Should Water Heater Be Inside Or Outside The House: Find Out

Debarghya Roy

As you plan for a new water heater installation, one crucial decision to make is whether to place it inside or outside the house. Did you know that your water heater’s location can significantly influence its performance and lifespan? This blog post will provide a balanced view of the pros and cons of both inside and outside water heater placement.

Stick around; we’re about to heat things up with some insightful tips!

Key Takeaways

  • Inside water heater placement is ideal for colder climates as it protects the unit from frigid air, promotes efficient operation, and eliminates concerns over freeze damage.
  • Placing a water heater indoors can increase resale value by providing convenience to potential buyers and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the property.
  • Proper venting requirements should be followed for indoor water heaters to ensure safe operation and prevent the release of harmful fumes like carbon monoxide.
  • Regular annual maintenance is necessary for both inside and outside water heaters to ensure optimal performance, extend lifespan, and prevent costly repairs.
  • Condensation and noise concerns are more prevalent with indoor water heater placement but can be mitigated by proper weatherproofing measures in outdoor installations.
  • Space limitations should be considered when deciding where to place your water heater, with indoor placement potentially taking up valuable storage or living areas.
  • Both inside and outside placements have a risk of leaks that can lead to costly damage if not addressed promptly through regular inspection and maintenance.
  • Outside water heater placement offers simplicity during installation, faster setup without modifications or special enclosures required, leading to cost-saving advantages
  1. – Outdoor water heaters generally have a longer lifespan due to being less susceptible to moisture damage and corrosive gases compared to their indoor counterparts.

Pros and Cons of Inside Water Heater Placement

Inside water heater placement has several advantages, including being ideal for colder climates and potentially increasing resale value, but it also comes with drawbacks such as venting requirements, annual maintenance needs, and potential condensation and noise concerns.

Additionally, there may be space limitations to consider and a higher risk of leaks compared to outside water heater placement.

Ideal for colder climates

Placing your water heater inside the house is an advantageous move in colder climates. Exposure to frigid air can decrease the efficiency of a water heater, forcing it to work harder and consume more energy just to maintain your desired temperature.

Internal placement shields the heating unit from low external temperatures, promoting its efficient operation. Furthermore, indoor installation eliminates concerns over potential freeze damage that could occur with outdoor heaters during frosty winters.

For cold weather dwellers, an interior water heater means better performance and lower energy bills in the long run.

Increased resale value

Installing a water heater inside your house can actually increase its resale value. Potential buyers often consider the convenience of having a water heater already installed when making purchasing decisions.

Additionally, an indoor water heater is more aesthetically pleasing as it doesn’t clutter the exterior of the house. This can make your property more attractive to potential buyers and help you fetch a higher price if you decide to sell.

So, by choosing to place your water heater indoors, not only will you enjoy hot showers and increased comfort, but you’ll also be making a smart investment in terms of future resale value.

Venting requirements

Proper venting is an important consideration when it comes to water heater placement. The type of water heater you have will determine the venting requirements. For indoor water heaters, they need to be connected to a ventilation system that safely removes the combustion gases produced during the heating process.

This ensures that harmful fumes like carbon monoxide are not released into your home. On the other hand, outdoor water heaters may not require extensive venting since they are exposed to open air.

It’s essential to follow local building codes and regulations regarding water heater venting. These codes ensure proper safety measures are in place and help prevent potential hazards. It’s always recommended to consult with a professional plumber or HVAC technician who can assess your specific situation and provide guidance on meeting ventilation requirements for your particular type of water heater.

Annual maintenance

Annual maintenance is an important consideration when it comes to the placement of your water heater. Regular maintenance helps ensure that your water heater continues to operate efficiently and safely, extending its lifespan.

It involves tasks such as flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup, checking for leaks or corrosion, inspecting the pressure relief valve, and testing the temperature settings. By properly maintaining your water heater each year, you can prevent potential issues and costly repairs down the line.

