If your hot water heater has served you over the years but the time has come to replace it, as a homeowner you would like to know which type will best suit your specific needs. In this article we will talk about traditional (conventional, storage) vs tankless water heaters.  Hopefully this analysis will help you decide on what type to choose for your home.

A traditional water heater is constantly heating water in the tank, no matter if the water is being used or not. The newer tankless counterparts are designed to heat water only when there is demand for it. Less stored water to heat will result in less energy costs as well as more compact and wall-mounted design.

Differences in tank vs. tankless water heaters can be reduced to four categories:

  1. Convenience

If you have a big family where a lot of people use hot water, the biggest problem you may face is that hot water is never enough. Someone will always run out of hot water if you have a traditional water heater installed.  However, a tankless heater can solve such a problem. That’s because of how both types of water heaters operate.

  • Tank heaters preheat only a limited amount of water in their tank. If you use all water from the tank, your traditional water heater will need time to refill and reheat cold water. Bigger tanks might seem like an option, but they are bulky and expensive and there’s still a limit to supply of hot water.
  • Tankless heaters heat up water on demand – you get hot water whenever you turn on the faucet. It only takes seconds to heat up the water and you don’t have to waste it while waiting for it to become comfortably hot.
  1. Energy Efficiency

One of the biggest things homeowners want out of a new water heater is energy efficiency. The difference between the two heaters is obvious:

  • A tank water heater operates nonstop. That means it’s on even at night, however a significant amount of that hot water will never even be used. A lot of wasted energy to pay for, don’t you think?
  • A tankless water heater is a smaller, compact system that flash-heats water on demand, and turns off as soon as you turn the faucet off. Tankless water heaters are intended to save energy, reducing its energy cost up to 25% every year.
  1. Cost

Costs vary depending on whether you desire to get a quick fix or make a long-term investment:

  • Tank water heaters are initially cheaper but are expensive in operation and don’t last as long as tankless counterparts.
  • Tankless heaters cost more upfront, but substantially reduce your energy costs, helping you to save on your monthly bills.
  1. Installation & Maintenance

The tank unit needs enough space for installation and cannot be placed outside the home. The typical tankless heater is about the size of a small suitcase, occupying significantly less space. It can also be installed outside on a wall.

But after installation, the difference is clear:

  • Tank heaters are also called traditional. Probably that’s because people got so used to them that they do not sometimes even consider the alternatives when it comes to replacing their old water heater. The deposit is being built up inside the tank gradually but surely as it’s heated over and over. Most tanks last about 10 years before they have to be replaced, and typically come with a 6-year warranty.
  • Tankless heaters are up-to-date and more effective. They would last up to 20 years if properly maintained. And most companies would sell tankless water heaters with a 10-year warranty.

So is it time for your home to make the switch? Or if the day ever comes when you face a plumbing crisis or emergency, call a reputable plumbing contractor. In this case a fully-insured professional plumbing contractor such as Wilmington Plumbing Pros will have the knowledge, the team, and the proper tools to deal with your plumbing issue. Get in touch with us today!

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