If you’re in the market for a new hot water tank, you might be asking yourself whether you should purchase a traditional water heater or go with a tankless water heater. Knowing the differences between the two and the pros and cons associated with each will help you decide which one best serves the needs of your household.
What is a water heater and why do you need it?
A water heater is an essential appliance that heats up water in your home. It’s used for your shower, dishwasher, washer, and other appliances. Without one, you wouldn’t have any hot water in your home.
Tank water heater
Tank water heaters are the traditional option and usually store between 20 to 80 gallons of hot water. They are available in electric, natural gas, and propane models. Many homeowners prefer the gas models because they continue to work in the event of a power outage.
Advantages of tank water heater
- More affordable option upfront – on average, you can expect to pay about $900 for a tank that holds 40 to 80 gallons
- Easy installation – tankless water heater installation is a straightforward process and can be done within a few hours without making significant changes to your home’s electric system. You also won’t need to purchase any additional equipment
- Dependable – tank water heaters have been around for decades, making them a tried-and-true appliance that homeowners trust
- Extra water supply – water stored in your tank can be used for other purposes. If you find yourself in an emergency where you need water, you can get it from your tank.
- High energy consumption – water tanks consume a significant amount of energy because the system keeps a full tank of hot water ready for use 24/7
- Shorter lifespan – the average lifespan of a tank water heater is 10 to 15 years. Since water tanks run continuously, they experience more wear and tear and have a shorter lifespan than tankless water heaters.
- Leaking potential – if there is an issue with your tank, for example, a leak, you may have to deal with many gallons of water flooding your home and causing water damage
- Wait time – if there are many people living in your home, the hot water may run out at peak times. This means you’d have to wait for the tank to heat up more hot water
- Takes up space – tank water heaters take up a lot of space given that they store large amounts of water
Tankless water heater
Tankless water heaters use gas or electric coils to heat your water as needed. It only heats up the water when you need it. This means it isn’t continuously using energy to heat water when you’re away from your home or sleeping at night. Water is not stored anywhere in a tankless water heater so there is no limit to how much hot water you’re able to use.
This type of water heater is a great choice if you plan on staying in your home for many years, have many people living in your home, travel often, or want to choose the most eco-friendly option on the market.
Advantages of tankless water heaters
- Efficiency – tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it. Since water isn’t constantly being heated, less energy is used.
- Longer lifespan – with the right maintenance, a tankless water heater lasts a minimum of 20 years, making it a worthwhile investment.
- Saves space – with this water heating system, you don’t have a 40–80-gallon tank occupying valuable space in your home. Tankless heaters can be installed underneath sinks, near showers, or washing machines which saves a lot of space in the home.
- Better warranties – due to the efficiency of tankless water heaters and their lengthy lifespan, you can expect to get extended warranties with tankless heaters.
- Flood-proof – tankless water heaters are designed to prevent flooding which is a huge plus.
Disadvantages of tankless water systems
- Expensive upfront cost – the cost of purchasing and installing tankless water systems is higher than tank water heaters. On average, the cost of a tankless water heater is roughly $3,000.
- Installation process – due to the nature of the equipment needed for a tankless system, you may need to make some major changes to your home to make room for a tankless unit.
- Slower flow rate – if you are operating several appliances that require hot water at once, the flow rate, which is how quickly the hot water is heated, may be slower.
Both tank and tankless water heaters have many benefits, but knowing which one is the best fit for your home can be difficult. Our HVAC specialists at One-Stop HVAC are happy to help you with all your heating and air conditioning needs.