Remember that neglecting annual maintenance can lead to decreased efficiency, higher energy bills, and even safety hazards. So make sure you schedule a professional inspection every year for optimal performance and peace of mind.

Condensation and noise concerns

Condensation and noise are important factors to consider when deciding on the placement of your water heater. When a water heater is placed inside the house, condensation can be an issue. As hot water is used, moisture evaporates and can collect around the tank, potentially causing damage to nearby walls or floors.

Additionally, indoor water heaters can sometimes generate a noticeable amount of noise during operation. This can be bothersome if your living space is close to where the water heater is located.

On the other hand, placing a water heater outside may help mitigate these concerns. Outdoor placement allows any condensation to dissipate naturally into the air without posing a risk to interior surfaces.

Noise from an outdoor water heater will also be less likely to disturb occupants within the house. However, it’s worth noting that proper weatherproofing measures should still be taken for an outdoor installation in order to protect against rain or snow.

In summary, condensation and noise are two factors that need careful consideration when determining whether to place your water heater inside or outside your home. While indoor placement can increase these concerns due to limited ventilation and proximity to living spaces, outdoor installation offers potential solutions by allowing for natural dissipation and reduced noise impact.

Potential space limitations

One factor to consider when deciding where to place your water heater is the potential space limitations. Inside placement may be ideal if you have limited outdoor space or if your home does not have a garage.

However, it’s important to note that installing a water heater indoors can take up valuable space in your home, such as in a utility closet or basement. This could be problematic if you already have limited storage or living areas.

On the other hand, placing the water heater outside can free up valuable indoor space. You can install it near an exterior wall or even in an outdoor enclosure specifically designed for water heaters.

This option allows you to make better use of your available indoor square footage.

Remember that regardless of whether you choose inside or outside placement, it’s crucial to follow local building codes and regulations regarding clearances and venting requirements for safe operation and compliance.

Risk of leaks

One important factor to consider when deciding where to place your water heater is the risk of leaks. Whether it’s inside or outside your house, there is always a potential for leaks that can lead to costly damage.

Water heaters can develop leaks over time due to wear and tear or faulty components. If your water heater is located inside, a leak could result in damage to the surrounding area such as walls, flooring, or furniture.

On the other hand, if your water heater is placed outside, a leak may go unnoticed for longer periods of time, potentially causing damage not only to the unit itself but also to any nearby structures.

Pros and Cons of Outside Water Heater Placement

Outside water heater placement offers simplicity and cost-saving advantages during installation and a longer lifespan. However, it requires adherence to building codes, weatherproofing measures, and may be vulnerable to power outages or vandalism.

Read on to explore the benefits and drawbacks in detail.

Simplicity of installation

Installing a water heater outside the house offers the advantage of simplicity. Unlike indoor placement, where you need to consider venting requirements and space limitations, outdoor installation is relatively straightforward.

It doesn’t require any modifications to your home’s structure or plumbing system, making it faster and cheaper to set up. Additionally, no special enclosures or ventilating systems are needed for outdoor water heaters.

This streamlined installation process can save you time and hassle while still providing efficient hot water for your household needs.

Faster and cheaper installation

Installing a water heater outside your house offers the advantage of faster and cheaper installation. Unlike indoor placement, which requires additional venting and potential modifications to accommodate the system, outdoor installation is simpler and more straightforward.

This means less time spent on labor costs and potentially lower overall installation expenses. Additionally, with an outdoor water heater, there’s no need to worry about finding space inside your home or making any structural adjustments.

It’s a convenient option that can save you both time and money in the installation process.

Longer lifespan

An outdoor water heater placement offers a longer lifespan compared to an indoor one. This is because outdoor water heaters are less susceptible to damage caused by factors such as moisture and corrosive gases.

With proper weatherproofing and regular maintenance, an outdoor water heater can withstand the elements better, resulting in a more durable system that lasts for many years. Additionally, being outside allows for easier access during repairs or replacement if needed, making it a practical choice for those looking for longevity in their water heating system.

