Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters: Which Is The Best Fit For Your Home?

Choosing between the traditional tank water heater and the tankless option is a decision that can heavily influence your comfort and finances. . Each option has unique advantages and considerations, with the ultimate option weighing on your needs. This guide will help you decide after exploring each option comprehensively. 

water heater

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

Also known as an on-demand water heater, a tankless water heater consistently delivers hot water to your home, regardless of the consumption. This water heater doesn’t store water in a tank to function. Instead, when you turn on a hot tap, cold water runs through the pipe to the unit, where either an electrical element or gas burner heats the water. 

Tankless water heater through an;

  • Electric-powered tankless water heater: you can expect to pay between $800 – $1500 for the water heater installation. The lower price shows the installation process is simpler. On the downside, users have reported a slower heating time and higher utility bills.
  • Gas-powered tankless water heater: you can pay between $1000 – $1500 to install a propane or natural gas-powered tankless water heater. This option is more suitable if you live near a natural gas line. You can easily tap into the existing lines, compared to buying one. 

Tankless water heaters provide a home with a steady flow of water at a rate of two to five gallons per minute, making it energy efficient. However, if you need hot water simultaneously, like using the dishwasher and taking a shower, the water is released at a lower pressure, so the water will not be as hot. 

To solve this, consider having two or more tankless water heaters for different appliances around your home. 

What is a Tank Water Heater?

A tank water heater stores water in a storage tank, usually cylindrical. This form of heating water is still primarily used in the U.S.  Basically, you will fill a tank with water and equip it with a heating mechanism inside or at the bottom. 

Some energy sources include natural gas, burner oil, and electricity. Some people add a desuperheater to a geothermal heat pump system to enable water heating through a heat exchange mechanism.  Tank water heaters take up a lot of space in your home because the tanks are usually large and can hold between 40 and 120 gallons of water. 

Compared to tankless water heater, these water heater option is 

  • Inexpensive to install
  • Can heat a lot of water at once
  • Simple to Operate
  • Inexpensive to repair

However, it has a shorter useful life than the on-demand water heater and has higher utility bills due to the large volumes of water that constantly heats. 

Other Considerations to Factor in

Apart from the esthetics of a tankless water heater or the need to have water in a storage tank, other factors to consider before getting a water heater include: 

  • The initial costs: The upfront cost of a tankless water heater is higher. You can expect to pay up to $3000 or more for the installation and first-time equipment. The cost of a tank water heater is reduced by half
  • Operating cost: Operating costs depend on your household, like the size of people living in the home and how frequently you need hot water. For example, a tank water heater has fewer upfront costs but is less energy efficient, making it have a higher operating cost than a tankless water heater. 
  • Equipment life: Although the tankless water heater has a higher upfront cost, it can last up to 20 years, compared to a tank storage water heater, which only lasts 10 to 15 years. 

Before settling on a water heater, have a checklist of your needs, like the amount of water needed in your household, budget, environmental-conscious choice, and hot water usage.

Final Thoughts

A tankless water heater is perfect for those looking to provide on-demand hot water for their homes. This choice is more beneficial for homes with many people who may need to use hot water simultaneously.  However, a tank storage water heater is cost-effective. It’s easier to install and maintain.

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