Water Heaters

The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Water Heaters


The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Water Heaters

Share —

Outdoor water heaters are an essential amenity for your residential or commercial properties, especially during the colder months of the year. Having a dependable outdoor water heating system not only guarantees your comfort but also significantly boosts the value of your property. This article will delve into everything you need to know about an outdoor water heater, its benefits, features and how to choose the perfect one for your needs.

Understanding the Basics of an Outdoor Water Heater

An outdoor water heater, also known as a tankless water heater, provides hot water on demand whenever you need it, unlike traditional water heaters that continuously heat and store hot water. This feature makes it an energy-saving option and an ideal choice for individuals looking to cut down on their energy expenses. Outdoor water heaters are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them a durable and long-lasting option.

Types of Outdoor Water Heaters

There are mainly two types of outdoor water heaters: gas outdoor water heaters and electric outdoor water heaters. Each type has its unique features and offers distinct benefits.

  • Gas Outdoor Water Heaters: These are fueled by natural gas or propane. They are known for their capacity to generate large amounts of hot water within a short period and are ideal for larger households.
  • Electric Outdoor Water Heaters: Powered by electricity, these heaters are easy to install as they don't require venting or gas lines. They are also less polluting, making them a great option for environmentally-conscious individuals.

Significant Benefits of Using an Outdoor Water Heater

There are numerous benefits associated with the use of an outdoor water heater. Some of the key ones include:

  • Energy efficiency: Compared to traditional water heaters, outdoor water heaters use less energy because they only heat water as needed.
  • Space-saving: They are compact and mounted on walls, freeing up valuable floor space.
  • Durability: Outdoor water heaters are designed to resist harsh weather conditions, extending their lifespan and lowering replacement costs.
  • Large hot water supply: Especially with a gas outdoor water heater, you can get a lot of hot water quickly.

Key Features to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Water Heater

To choose the most suitable outdoor water heater, consider the following factors:

Energy Source

Determine whether an electric or gas outdoor water heater will best meet your needs. Consider factors such as the cost of electricity and gas in your area, availability, and your personal preferences.

Size of Your Household

Also, consider the amount of hot water your household uses. Larger households may require a gas outdoor water heater for its high water output.


The efficiency of some outdoor water heaters may be affected by the weather. In colder climates, you might need a unit with a higher British Thermal Unit (BTU) output for optimal performance.

Installation and Maintenance

Consider the ease of installation and the frequency and cost of maintenance. Some models may require professional installation and frequent maintenance, which may incur additional expenses.

Optimizing the Use of Your Outdoor Water Heater

To maximize the benefits of your outdoor water heater, you should:

  • Choose the right size for your household’s water heating needs.
  • Install the heater in a covered outdoor area, if possible, to protect it from extreme weather conditions.
  • Perform regular maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Insulate your water pipes to conserve energy and ensure constant hot water supply.

An outdoor water heater is a solid investment that offers long-lasting hot water supply, energy efficiency, and space-saving benefits. By choosing the appropriate model for your needs and maintaining it appropriately, you can enjoy these advantages and save money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Water Heaters

Why should I consider an outdoor water heater for my home?

Choosing an outdoor water heater can be a great decision for several reasons. For starters, it can help in conserving indoor space, especially in homes where space is limited. Outdoor water heaters are also beneficial for safety purposes. They keep potential problems like gas leaks, out in open air where they can dissipate more easily, thereby offering added protection for your home.

Can outdoor water heaters withstand harsh weather conditions?

Yes, outdoor water heaters are typically designed to withstand the elements, including rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. However, it's always a good idea to add extra insulation during colder months to ensure efficient functioning. It's important to check with the manufacturer's guidelines for specific instructions on temperature limits and weather protection.

What types of outdoor water heaters can I choose from?

Outdoor water heaters are available in several types, including tankless water heaters, heat pump water heaters, and solar water heaters. The choice depends on your specific needs, such as your household's water usage, geographical location, and budget. Each type comes with its own benefits and operational requirements.

How efficient are outdoor water heaters?

The efficiency of your outdoor water heater largely depends on its type and installation. Tankless outdoor water heaters, for instance, are known for their high energy efficiency as they heat water only on demand. Solar water heaters can be extremely efficient too, especially in areas with plenty of sunshine.

How do I maintain my outdoor water heater?

Similar to indoor varieties, outdoor water heaters regularly require maintenance to ensure their optimal functioning. The process includes inspecting for leaks or damages, draining and flushing the system, and checking for and remedying any rust or corrosion. However, the requirements vary depending on the type and make of your outdoor water heater.

Are outdoor water heaters safe?