Easy placement options

One advantage of placing a water heater outside is the easy placement options it provides. Unlike indoor water heaters, outdoor units don’t require specific venting or exhaust systems, which can make installation simpler and faster.

This can also result in lower installation costs compared to indoor water heaters. Additionally, outdoor units offer more flexibility when it comes to finding an appropriate location. As long as there is enough space and proper weatherproofing measures are taken, you have more freedom to choose where your water heater goes.

Weatherproofing requirements

When considering the placement of a water heater outside, one important factor to consider is weatherproofing requirements. Unlike indoor water heaters, outdoor units are exposed to the elements which can potentially cause damage and reduce their lifespan.

To protect against rain, snow, and extreme temperatures, it’s crucial to ensure proper insulation and sealing for an outdoor water heater.

Furthermore, special attention should be paid to the location of the venting system. Gas-powered water heaters require proper ventilation to safely expel exhaust gases. This means that you may need additional weatherproofing measures around the vent pipe or flue to prevent leaks or blockages.

Insulation sleeves or covers designed specifically for outdoor use can provide added protection against harsh weather conditions.

Higher initial cost

One drawback of placing a water heater outside the house is the higher initial cost. Outdoor water heaters typically require additional components and materials to protect them from the elements, such as weatherproofing measures and sturdy enclosures.

These extra expenses can add up, making the upfront investment for an outdoor water heater more expensive compared to an indoor placement. However, it’s important to consider that while there may be a higher initial cost, these additional expenses can often be offset by other benefits like easier installation and longer lifespan.

So, even though it may require a larger upfront investment, an outdoor water heater can still prove to be a cost-effective option in the long run due to its durability and potential energy savings.

Vulnerability to power outages

One important factor to consider when deciding whether to place your water heater inside or outside the house is its vulnerability to power outages. If you choose to install your water heater outside, it may be more susceptible to disruptions in electricity supply.

This means that during a power outage, you may not have access to hot water until the power is restored. On the other hand, if your water heater is placed inside the house, it can still operate even during a power outage as long as you have an alternative source of energy such as gas.

So, when making this decision, keep in mind that placing the water heater outside increases its vulnerability to power outages and could result in temporary loss of hot water.

Adherence to building codes

When installing a water heater, it is crucial to adhere to local building codes and regulations. These codes are in place to ensure the safety of your home and those living within it. Building codes dictate various aspects of water heater placement, such as distance from combustible materials, clearance requirements around the unit, and proper ventilation.

Failure to comply with building codes can have serious consequences. Not only can it compromise the integrity of your installation, but it may also result in fines or penalties if an inspection reveals non-compliance.

Additionally, insurance companies may deny coverage for any damages caused by a water heater that was not installed according to code.

To avoid any issues, consult with a professional plumber or inspecting authority before proceeding with your water heater installation. They will be familiar with the specific building codes in your area and can provide guidance on how best to comply while meeting your needs for hot water comfort.

Risk of vandalism and theft

One important factor to consider when deciding on the placement of your water heater is the risk of vandalism and theft. If you choose to install your water heater outside, it may be more vulnerable to these risks compared to an indoor installation.

Water heaters located outdoors are more accessible and visible, making them potential targets for thieves or vandals. This can result in damage or even complete loss of your expensive equipment.

It’s essential to keep this risk in mind when determining the best location for your water heater and take necessary precautions such as additional security measures or enclosures if needed.

Factors to Consider in Water Heater Placement

When determining the ideal placement for a water heater, it is important to take into account the local climate, type of water heater, available space, noise tolerance, and risk of leaks and flooding.

Local climate

The local climate plays a crucial role in determining the ideal placement of your water heater. In colder climates, it is often recommended to install the water heater inside the house to protect it from freezing temperatures.

This helps ensure that you have hot water consistently without any disruptions caused by frozen pipes or components. On the other hand, if you live in a warmer climate where freezing is not a concern, an outside installation may be more feasible and convenient.

