Before purchasing your next water heater, it’s important to understand the difference between tankless water heaters and standard tank water heaters. Each type has its own features and benefits that we will highlight below. When weighing the pros and cons of each, consider four essential factors:

●      Hot water dispersion

●      Energy efficiency

●      Installation & maintenance costs


Hot Water Dispersion

The function of hot water heaters is to provide adequate hot water during long periods of use. Examples would be washing the dishes, taking a shower, or washing clothes. Families often take multiple showers in sequence. This requires extended performance from a hot water heater.

●      Tank. Water has to be stored in a tank, preheated, and then distributed as needed.

●      Tankless. Water passes through an element. The element flash heats the water without delay as it passes through. This process continues for as long as the water is needed with no expiration.


Energy Efficiency with Water Heaters

The most important issue with water heaters is how much energy they utilize annually and what it will cost you.

●      Tank. Since tank heaters store water, they are always readily accessible for hot water use. Water conversion from hot to cold generally takes a few minutes.

●      Tankless. Where tankless heaters have the edge over tank heaters is in their ability to flash heat water on demand. This reduces the amount of wait time required to heat up the water; thus, less use for water on the front end. According to recent reports, homeowners will save anywhere from $44 to $120 annually on energy costs.


The Final Analysis

You can count on higher installation and equipment costs with tankless heaters. For families who are frugal and use less than 50 gallons a tankless heater is definitely the way to go. Tankless heaters also last twice as long as standard water heaters. So you’ll eventually get a return on your investment.


Conventional tank heaters cost a third of tankless units. The installation costs are also less. Tank heaters will require more repairs and maintenance in a shorter amount of time. For families that use more than 50 gallons of water, a tank may be a better solution as the annual costs differ from a tank heater by less than $100.


If you have any questions, then you can contact a Steve’s Plumbing & Heating technician. We can answer all your questions and help you find the right water heater for your home.