Tankless Vs. Traditional Water Heater: Which Is Better?

Tankless Vs. Traditional Water Heater: Which Is Better?

A water heater is an important long-term investment in every American household. When it’s time to replace your water heater, you’ll be called upon to decide between a standard storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater. The latter is more energy conscious. Here, we will explore a tankless vs. traditional water heater. We’ll look at the following:

  • Cost
  • Considerations
  • Sizing

Storage Tank Versus Tankless

Storage Tank Water Heater – This is the most common type of water heater. Most people are familiar with it. It can range in capacity from 20 to 80 gallons. The tank is filled with water and heated using one of the following:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Propane

When you turn on the hot water tap, the heated water is released from the top of the tank. Because cold water fills the tank from the bottom, it ensures a constant supply of hot water. But this continuous heating of water in the tank leads to standby heat loss. Heat escapes when the heater is not in use. That results in high energy costs as the heater ages.

Tankless Water Heater – You may also hear this referred to as an “instantaneous or on-demand water heater.” It heats water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute, depending on the fuel source which can include the following:

  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Propane

Tankless water heaters are far more efficient than storage tank water heaters. Why? They eliminate standby heat loss. But they have a downside. It’s their limited capacity when running multiple hot water taps simultaneously. Gas-fired tankless heaters can also waste energy by keeping the pilot light burning to heat the water. It’s best to choose a model with an intermittent ignition device to address this issue.

Additional Considerations

But wait, there’s more…

Purchase Price – Storage tank water heaters are usually more affordable (initially) compared to their counterpart. The price depends on factors like the following:

  • Capacity
  • Fuel source
  • Warranty
  • Brand
  • Dimensions

Storage tank heaters range from roughly $300-$1500. Some high-end models can go past $2000. Tankless water heaters can cost as little as $150 for point of use models or go up to $2500 for more whole house systems. Solar powered tankless water heaters are the most expensive. They can cost you upwards of $6000.

Installation Cost – Costs of installation can vary based on the location and type of heater. Point of use tankless water heaters have the lowest installation costs. Next are storage tank heaters. Finally, whole house tankless water heaters weigh-in. The average installation cost for a storage tank water heater is $400-$1000. Tankless water heaters are around $2500. DIY installation might be an option for storage tank water heaters, but due to their complexity, for a tankless water heater you should hire a professional.

Performance – Storage tank water heaters ensure a continuous supply of hot water. That makes them suitable for households with simultaneous hot water demands. Tankless water heaters may struggle to keep up with high demands. This can, however, be resolved by installing multiple units or using point of use models strategically.

Energy Efficiency – Tankless water heaters are the more energy-efficient of the two because of the absence of standby heat loss. However, purchasing an insulated storage tank water heater can help reduce heat loss. It is estimated that tankless water heaters can be 8 to 34% more efficient than their counterpart.

Life Expectancy – Tankless water heaters usually have a longer lifespan in comparison to storage tank models. Storage tank heaters last about 10 to 15 years while tankless models can run 20+ years. Regularly replacing anode rods in storage tank water heaters may help extend their lifespan.

Whatever Type of Water Heater You Need – Turn to Us for Assistance!

When it comes time for a new water heater or water heater repair, contact the experts at Made’s Plumbing, LLC. We can help you decide on the type of water heater to best suit your needs. In general, when you need Texas water heater repair, drain cleaning, work on a toilet, or have some other type of plumbing emergency, make us your go-to plumbing service.

Call 817-962-2257 or use our convenient online form to get in touch.