It’s important to consider your specific climate conditions when deciding whether to place your water heater inside or outside for optimal performance and longevity.

Water heater type

There are different types of water heaters available for both indoor and outdoor placement. Traditional tank-style water heaters store and heat a large volume of water, providing a steady supply for household needs.

On the other hand, tankless water heaters heat the water as it passes through the unit, eliminating the need for storage tanks. These tankless systems are more energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional models.

Whether you choose an indoor or outdoor installation will depend on factors like local climate, space availability, and specific requirements for venting and insulation. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider your individual needs before making a decision.

Space availability

One important factor to consider when deciding on the placement of your water heater is the availability of space. If you have limited space inside your house, installing the water heater outside may be a practical solution.

This can free up valuable indoor space for other uses and make it easier to access and maintain the unit. However, it’s important to note that proper weatherproofing measures must be taken to protect the water heater from external elements such as rain and extreme temperatures.

Additionally, if you live in an area with strict building codes or regulations regarding outdoor installations, you may need to seek approval before placing your water heater outside. Remember that the available space and any local requirements should be carefully considered when making a decision about where to place your water heater.

Noise tolerance

When it comes to water heater placement, noise tolerance is an important factor to consider. Inside water heaters tend to generate more noise as they operate, especially if they are older models.

The sound of the heating elements and the water flowing through pipes can be bothersome, particularly if the unit is situated near living spaces or bedrooms. On the other hand, outside water heaters generally produce less noise since they are located away from living areas.

This can be beneficial for individuals who prefer a quieter home environment.

It’s worth noting that tankless water heaters typically generate less noise compared to traditional tank-style units regardless of their placement. These modern units utilize advanced technology to provide hot water on demand without the need for a storage tank, resulting in quieter operation overall.

Risk of leaks and flooding

One important consideration when it comes to water heater placement is the risk of leaks and flooding. Whether your water heater is placed inside or outside the house, there is always a potential for leaks that can cause significant damage.

Water heaters that sit against an outside wall and are raised off the floor can still flood the space with water if a leak occurs. This can lead to costly repairs and even mold growth if not addressed promptly.

It’s crucial to regularly inspect your water heater for any signs of leakage, such as dampness or pooling water around the unit. Additionally, proper maintenance, including annual flushing and inspection by a professional plumber, can help prevent leaks and prolong the lifespan of your water heater.


1. What are the pros and cons of placing a water heater inside the house?

Placing a water heater inside the house allows for easy access and maintenance, protection from outdoor elements, and potentially faster hot water delivery. However, it may take up valuable indoor space and there is a risk of leaks causing damage to the interior.

2. What are the pros and cons of placing a water heater outside the house?

Placing a water heater outside frees up indoor space, reduces risk of indoor leaks or damage, and eliminates potential gas fumes indoors. However, it may be exposed to harsh weather conditions which can affect its efficiency, require additional insulation or weatherproofing measures, and make maintenance more difficult.

3. Can I place my water heater in an unheated garage?

While technically possible to place a water heater in an unheated garage, it’s important to consider freezing temperatures that can cause pipes to burst if not properly insulated or protected. Additionally, extreme heat in summer months can also negatively impact performance and efficiency.

4. Are there any safety considerations when choosing between inside or outside placement?

Safety should always be prioritized when placing a water heater. Inside placement requires proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide buildup while outside placement needs secure installation to prevent unauthorized access or tampering with gas lines or electrical connections. Consulting with professionals is recommended for both options to ensure compliance with local regulations and safety guidelines.


In conclusion, the decision on whether to place your water heater inside or outside the house depends on several factors. Inside placement offers benefits such as increased resale value and suitability for colder climates, but it also comes with maintenance requirements and potential space limitations.

On the other hand, outside placement offers simplicity and lower installation costs, along with a longer lifespan, but it may require adherence to building codes and is vulnerable to power outages.

Consider your specific needs and circumstances before making a decision that best fits your home.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.