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High-Efficiency Furnace Venting Options

Choosing the right furnace venting for your home will impact your budget, aesthetics, and the likelihood of problems arising. Efficiency is also an important factor to consider, so you’ll need to choose your venting carefully to avoid problems in the future.  

The best high-efficiency furnace venting option is rooftop venting. It’s quite expensive but by far the most efficient option available. Sidewall venting is also a popular choice. Concentric venting is great if you care about aesthetics, and it’s also a simple system to install.

This article will explore some of the high-efficiency furnace venting options available so you can choose the best one for you.

1. Sidewall Venting

Sidewall venting is the most popular option for high-efficiency furnace venting. This involves installing a pipe through an exterior wall of your home. The pipe is then connected to the furnace.

Pros of Sidewall Venting

  • It is less expensive than other options. This is because you don’t need as much material as you would in other venting systems. This translates to cheaper labor too!
  • Sidewall venting is less likely to cause problems with your furnace. Back drafting and other similar issues are much less common with sidewall venting. This also means that there is less chance for dangerous gasses to enter your home.
  • Sidewall venting is less likely to leak. It’s unlikely to experience leakage issues unless there is a problem with the sealant or something else outside the vent. 
  • It can be done with any furnace type. This is the best option for you if you have a high-efficiency furnace. You can also use it with a standard furnace, but it’s not recommended.

Read: What Is High-Efficiency Furnace Venting?

Cons of Sidewall Venting

One disadvantage of sidewall venting is that it can be ugly. The pipe will be visible on the side of your house, and it can be an eyesore, especially since you won’t be able to cover up the vent. Keeping the area around the vent clear is essential to prevent blockages.

Additionally, sidewall venting can be dangerous if the pipe is not installed correctly and it could even lead to a leak of poisonous gasses into your home. This is why it’s so important to work with a professional.

Read: Cracked Heat Exchanger In Furnace – How To Troubleshoot?

2. Rooftop Venting

Rooftop venting is another option for high-efficiency furnace venting. It involves having one end of the vent sticking out of your roof and the other connected to your furnace. Builders love this one because it is relatively easy to install, but they can charge a premium to get it done.

Pros of Rooftop Venting

  • It is less likely to get blocked than other types of venting. This is because the exhaust has a clear path to the outdoors. Additionally, since hot air tends to rise, you’ll have little to no problems, especially if you live in an area with mild winters.
  • It is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options. Since the vent will be on your roof, it will be less visible than other types of venting and won’t detract from the look of your home.
  • It is a good option if you have limited space. Rooftop vents don’t take up any space inside or outside of your home. This is a great option for townhouses and condo owners who don’t have a lot of extra space.
  • It is less likely to cause condensation problems. This is because the warm air from the furnace doesn’t come into contact with any cold surfaces.
  • Rooftop venting can improve the efficiency of your furnace. This is because the fumes from the furnace are vented directly outdoors rather than being recirculated through your home.

Cons of Rooftop Venting

One disadvantage of rooftop venting is that it can be more expensive than other options. Additionally, if your roof is in poor condition, it may need to be repaired or replaced before the venting system can be installed.

Another disadvantage of rooftop venting is that it can be difficult to retrofit an existing home. Rooftop installation can get quite tricky, and it tends to be an expensive process.

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It’s also worth noting that rooftop venting may not be an option in your area. This is because some homeowners’ associations and local building codes prohibit this type of venting.

Read: Why Furnace Blowing Cold Air? – Troubleshooting Guide

3. Concentric Venting

Concentric venting is another option for high-efficiency furnace venting. This involves installing a pipe inside another pipe. 

Pros of Concentric Venting

  • It is flexible and can be used in various situations. For example, if you have limited space for venting, concentric venting might be the best option. It can also be vented on the side or roof, depending on the most convenient option for your home.
  • It is very efficient. The inner pipe pulls air from the furnace and pushes it out through the outer pipe. In other words, you don’t lose too much heat, and your furnace can work more efficiently.
  • You don’t have to worry about condensation with concentric venting. The pipes are designed to prevent condensation from forming, so you won’t have to deal with any water damage.
  • Concentric venting is easy to install. You can usually do it yourself. It doesn’t require special tools or equipment.

Cons of Concentric Venting

The main disadvantage of concentric venting is that troubleshooting it can be tricky. The inner pipe can be hard to reach, and you might need a professional to help you fix even small problems.

It’s also good to remember that concentric venting might not be allowed in some areas. Some building codes restrict the use of concentric venting, so you’ll need to check with your local code enforcement office before installing it.

Read: Why Furnace Is Leaking Water?

How To Choose the Right Venting Option?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a venting option for your furnace:


The biggest determining factor is going to be cost. Rooftop venting can be expensive, but its efficiency more than makes up for the price. Concentric venting might be the best option if you’re trying to save money, since it’s a simpler system, and you may even be able to do the installation yourself.

However, if you go with this choice, it’s worth bearing in mind that small fixes will require you to contact a professional. 

Installation Process

You should consider how the installation will be done. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, you might want to hire a professional. Rooftop venting can be more challenging to install than other options, so you’ll need to understand the process before starting.

One of the biggest problems with rooftop installation is that it might not be possible, depending on the nature of your home. If you’ve got your heart set on this venting system, it’s best to contact a professional to see if it can be done.

Read: How Can I Avoid Furnace Repairs?


You should also think about appearance. Rooftop venting can look bad in single-story homes, but it is less likely to freeze. In multi-story homes, rooftop venting would otherwise be ideal. Similarly, sidewall venting can also be an eyesore. 

If you’re worried about aesthetics, concentric venting might be a better option.

No matter which option you choose, make sure you understand the installation process and the risks involved. Choosing the wrong option could result in costly repairs or even dangerous gasses leaking into your home.