The next water heater we have is the Takagi T H3M DVN, which is a natural gas condensing tankless water heater. A great feature for this product is the fact that it is very quiet when in use. This will make sure you are very comfortable using this unit, as loud and noisy water heaters can become very annoying when used for a long time.

The Takagi T H3M DVN has a good temperature monitoring mechanism, that is maintained by the inlet and outlet thermistors. This allows for the temperature setting to be maintained at all times with the utmost efficiency. It comes with a 6.6 GPM flow rate, and this allows for you to supply hot water to multiple bathrooms or appliances simultaneously, and receive it at an optimal rate. On top of that, this water heater is also a very efficient model for floor heating. Not only is this a good water heater for appliances, but also for heating the floor in your whole house!

The Takagi T H3M DVN is definitely a great natural gas condensing tankless water heater, and you can make sure your whole house is covered in terms of appliances and also floor temperature, by using this one heater. Unfortunately the inlet and outlet features may become clogged a little too easily, but having a filter beforehand can help. It also requires professional installation.

  • Has multiple safety features, including antifreeze protection and overheat cut-off fuse
  • Is quite silent when in use
  • Has a 120,000 BTU gas input, which lets you have similar heating even in cold climates
  • Has a 6.6 GPM flow rate
  • Allows for floor heating as well
  • Inlet and outlet thermistors make the unit easy to maintain
  • Requires professional installation
  • Inlet and outlet filters may become clogged often

The next product we have to show you today is the Rheem RTGH 84DVLN. This is a direct vent natural gas water heater. Some can be converted to propane, but not this one. However, one great thing about this direct vent tankless water heater is that you can install it yourself, as it isn’t quite hard. It also doesn’t void the warranty if you manage to do it yourself, which is a win-win.

The Rheem RTGH 84DVLN has a flow rate of 8.4 GPM, making it very easy for this water heater to provide hot water around your house. You can run multiple appliances and rooms with hot water, which is even better with the instantaneous heating. A natural gas water heater is already great for your water heating costs to help bring it down, but this is also Energy star certified, which ensures you of its friendliness towards the environment. Of course that means that this hot water heater comes with very low NOx emissions. It also comes with anti freeze protection, which will help the unit last longer and also ensure your house is also safe during operation.

Overall, the Rheem RTGH 84DVLN is definitely one to look out for. It is easy to install and you can manage to bring down your cost while supplying hot water to various parts of your whole house. One drawback that it has is the fact that it makes quite a bit of noise when turned on, which can be a little annoying for you.

  • Includes next generation burner technology, which increases the water heater’s efficiency drastically
  • Can be used at high altitude levels of up to 9000 plus feet above sea level
  • Includes a self diagnostic digital display system
  • Comes with easy installation
  • Instantaneous heating allows for hot water on demand
  • Is loud when being used

Next up, we have the Noritz NRC66DVNG, and this is another tankless natural gas water heater. What’s different about this direct vent water heater is that it also comes with a propane based unit as well, so that leaves you the option to choose which one you prefer. Both do the job just fine, and you will have hot water on demand!

The Noritz NRC66DVNG has a flow rate of 6.6 gallons per minute of hot water, making it quite easy for you to receive hot water on demand. This tankless hot water heater can easily run a few different appliances in your home with ease, while making sure you also receive clean water. Installing the Noritz NRC66DVNG is quite easy to do, and you can even use PVC pipes, which all gas water heaters don’t allow. You also have an environmentally friendly feature with this unit, as it’s NOx emissions are quite low, making you feel that much better about using it!

Overall, the Noritz NRC66DVNG is definitely a direct vent natural gas water heater that you can look into, as it comes with nice features, and the ability to last you for a long time with its good build and warranties. Not to mention, if you live very high above the sea level, this tankless natural gas water heating has you covered till up to 6000 feet. One drawback of this unit is that you can not use it to heat the flooring of your home, which a lot of others can do.

  • Comes with an inbuilt advanced heat exchanger and a controller as well, making energy transference very efficient
  • You can achieve multiple levels of ventilation with the inclusion of the various adapters and terminations
  • Thermostat can be used remotely, and comes with a 6 feet power cord
  • Easy to maintain
  • Can be used up to 6000 feet above sea level
  • No floor heating available

We have another Rheem unit for our next product, and that is the Rheem RTGH 95DVLN. It comes with a flow rate of 9.5 gallons per minute, making sure you can easily provide hot water all throughout your home, to different rooms and appliances.

