Choosing a new water heater for your home means picking a unit that can keep up with your hot water demands and fits your budget. Tank water heaters have traditionally been the route most homeowners take, but tankless heaters are becoming increasingly popular. Read on to learn more about the differences between tank-style and tankless water heaters and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What is the Difference?
Tank water heaters feature a holding tank or reservoir. After the water is heated, it sits inside this tank and is kept hot until you turn on the hot water faucet in your kitchen or bathroom. All hot water consumed inside your home comes from the tank of your water heater. This tank keeps the water hot by running continuously to maintain temperature. Tank water heaters are available in different sizes, ranging from as small as 30 gallons to as large as 80 gallons in capacity.
Tankless water heaters, as you can guess by the name, have no water-holding tank or reservoir. Instead, water runs across a series of heating elements. These heating elements give you hot water from the tap. Since there is no tank, there are no different capacities to choose from when deciding on a tankless water heater.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Each Type
Whether replacing your existing water heater or purchasing one for new construction, you have multiple factors to consider when shopping around. Figure how much weight to give each factor and rank them in order of priority as you decide. If you need help, count on our trusted plumbers to guide you. As a starting point, read through this list of crucial factors to remember as you decide which type of water heater is best for your home.
Energy efficiency refers to how much energy is required to operate your water heater. The less power your heater needs to provide ample hot water, the greater the energy efficiency. Tank water heaters use a holding reservoir that requires constant heating for the water inside. This water sits inside the reservoir until drawn from the faucet so that heating may mean near-constant energy consumption. Energy-efficient models that consume less energy than others are available. However, even the most energy-efficient tank water heaters require the water in the tank to be kept hot at all times.
Tankless water heaters have no holding tank. Water runs across heating elements before passing through the pipes and out of the tap. This design means that the water is only heated once and then used. Tankless water heaters can save you up to 35% on energy costs compared to traditional tank-style units. If the cost of your monthly utility bills is a top factor in your decision, you may find that a tankless water heater gives you the best benefits.
Supply of Hot Water
Choosing a tank water heater means opting for a tank that has the capacity to meet your hot water demands. If you live alone or have a small family, you may not need a lot of hot water at once and could get by with a small tank. Larger families require much more hot water, especially for multiple showers and loads of laundry. If several people live in your home, you’ll want a large-capacity tank water heater. You’ve probably been through it before where the hot water gets used up after a couple of showers and someone is left waiting for the tank to refill.
Tankless water heaters always offer water on demand. There is no holding tank to limit the amount of hot water you can draw from the tap. The water heats across heating elements, giving you endless hot water. If you have a large family or very high hot water needs, a tankless water heater is probably best for your home.
Tank water heaters require occasional maintenance. As water sits inside the holding tank, sediment and minerals build up. Professional plumbers recommend flushing and cleaning out your hot water tank at least once per year, depending on the water quality where you live. Without annual flushing, this sediment comes out through your faucet. Additionally, the mineral buildup stays inside your tank and can cause failure over time.
Tankless water heaters skip the need for this annual maintenance since there is no water holding tank. Maintenance costs for tankless water heaters are virtually none.
Tank water heaters require precious ground space to accommodate the holding reservoir. Even small units require several square feet of space in your house. Water heaters are usually found in closets or basements, hidden from view.
Tankless water heaters are slim in design and usually mounted to the wall. This wall-mount design allows you to use your space for better things, such as storage. What’s more, with new construction, you have much more versatility in choosing where to place a tankless water heater.
Lifespan of the Water Heater
Large appliances and household equipment do not last forever. Tank water heaters have a typical lifespan of 10 to 15 years when properly maintained. Tankless water heaters are much more durable and last up to 20 years. Over the years of homeownership, you could purchase up to twice as many tank water heaters as tankless units. Longevity is an important factor when thinking about the future of your finances.
Cost of Purchase
The one thing that most people tend to notice first is the purchase price of a water heater. Tank water heaters are generally low in cost, even for some of the bigger units. You may find that a tank water heater fits better in your current budget than a tankless model. Tankless water heaters come with a higher price tag. At times, this price can reach up to twice as much for a tankless water heater than for a tank-style unit. If you have a limited amount of money on hand to purchase your new water heater, it may make more sense to choose a tank model. However, if you have a more flexible cash flow, you should consider all the advantages and disadvantages of both types. You may find that lower maintenance costs and greater energy efficiency will save you money in the years to come.
After taking some time to carefully consider which type of water heater is best for your home, consult with the professionals at Temp Air System Inc.. Our dedicated plumbers are knowledgeable in helping you choose the best water heater and make installation a breeze.
At Temp Air System Inc., we strive to provide our customers with only the highest level of service. In addition to being water heater experts, we also specialize in heating, cooling, air duct cleaning, and electrical work in Los Angeles County. Our top plumbers, HVAC technicians, and electricians make us your one-stop shop for home services with an emphasis on quality you can trust.