Tips for Choosing Between a Tank or Tankless Water Heater

Your water heater is an investment that will be responsible for supplying hot water to your entire home. While this vital appliance has a long service life, it will eventually need to be replaced. When the time comes to replace your water heater, you will choose between a tank vs. tankless water heater.

Both options have their share of benefits and drawbacks. You will need to account for factors such as the size of your household, average hot water usage, and your budget. We’ve taken a closer look at both of your options to help you make the right decision for your household.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is interchangeably referred to as an on-demand water heater. A traditional storage-tank water heater fills up with water and heats a large volume at once. It then regulates the temperature of this water if it begins to cool before being used.

Tankless water heaters implement high-powered heating elements or burners to rapidly heat water as it is pulled into a heat exchanger. The tankless heater then pumps it directly into your shower or faucet. Like traditional water heaters, tankless heaters can be gas or electric. It will likely run on the same energy source as your current water heater.

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater

The biggest advantage of a tankless water heater is that it is extremely energy efficient. This is because it is not storing or heating a large amount of water. It only heats what you need. The following are some more perks of a tankless water heater:

  • Saves money over time
  • 24% to 34% more energy-efficient, according to
  • Consumes less space
  • Longer service life

While tankless water heaters will result in long-term savings, it will take several years for them to offset your initial investment. Storage tank water heaters are much simpler and cheaper to purchase. In addition, you will experience the following benefits with a traditional water heater:

  • Cheaper by a wide margin
  • Less costly repairs and maintenance
  • Lower installation costs due to reduced labor hours
  • Large storage tank water heaters can keep up with high simultaneous use demands

Initial Investment

As mentioned above, the biggest differences between the two water heaters are the energy consumption and the initial cost. The average tankless water heater can cost two to three times more than a regular water heater. You will likely experience a higher installation cost as well. This is because the installer has to retrofit your system to accommodate the new style of the water heater.

However, they also last twice as long as your average storage tank heater. When that is paired with your annual energy savings, the tankless water heater will eventually pay for itself.

Water Heater Installation

Whether you opt for a tankless water heater installation or a traditional install, this is not a DIY project. Water heaters are powered by high-voltage electrical wiring or hazardous gases and should be professionally installed.

If you need your water heater serviced or replaced, contact Hearn Plumbing Heating & Air.