How to Vent Direct Vent Propane Heaters


A direct vent propane heater allows you to heat a room that the house’s furnace doesn’t reach. They are also useful in small cabins where a small heater is enough to provide adequate heat for the space. In order for these heaters to operate safely, you must install a propane heater vent. Depending on the model, the vent kit might be a separate purchase. If you have basic carpentry skills, you can install gas heater ventilation for your wall furnace and save the cost of hiring a carpenter to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Masking tape
  • Carbon paper
  • Drill
  • Hole saw
  • Wall anchors
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Silicone caulking
  • Caulk gun
  • Locate the propane heater vent template in the installation kit that came with the direct vent propane heater. This paper represents an exact replica of the gas heater. It shows you exactly where to cut the opening in the wall for the vent to go through.

  • Mark the location of studs on the wall where you intend to install the heater using a stud finder.

  • Place the template on the wall so that the mounting brackets correspond with studs. The vent opening should be between two studs. Avoid any areas where electrical wiring or plumbing might be located. Follow directions on the template for exact spacing above the floor. When you have the template where you want it, attach it to the wall with masking tape.

  • Transfer the markings for the vent hole to the wall with a piece of carbon paper slipped behind the template. Transfer other appropriate markings to the wall following installation guidelines. Remove the template.

  • Cut a hole in the wall using an appropriately sized hole saw attached to a drill. Continue cutting the hole on the exterior wall as well.

  • Place the metal frame that comes with the heater against the wall, centering it over the hole. Mark the location of the holes for the screws. These should be over studs, but if they aren’t, insert wall anchors to support the frame. Drill pilot holes in the marked locations and attach the metal frame with screws from the installation kit.

  • Run a bead of silicone caulking around the exterior hole. Insert the vent kit from the exterior wall and through the opening in the metal frame. Press the outside vent firmly into the silicone caulking to hold it in place. Drill pilot holes through the openings on the vent’s exterior. Attach the outside with screws from the assembly kit.

  • Mount the direct vent heater on the wall according to manufacturer’s directions. Use fasteners from the assembly kit to connect the vent to the heater following the specific directions for your model of heater.

Tips & Warnings

  • When drilling the hole to the outside, aim the drill slightly downward. This downward trajectory allows condensation to drip out of the vent pipe and away from the heater. It also prevents rain and snow from coming into the unit.
  • To meet the building codes of most municipalities, hire a licensed plumber or propane technician to run the gas lines and to connect them to the wall heater.

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