Tankless water heaters have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their energy efficiency and unlimited hot water supply. These compact, innovative appliances have revolutionized the way we get hot water in our homes. If you have a tankless water heater, you might be wondering if it needs a cover. The answer depends on where your water heater is installed and what kind of cover you’re considering. Below, the pros from Arnett’s Water Systems explore the benefits of covering your tankless water heater, explain when and why it could be a wise investment, and give you some tips on how to choose the right cover for your situation.

Protection against the Elements

If your tankless water heater is located outside your home, one of the primary reasons to cover it is to shield it from the elements. Although tankless water heaters are designed to withstand normal outdoor conditions, such as rain, snow, wind, and sun, extreme weather events, such as hail, storms, and floods, can damage your water heater and affect its performance. 

For example, hail can dent or crack the metal casing of your water heater, which can lead to leaks or corrosion. Storms can blow debris or branches into your water heater, which can clog the vents or damage the components. Floods can submerge your water heater and cause electrical shorts or rust. 

To prevent these scenarios, you might want to cover your tankless hot water heater with a sturdy waterproof material that can protect it from impact and moisture. However, you shouldn’t cover your water heater with a plastic tarp or a blanket, since these can trap heat and moisture inside and cause overheating or mold growth.

Prevention of Debris Accumulation

Dust, leaves, twigs, and other debris can accumulate inside and around your tankless water heater, obstructing the vents and compromising its efficiency. A cover acts as a shield, preventing debris from entering the unit and ensuring optimal performance. Additionally, a clean, debris-free system will reduce the likelihood of clogs and malfunctions, avoiding the need for costly repairs.

Protection against Pests

Small critters, such as rodents and insects, are always on the lookout for cozy places to nest. Unfortunately, the warm, secluded space around a tankless water heater can be an inviting home for them. By covering your unit, you create a barrier that deters pests from making it their residence. Protecting your tankless water heater from unwanted visitors not only ensures its smooth operation but also maintains a hygienic environment around it.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Tankless water heaters are renowned for their energy-saving capabilities. By covering your unit, you can further enhance its energy efficiency. The cover acts as an insulator, reducing heat loss and preventing cold air from seeping in. This means your tankless water heater won’t have to work as hard to maintain the desired water temperature, leading to lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.

Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond the functional advantages, covering your tankless water heater can contribute to the overall aesthetics of your outdoor space. A well-designed cover can blend seamlessly with your home’s exterior, adding a touch of elegance and creating a more visually pleasing environment. With various cover designs available, you can select one that complements your outdoor décor and enhances the curb appeal of your property.

If you want to hide your water heater from view or make it blend in with its surroundings, try covering it with a decorative material that matches your home’s exterior. For example, you can use fireproof wood panels, metal sheets, vinyl siding, or stone veneer to create a custom cover for your water heater.

However, you shouldn’t cover your water heater with a material that blocks the air flow or interferes with its operation. For example, you shouldn’t use flammable materials, such as wood shingles or fabric, since these can catch fire from the exhaust. You should also leave enough space around the vents and pipes to allow proper ventilation and drainage.

How to Choose the Right Cover for Your Tankless Water Heater

If you decide to cover your tankless water heater, you should choose a cover that meets the following criteria:

  • It’s compatible with your water heater model and manufacturer’s instructions
  • It’s durable and weather-resistant
  • It doesn’t block the air flow or interfere with the operation of your water heater
  • It complements the style and color of your home’s exterior 

You can buy a ready-made cover from an online retailer or a home improvement store, or you can make your own cover using DIY materials and tools. Before you install your cover, make sure you measure your water heater’s dimensions and clearances carefully and follow the installation instructions.

Investing in a cover for your tankless water heater is a small but significant step in ensuring its long-term performance and protection, and it can add a touch of style to your outdoor space. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple cover—it can save you from unnecessary repairs, extend the life span of your tankless water heater, and provide peace of mind for years to come.

Whether you’re considering buying an on-demand water heater and you’re weighing the tankless water heater pros and cons or you need help with maintaining your existing tankless hot water heater, call on the experienced pros from Arnett’s Water Systems, the specialists San Diego residents trust for high-quality water system products and exceptional service at a reasonable price. Call one of our friendly team members today at (619) 223-1209 to learn how we can keep your tankless water heater working perfectly for you and your family.