Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Is it time to replace your water heater? The first step is to decide on what type of water heater is best for your specific needs. There are several different factors to consider while shopping. Learn more about the differences between the two main types of water heaters: traditional water heaters (with a tank) and tankless water heaters, and what aspects to consider.

What is the Main Difference Between Tank and Tankless?

The answer is simple. Traditional water heaters store and preheat anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons of water in a tank. The hot water is constantly heated to one temperature. As you use hot water, the tank refills itself as necessary and reheats the water in the take once again.

Tankless water heaters do not have a storage tank. Instead, tankless heaters use a heat sources, such as gas or electric, to warm or cool water on demand.

Aspects to Consider When Replacing your Water Heater:

As we mentioned above, there are multiple factors that come into play when choosing a new water heater. Our experienced HVAC technicians weigh in on what are the most important factors to consider while shopping for new water heaters.

  1. Fuel Type – What is/are your fuel options for your water heater? If you have more than one fuel source, we recommend comparing fuel costs to help you decide which one to use.
  2. Efficiency – Did you know that the average household spends roughly $400 – $600 a year on water heating, which accounts for 14-18% of a homeowner’s utility bills, according to Energy.gov. One way to cut back on your home’s energy cost is with an energy efficient water heater. A water heater’s energy efficiency is determined by its Energy Factor (EF). The EF is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed. These energy factors include recovery efficiency (the rate water is heated up), standby losses (percentage of heat lost per hour from stored water compared to water’s heat), and cycling losses (loss of heat as water travels to faucet). Tankless water heaters tend to be more energy efficient than traditional models, because they do not waste energy having to constantly heat water in a tank.
  3. Water Availability – Calculate your household’s average hot water usage during peak hours. You want to make sure your new hot water heater can keep up with your usage needs. Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water, but are limited by their flow rate. While traditional systems can run out of hot water and can take some time reheating.
  4. Size – Physical space is another factor when selecting a new hot water tank. Traditional water heaters can require a bit of floor space, and are often tall. Tankless water heaters take up less space.

These are just a few factors that can help you decide on a new water heater. We recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our expert technicians for a free in-home estimate. Our knowledgeable team can confirm your decision and help you pick the exact model that can meet your needs.

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