Tankless Versus Tankless Water Heaters – The Pros and Cons of Each Type

Life is full of tough decisions. While it’s not the most critical choice you’ll ever have to make, selecting the right water heater for your home is pretty important. It’s a decision that will impact your comfort, monthly utility bills, and peace of mind for years to come.

Many homeowners get stuck choosing between a traditional tank water heater and a new tankless unit. The biggest benefit to switching to a tankless water heater is improving energy-efficiency and saving on energy costs. That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages for both types of water heaters. It’s important to weigh all the factors before deciding which unit is right for you.

How a tank water heater works

Traditional water heaters have a tank that holds a certain amount of hot water at all times. Cold water enters the tank from the home water supply. The water is warmed either by using natural gas or electricity, and stored until a hot water outlet opens (such as turning on a faucet or running an appliance). Depending on the size of your household and hot water usage, you could need a tank between 30 and 80 gallons.

Pros of tank water heater:

  • Lower upfront costs
  • Easier to install

Cons of tank water heaters:

  • Can run out of hot water during peak usage
  • Require routine maintenance such as draining/flushing tank
  • Shorter service life – typically 8-12 years

How a tankless system works

Often called on-demand water heaters, tankless units do not store large amounts of hot water, making them much more energy efficient. Instead, the unit has a high-powered heater that can quickly warm up water only when needed. When sizing a tankless water heater for your home, you’ll want to consider the flow rate (how many gallons per minute it can warm) and temperature rise (how much the cold water has to be heated to reach the desired temperature).

Pros of tankless water heaters:

  • High energy-efficient – helping you save on your monthly utility bills
  • Longer service life – around 20 years
  • Produces an endless supply of hot water
  • Takes up less space in your home

Cons of tankless water heaters:

  • More expensive upfront for equipment
  • More complicated installation
  • Need to be sized correctly to accommodate multiple outlets being used at once

Water heater installation on Oahu and Maui

Hopefully, this article gives you a better understanding of whether it’s time to switch to a tankless water heater or if you’re better of sticking with a traditional tank unit. If you need more assistance choosing the best water heater for your home, or would like a free estimate, call Emergency Plumbing & Solar today at (808) 691-9309.


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