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Tankless VS Standard Water Heaters

The source of our hot water isn’t something we tend to think about very often until we notice a problem. Whether you’re running out of hot water too fast or have finally started to notice how bulky your current water heater is, there are plenty of reasons to start comparing tankless to standard water heaters – especially if you’re in the market for one. But what is the difference between these two most popular forms of water heaters? And how do you know which one is best for you?

Standard Water Heaters: The Most Traditional Approach

As their name suggests, standard water heaters are the most common type of water heater found in American homes. They work by heating and storing water in a tank until it’s needed, using either gas or electricity to do so. Standard tank water heaters come in a variety of sizes, but 50-gallons is about the average.

The capacity you would want for your home depends on the size of your household, how many people live there and how much hot water you use. King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing would be happy to help you with the calculations.

Standard water tanks continuously heat the water within them to ensure you have a full supply whenever needed. One drawback, however, is that you are paying to have hot water even when you don’t necessarily need it.

Tankless Water Heaters: A More Efficient Approach

Tankless water heaters, also called on-demand or instantaneous water heaters, don’t rely on a bulky tank of heated water. Instead, they only heat the water as it’s needed whenever you turn on the hot water tap.

This makes tankless water heaters much more efficient than standard tank water heaters since there’s no need to continuously heat and reheat water that isn’t being used.
Additionally, tankless water heaters tend to have a longer lifespan since they aren’t constantly exposed to the elements in the same way a tank water heater is.

One potential drawback of tankless water heaters is that they can’t always keep up with high demand, such as if you’re trying to take a shower and run the dishwasher at the same time. In cases like this, you might find yourself running out of hot water.

The Cost of a Tankless vs Standard Water Heater

Standard water heater: If you’re looking for the cheapest option, tank-style water heaters tend to be less expensive than tankless, ranging between $500 to $1000. Keep in mind that tanks with larger capacity or energy-efficiency upgrades tend to cost more.

If you’re interested in replacing an existing storage tank with a new one of the same capacity, it’s a relatively easy job that some handy homeowners can handle themselves. However, if you choose to go with a plumber, it can cost between $600 to $800.

Tankless: Tankless water heaters tend to come with more up-front costs than traditional tank models, ranging from $800 to $2,000 or more.

In addition to the cost of the system, installation can also be a bit pricey, ranging from $800 on the lowest end to upwards of $1,500. While some ambitious homeowners may try the installation themselves, manufacturers strongly recommend or require turning to certified electricians or plumbers to maintain their warranty. You will also need to install an electrical outlet near the unit if you do not currently have one nearby.

Tankless vs Standard Water Heater Performance

Standard water heater: Tank systems tend to perform more predictably than their tankless counterparts as the hot water remains ready at the ideal temperature whenever needed.

Tankless: Performance with tankless models can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Some tankless systems can take a bit longer to heat the water and keep it hot as it travels throughout the plumbing of the house to the tap.

Additionally, tankless water heaters may not be able to keep up with the demand of multiple users simultaneously. However, if you’re the only one home or have a small family, tankless models can perform quite well.

Tankless vs Standard Water Heater Lifespan

Standard water heater: With proper maintenance, tank water heaters can last anywhere from six to 12 years.

Tankless: Tankless water heaters tend to have a longer lifespan than tank models, often lasting upwards of 20 years with proper maintenance.

Which Water Heater is Right for You?

Now that you know a little more about the difference between tankless and standard water heaters, you might be wondering which one is best for your home. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including:

– The size of your household
– How much hot water you typically use
– The climate you live in
– The amount of space you have for a water heater

If you’re not sure which type of water heater is best for your home, the best thing to do is speak to a professional. They can help you calculate things like capacity and tank size so that you can make an informed decision.

Be sure to speak with them about any personal preferences you have when it comes to your water system. For example, if you’re interested in energy efficiency, then tankless may be ideal. However, if you’re mainly interested in remaining cost-effective, then a tank model may be a more suitable option.

No matter which water heater you choose, be sure to practice proper maintenance to extend its lifespan and keep it running smoothly. Any neglected appliance will surely break down eventually.

When in doubt, reach out to us for help choosing and maintaining your tankless or standard water heater. With a little bit of attention, either type of system can provide years of hot water for you and your home.