Benefits of a Tankless vs Tanked Water Heater

Your home’s water heater is an essential element of the house. It ensures you have a hot shower every morning or a warm bath to relax in after a hard day. Today’s homeowners have a choice in what type of water heater they install in their house. Both tankless and tanked water heaters have benefits and drawbacks attached to them, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each appliance before deciding which one is right for your home.

Tankless vs Tanked Water Heaters

There are two basic types of water heaters: tankless and tanked (or storage) water heaters. Most water heaters found in homes today are tanked systems that store water inside an insulated tank. Tanked systems can hold between 20 to 120 gallons of water, which is heated using either electric or gas powered heating elements. Tanked water heaters work by allowing cold water to come into the unit through the bottom. This water is then heated inside the tank and transferred to your home’s pipes through the top of the unit. This type of hot water heater is usually mounted on the floor and is around 60 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

On the other hand, tankless systems heat your home’s water as it is needed. When a hot water faucet is turned on, cold water moves through a pipe into the unit where it is heated through an electric or gas burner. A tankless unit typically heats between two and five gallons per minute and can continuously provide hot water as long as the faucet is running. This type of hot water unit is usually mounted on the wall and are typically around 20 inches wide and 28 inches tall.

There are a few different factors to consider when deciding which type of hot water heater is right for your home. In addition to thinking about the fuel type your hot water heater will use, it’s also important to consider the amount of water your family uses each month and your upfront budget. Also think about the future plans for your home, such as your goals for energy efficiency and how long you hope your new hot water heater will last. 

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters come with a variety of benefits. In addition to being more energy efficient than tank heaters, a tankless water heater also takes up less space in your home. A tankless water heater uses as much as 50 percent less energy than a tanked heater, which means you could save a lot of money each year on your utility bill. These savings are realized because tankless water heaters store less water than a traditional tanked heater, which means they don’t run as often to keep the water inside warm.

Another wonderful benefit of a tankless system is that it heats the water on demand, which means you’ll have a continuous supply of hot water throughout the day. That’s perfect for homes with large tubs or big families that need a lot of hot water during the morning rush.

Tankless water heaters have a higher cost of installation than traditional heaters, but that additional cost can be realized in lower energy and operating costs. Additionally, tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of around 20 years. That means they last much longer than tank heaters, which usually need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. Tankless water heaters are also easier and less expensive to repair because they are constructed of easily replaceable parts.

Benefits of a Tanked Water Heater

While a tankless water heater is a great option for some homes, a traditional tanked water heater is a wonderful option, too. For homeowners on a budget, a tanked water heater is a great choice. While the upfront costs of a tankless water heater are often high, the installation costs of a traditional water heater are less expensive. In addition to cheaper installation costs, installing a tanked water heat is also an easier task. That’s because a tanked water heater does not require natural gas line changes, as opposed to tankless systems, which may require more natural gas than your home’s current lines can offer.

Tanked water heaters are also great for smaller households that don’t have a high flow rate. A high flow rate -- the amount of water you need to be heated at one time -- is often required to activate a tankless system. But storage water heaters continually heat the water inside the tank, no matter how often you use the water inside. 

Another advantage of a tanked water system is that you’ll have hot water instantly. That means you can avoid the lag time between the time you turn on your hot water faucet and when the water begins to get warm often found in homes with tankless water heaters.

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