When you hear “water heater” what is it that you envision? If you’re like most people, it’s probably a storage tank full of water inside your garage or a closet that has pipes and gauges sticking out of it. You probably don’t know how it all works, but rely on it heavily anyway day in and day out.
What about when your water heater gets older though, and its performance or efficiency starts declining with age? What do you do then? Sometimes repairs may help it get by a little longer, but if rust and corrosion have settled in, it’s time to replace. Your instinct is likely to just upgrade to a newer storage tank system if you already have one in place, but this isn’t your only option.
Read on as we explore the differences, in addition to the pros and cons, of both tank and tankless water heaters.
A Case for Tanks
As we alluded to above, tank water heaters are the most well-known type of water heater there is. They do the job, and they’re affordable to buy and install. Plus, they come in different sizes depending on your needs.
What do we mean by this? Well, once a tank water heater’s hot water supply is depleted, there will be a long delay in time as it heats up a new batch. By having a larger reserve of water to draw from, your family will be able to use the hot water for longer, or for more appliances, without needing it to refill so frequently.
Tank water heater systems are available for gas or electric use, which are both affordable.
There is an unfortunate drawback with a tank water heater, and it’s a big reason more people are choosing to go tankless–tank systems suffer from standby heat loss.
If you install a tank that is too large for your needs and don’t use up all the hot water inside, then your water heater is constantly heating the same water over and over again, which is a waste of money. Additionally, the tank itself cools off so the heat exchangers need to keep activating to keep hot water hot.
A Case for Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are becoming a popular alternative to storage tank water heaters, and for good reason. They functioning a different manner–without tanks, as the name implies. Rather, a tankless water heater creates hot wat through electrical resistance, on-demand. This means the hot water is heated by an element when there’s a demand for it from a sink tap, shower or bathtub, or appliance.
In almost all cases, tankless water heaters are by far more efficient than their tank water heater counterparts. Since there is no risk of standby heat loss, it means a tankless water heater will only be using energy when it’s actually needed. This will cost you a lot less in the long run and a tankless system can even last about 5-10 years longer.
There is one drawback, however. A tankless system can be overwhelmed by the demand if too many appliances or fixtures are demanding hot water at once. Be sure to talk to our pros about your specific water demands to see which one is best for you!