Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters: Which One Is Right for You?
You’ve probably familiar with tankless water heaters. Maybe you’ve seen one at a home improvement store or online. You’ve likely heard some manufacturers say they could save you up to 45%, compared to a traditional water heater, and supply endless hot water. And you’ve probably also heard that those benefits come at a higher price.
We’ll review some considerations that you might have heard about. That way, you can decide which type of water heater is the right solution for your home and your budget.
What’s the Difference Between a Tankless and Tank Water Heater?
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are also called demand water heaters, since they only heat water as you need it. This can create an almost endless supply of hot water. They’re compact since they don’t store water, so they can be installed on the wall, in a closet or under the sink.
Tank Water Heaters
Tank water heaters are the most common style of water heaters. They store and constantly heat water in a large tank, which is typically 40-50 gallons.
What Is Better—Tankless Water Heater or Tank?
Here are a few pros and cons to consider:
- Life span and installation cost. Storage tank water heaters last for about 10-15 years, while tankless models can last up to 20 years. However, tankless water heaters have much higher installation costs. You may also need to reroute natural gas lines, which increases your initial cost.
- Operating cost. Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric model, tank water heaters typically have higher energy cost since they’re constantly heating water in the tank, but they’re also available in energy-saving and ENERGY STAR® models.
- Limitations. Tankless models run less but may have limitations with running many hot water appliances at once. They might also have inconsistent temperatures.
- Rebates. Since tankless models are so energy efficient, they can make you eligible for additional rebates. However, you can also get these rebates with highly energy-efficient tank water heaters.
- Leaks. Since tank water heaters store a lot of water, a leak or failure can cause catastrophic damage to your home. The risk of flooding is greatly minimized with a tankless water heater, since it doesn’t store water.
You’ll still want to consider your specific situation and lifestyle needs. Here are a few real-life examples.
Single Mom with Three Teenagers
Jenny is a single mom with three girls. Her 1984 townhome has one full bath, one half-bath and the original water heater. Because her daughters are all in middle school, the shower, tub and sinks are used constantly while the girls get ready for school.
After they catch the bus, Jenny gets ready to go to her job at the library. She also runs the washer and dishwasher after her kids have eaten breakfast. So, the unlucky third child and Jenny are always stuck with a lukewarm or cold shower.
Due to the age of Jenny’s water heater and the circumstances in her home, benefits of a tankless water heater would outweigh the costs to replace her old water heater.
She could easily afford a tankless water heater through financing or the Service Experts Advantage Program ™. This program provides a new water heater for just one low monthly fee, with maintenance, repairs and parts included for no extra cost.
Tom and Jean are a retired couple who live in a small Tudor-style home from the 1960s. They need a new water heater after the old one started leaking, then gave out altogether.
For them, there are a few downsides to installing a tankless water heater:
- They have a limited income and high medical bills, so a tankless model doesn’t fit their budget
- They plan to move to senior living soon, so long-term savings don’t outweigh the cost of a tankless water heater.
- A new 40-gallon gas water heater would supply all the hot water they need, even when their grandkids visit.
We Provide Expert Assistance for Your Next Water Heater Installation
At Chief/Bauer Service Experts, our Experts specialize in helping families like yours find the best solution for your water heating needs. When it’s time for water heater installation, we’ll go over all your options so you can be confident you’ve made the right choice. Not to mention, we’ll back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.* Call us at 217-689-2469 to get started today!