What is An Indirect Water Heater? Here is the Answer!

A water heater is a perfect choice to face cold weather. There are some options, which are indirect water heaters or tankless water heaters. However, what is an indirect water heater? This water heater is a good investment when it comes to comfort. It has some good advantages and also disadvantages. Here is the complete guide on indirect water heaters that you should know.

What is an Indirect Water Heater

Indirect water heaters have been used for decades now. People have been using these units to gain comfort from their homes. It might cost a little bit more than the other kind, but the advantages are far greater.

With the growing concern about energy savings and cost, using an indirect water heater is gaining popularity.

what is an indirect water heater

This phenomenon happens because using an indirect water heater proved to be a cost-saving and energy-saving action. The unit will provide valuable service while using less energy.

This water heater is insulated storage that holds a spiral heat exchanger. It is easier to say that this is a tank-in-a-tank water heater.

Indirect water heaters use your home’s main heating system to heat the water. They differ from regular water heaters because they don’t heat water directly. Instead, they use a boiler or furnace to heat water, warming up the water in the tank.

This way, the same system that keeps your house warm can also give you hot water, making it a smart choice for saving energy.

These water heaters are connected to a boiler, which does the hard work of heating the water. This setup can be really efficient, especially if you already have a heating system. It’s like getting two uses out of one machine – heating your space and water.

Indirect systems are great because they use less energy and can last longer. They often have tanks made of stainless steel, which helps them last longer and keeps your water clean. Even though they might cost more initially, they can save you money in the long run because they’re efficient and durable.

Disadvantages of Indirect Water Heater

Indirect water heater indeed has many advantages. Such as energy savings and long-term cost savings. However, the usage of this kind of component will have its problems. In this part of the article, we will discuss some disadvantages of using this water heater. Check it out.

  • Inefficiency of its Heat Transfer

The indirect water heater relies on storage tanks for the heat conducting. Therefore, the component is inefficient in transferring heat from the boiler to the water. While it may not be a big problem, it is different in cold temperatures.

  • Complexity

The indirect water heater uses two tanks on its components. This makes the unit cannot be installed easily. And I need an expert to do the installation.

  • Difficult Setting

The water in both cold and hot tanks is not mixed. This fact will make the water control difficult since it has a different thermostat setting.

Why are Indirect Water Heaters so Expensive

Indirect water heaters cost far more than the other kinds. This happens because this water heater needs to be appropriately installed, which is complicated work done by the contractor and installer. Hence, usually, the water heater is installed by a professional.

Before using the unit, you must prepare the water heater’s spot. This will include the work of the contractor. The installation itself will include the complex work of trained installers. This is what makes the cost relatively high.

In addition, the cost of the unit itself is not cheap. This will add to your bill if you use an indirect water heater. However, it is said that the maintenance of the unit will not cost much since it could last longer than the other kind of heater.

You need to consider these things before buying and installing the unit at your home. You will get the best results, but at a fair price too.


Hence, the information regarding what is an indirect water heater. It is an excellent option to use in cold weather. It will bring comfort to your house. Be mindful that in purchasing or using this unit, you need to understand it first. Therefore, you will get more advantages than disadvantages.

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Heater Technician is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.