The Rheem RTGH 95DVLN is a great direct vent tankless natural gas water heater, and it also comes with good value in terms of energy efficiency. It is said to have up to 94% energy efficiency, making it quite a valuable unit if you want to bring down the cost of your water heating. Most gas tankless water heaters require a high rate of flow in your house water for them to work properly, however, with this unit, you can make sure your home will have a steady flow of hot water even with low water pressure.

Overall, the Rheem RTGH 95DVLN has a very efficient vent system and combustion chamber to ensure you get hot water at the right water temperature provided to you without any problems. It even comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger, making it last for a long period of time while fighting off corrosion and sedimentation. Unfortunately, it does have the drawback of being quite loud when being used, so you’ll have to be careful where it is placed.

  • Comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger
  • The high 9.5 GPM will allow for your water heater to supply hot water throughout your home without any lapse
  • Is durable and will last you for a long time
  • Comes with a 94% energy efficiency rating, along with third party certification
  • Works efficiently with low water pressure as well
  • Quite loud when in use
  • Can not be used to heat floors without voiding warranty

What is A Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater?

Now that you know our take on the best direct vent tankless water heaters out there, why not find out what a direct vent tankless water heater is and how it works? Let’s look into it then!

Direct vent vs power vent


A direct vent system uses a mechanism of a combustion chamber to pull in air from outside your home to use in the system. This is a preferred mechanism over the power vent, since it uses the air inside your home. Direct venting systems are recommended anyways, but especially for houses that have no chimneys, since a power vent method will increase the chances of a fire occurring without any notice.

A direct vent system has a pipe that goes through the walls and to the outside of your home to pull in the air, and the byproduct of hot air is pushed outside of your house through this direct route.

Direct vent tankless water heaters use this mechanism to bring in the air to heat up with the help of the gas, and make sure the hot air is then excreted outside. Since there is no lack of fresh air, you are not limited to the use of this mechanism being delayed. There are two pipes that take care of this task, a large one air intake and the smaller one to get rid of exhaust gases. Direct vent heaters don’t require any chimneys, whereas a power vent water heater would. Installation for direct vent tankless water heaters do take a bit of thought, but they are quite handy once you’ve done the whole process.

Advantages of Direct Vent Tankless Water Heaters 


The system you use will already provide you some safety already, but the entire mechanism of a direct vent tankless water heater will take out any sort of risk that you could have with other systems. Since there are no chimneys, or need any electrical power in your vent system, you won’t be at risk of any accidents.

Lower Cost

A direct vent system costs much less than most other methods to set up, and in the long run you’ll see a lower cost for your water heating needs, as this mechanism requires no electricity to power it as well. Overall, a very efficient method.

Multiple Use

While we’ve only talked of the uses for direct vent tankless water heaters, this mechanism can be used for tank systems as well, not to mention for other uses around your house too! Definitely a useful system to look into building.

Here’s a video instruction manual, in order to help you out if you do intend to build one for yourself!

Video Credit: This Old House

FAQ for Direct Vent Water Heater

Can I replace a power vent water heater with a direct vent?

A power vent water heater requires a room with good airflow. However, considering a direct vent water heater can be placed into almost any space, depending on the layout of your home, you most likely will be able to make that change.

What tools do I need for direct vent heater installation?

The direct venting kit is a given, when it comes to this task. However, you’ll also need a caulk gun, adjustable wrench, drill and screwdriver to help you get the job done.

Are power vent water heaters better?

Power vent water heaters are more efficient out of the vent options. They provide you with a lot more versatility in setting up your water heater unit.

The Takeaway

We hope you’ve managed to find the best water heater for you when it comes to the best direct vent water heater. We’ve already provided you with our favorite and best option, but it is up to you to find what suits you the best. You need to make sure that the direct vent water heater you choose can meet your needs, and also is safe while doing so. Since there are so many of them on the market, it shouldn’t take you too long to find the best direct vent heater for your home. It also helps to know that the direct vent system is very useful and this direct vent method can be used for various other means as well.

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