Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters: Which is Right For You?

tankless vs tank water heaters

Deciding on the right water heater can be overwhelming, especially with so many options available. Among the choices, two types of water heaters stand out: tankless and tank water heaters. While both have their own advantages and disadvantages, it’s essential to choose the one that fits your unique needs. 

Tankless water heaters are known for their energy efficiency, compact size, and endless supply of hot water. On the other hand, tank-based water heaters are a more cost-effective option and easier to install. 

In this article, experts from Hurliman Heating will describe in detail the pros and cons of each type of water heater so that you can choose the right one for your home.

What are tank water heaters?

Tank water heaters are the traditional and most common type of water heaters found in homes across the globe. They work by storing a large quantity of hot water in a tank, making it readily available for daily use. 

The tank is insulated to keep the water hot until needed, and when the hot water is used up, the tank refills and heats up again. Tank water heaters are affordable, reliable, and suitable for households that require a moderate amount of hot water. 

Pros & Cons of tank water heaters

Here are some pros of using tank water heaters:

  • Lower upfront cost compared to tankless water heaters
  • Easy to install and replace
  • Available in different sizes to suit varying household needs
  • No complicated electronic components, making repairs more accessible and affordable
  • Can supply hot water to multiple fixtures simultaneously
  • Some models have a built-in insulation layer to prevent heat loss, reducing energy consumption and costs.

Here are some cons of using tank water heaters:

  • Limited hot water supply due to the size of the tank
  • Higher energy bills due to constant heating and reheating of water, even when not in use
  • It takes up more space than tankless water heaters
  • It can be prone to leaks and other issues, especially with older models
  • Not as environmentally friendly as tankless water heaters due to higher energy consumption and shorter lifespan
  • Tank corrosion and sediment buildup can decrease the unit’s lifespan.

What are tankless water heaters?

Tankless water heaters, also referred to as on-demand water heaters, are becoming popular due to their energy efficiency and convenience. Unlike tank water heaters, tankless models don’t store hot water in a tank. Instead, they heat water directly as and when it passes through the unit, providing an on-demand hot water supply. 

It means you’ll be short of hot water and won’t have to wait for the tank to refill and heat up again. Tankless heaters are available in direct vent and power vent variations. 

Pros & Cons of tankless water heaters

Here are some pros of using tankless water heaters:

  • Energy efficient as they only heat water when it’s needed, reducing energy consumption and costs
  • They are more environmentally friendly as they produce less greenhouse gas emissions
  • Space-saving design as they are smaller and can be installed in more compact areas
  • They can provide an endless hot water supply, making them ideal for larger households or homes with high hot water demands.
  • Longer lifespan compared to tank water heaters, with some models lasting up to 20 years
  • Lower risk of leaks and other issues compared to tank water heaters

Here are some pros of using tankless water heaters:

  • Higher upfront cost compared to tank water heaters
  • It may require additional electrical or gas upgrades to accommodate the increased energy demand
  • May not be able to supply enough hot water for multiple fixtures simultaneously, depending on the size and capacity of the unit
  • It may require more maintenance, such as descaling, to prevent the buildup of minerals and debris that can decrease efficiency.
  • It may require professional installation, which can add to the overall cost.

Factors to consider when choosing between the tank and tankless water heater

Choosing between a tank and tankless water heater can be a significant decision, as it impacts the hot water supply in your home and can significantly impact your energy consumption and bills. Here’s what you need to pay attention to.

  1. Hot water demand

Tankless water heaters can provide on-demand hot water, making them an excellent option for homes with high hot water demands. However, a tank water heater may be sufficient if your household has lower hot water requirements.

  1. Space availability

Tankless water heaters are smaller and take up less space than tank water heaters, which can benefit those with less indoor space. Moreover, tankless water heaters can be mounted on walls or installed in smaller spaces, making them a better option for compact homes.

  1. Energy efficiency

Tankless water heaters generally consume less energy than tank water heaters, as they only heat water when needed. It can result in significant energy savings and lower energy bills over time. However, it’s pertinent to mention that tankless water heaters may require additional electrical or gas upgrades to accommodate their increased energy demand.

  1. Upfront cost

While tank water heaters are typically less expensive than tankless water heaters, it’s essential to consider the long-term cost of ownership. Tankless water heaters last longer and may result in lower energy bills over time, making them a better long-term investment.

  1. Maintenance

Tankless water heaters necessitate more upkeep than tank water heaters. However, regular maintenance can help increase the unit’s lifespan and ensure it operates efficiently. It includes regular descaling and check-ups, which can add to the overall cost of ownership.

  1. Lifespan

Tankless water heaters serve you longer than tank water heaters. Some models can even last as long as 15-18 years if maintained properly. It can make them a better long-term investment, as tank water heaters may not require replacement as frequently.

By considering these additional details, you can make an informed decision on whether a tank or tankless water heater is the right choice for your home, ensuring a consistent hot water supply and potential energy savings over time.

Take the help of Professional HVAC experts if you are unsure which one is right for you.

If you’re still unsure whether a tank or tankless water heater is a good option for your home, Hurliman Heating can help. We have a team of professional HVAC experts who can assess your hot water needs, energy efficiency goals, and budget to recommend the best option for you.
With years of experience in the industry, our experts have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the decision-making process and help you make an informed decision. Contact us today for the guidance you need to make the best decision for your home.

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