Powerflex water heaters are unique because they have a built-in draft inducer fan that blows exhaust gases through a vent. This means that the water heater does not have to rely on the natural buoyancy of hot gases to vent them.
In standard gas water heaters, the vent piping has to be vertical and vent out through the roof to take advantage of hot gas' tendency to rise. The vent piping for Powerflex water heaters can be horizontal, which allows the heater to be put in locations that would normally be inaccessible for standard gas water heaters. Additionally, because the fan dilutes the hot exhaust gases with outside air, the vent piping can be constructed from simple polyvinyl chloride pipe instead of metal. PVC piping is much easier to work with compared to metal ducting.
However, there are disadvantages to the draft inducer fan as well. The sound of the operating fan could be bothersome if the water heater is near a living area. The fan also needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet. This requires that the Powerflex water heater be installed next to an electrical outlet. Finally, the price of the Powerflex water heater is nearly 50 percent higher than that of a standard gas water heater.