Outdoor water heaters can be safely used with adequate precautions and regular maintenance. Since they are located outside, concerns associated with indoor water heaters, such as gas leakage and consequent suffocation risks, are significantly reduced. However, ensure they are installed following the manufacturer's guidelines and local safety standards.

How long do outdoor water heaters last?

Typically, outdoor water heaters have a service lifespan ranging from 10 to 15 years. However, this could depend on factors like the type of heater, the quality of installation, how well it's maintained, and environmental conditions. With good care and regular maintenance, many outdoor water heaters can exceed this lifespan.

Can I use an outdoor water heater for my pool?

Yes, some outdoor water heaters are designed specifically for heating pools and outdoor spas. These can be a practical and effective solution for maintaining comfortable water temperatures, extending the swimming season, or quickly heating a hot tub. As always, ensure the heater is correctly installed and adequately protected from the weather.

Do outdoor water heaters require ventilation?

Gas-powered outdoor water heaters generally don't require the same extensive venting as their indoor counterparts since they are already outside. However, it's critical to ensure the heater's location doesn't restrict the escape of vent gases. Always adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines on placement and safety.

Pros and Cons of Outdoor Water Heaters

Pros of Outdoor Water Heaters

Space Saving

One of the biggest benefits of outdoor water heaters is that they save on space. An outdoor water heater can eliminate the need for a dedicated indoor space, offering greater flexibility especially in properties with limited space. Since an outdoor water heater is installed outside, it won't restrict your home design or use of usable indoor space.

  • Greater flexibility in installation position
  • Doesn't take up valuable indoor real estate
  • Potential for more streamlined and unobstructed home designs

Reduction in Noise

Outdoor water heaters often generate noise, especially when the heater is in operation. By installing the water heater outdoors, the noise pollution within the property gets significantly reduced.

  • Lower indoor noise levels
  • Less disruption to daily activities and sleep

Improved Safety

An outdoor water heater is safer as it minimizes the risk of accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning within the home.

  • Less risk of indoor fire accidents
  • Eliminates carbon monoxide risk indoors

Ease of Installation

The installation process of an outdoor water heater is typically quicker and easier than a traditional indoor unit. There is no need to deal with complex venting systems or to create indoor clearance for the unit.

  • Faster, easier, and less disruptive installation process
  • No need for complex indoor venting systems

Cons of Outdoor Water Heaters

Exposure to Weather Elements

Outdoor water heaters are subjected to harsh weather conditions, which can affect their longevity and efficiency. Although most outdoor units are built to withstand common weather elements, extreme conditions like hurricanes, heavy snow or high winds can cause damage.

  • Potential for damage due to severe weather
  • May require additional protection or insulation

Higher Maintenance

Because they're exposed to the outdoor environment, outdoor water heaters may require more consistent maintenance and regular inspections. Dust, debris, and small animals like insects or rodents can cause blockages or damage to the outside unit.

  • Increased need for regular cleaning and inspection
  • Potential expense of repairs due to animal or environmental damage

Efficiency Loss

Lastly, the efficiency of an outdoor water heater can be affected due to loss of heat in cold weather or due to the unit having to work harder in extremely hot conditions. This could result in higher energy consumption and increased costs.

  • Possible loss of efficiency in extreme temperatures
  • Potential higher energy consumption and costs


Enjoying a hot tub or a warm outdoor shower has never been easier with an outdoor water heater. This piece of equipment becomes a sustainable and efficient solution to your outdoor needs, not just for personal relaxation but even for chores like gardening and washing pets. Its simple design and easy assembly make it popular among folks who love DIY outdoor projects.

Choosing the right outdoor water heater requires you to consider factors such as the size, type, and energy source. It's important to keep in mind that the best heater for you would depend on your individual requirements and environmental conditions. So, whether you are camping out, renovating your patio, or just want a warm outdoor shower, this heater proves to be a great investment.

A good-quality outdoor water heater not only ensures the availability of hot water outside your home but also contributes to energy efficiency and cost-saving. The next time you plan an outdoor activity, remember to get one of these heaters. It will surely add a touch of comfort and convenience to your outdoor experiences.

About KYPD Plumbing

Welcome to KYPD Plumbing of Nicholasville, KY! We're more than just your average plumbing company. We’re a locally owned and operated business, dedicated to delivering top-notch plumbing services to our community. With our high skilled professionals, we're able to tackle everything from regular maintenance to emergency repairs. We prioritize customer satisfaction, quality work, and we're always looking out to maintain the health and safety of your home or business plumbing system. Choose KYPD Plumbing for stellar service that goes above and beyond.

Tags: outdoor water heater, installation, maintenance,