A round tankless water heater against a blue wall

Tankless vs Traditional Water Heaters

Tankless vs Traditional Water Heaters

When it comes to hot water, we usually just turn on the tap and bask in the warmth. But do you ever take time to think about the machine that gets you that warm or hot water? Water heaters are one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home.

There are essentially two options for choosing a water-heating system: tank or tankless. Tank heaters have been the standard for a long time and are used in a large majority of American homes. But tankless units have gained popularity in recent years for their benefits.

We’re breaking down tank and tankless water heaters so you can decide which version is best for your home.

Storage Tanks

The most traditional form of water heating is through a tank water heater. Think of it as essentially an oven for your water. Water enters the tank, is heated to the desired temperature, and then held until you need it. When you turn on the hot water tap, water flows from the tank to your faucet.

The upside to tank models is that they can heat large amounts of water at once. It’s hard to run out of hot water while using it for typical daily activities (unless you have an incorrectly-sized unit).

Another benefit of using a tank water heater is that they are comparatively inexpensive to install and maintain.

Tankless Heaters

Tankless heaters look and operate a bit differently. There is no storage tank or standing water. Tankless units heat water as it flows through your pipes, not all at once. They are also much smaller than tank units (since there’s no tank).

The biggest advantage of tankless water heaters is that they are more energy-efficient. Tank water heaters heat water to keep it at a certain temperature in the tank. If it goes below that level, it will still heat the water, whether or not you plan to use it. This wastes energy and is avoided when the water is heated on an as-needed basis.

According to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can be 24 to 24 percent more efficient in homes that use less than 41 gallons of water or less daily, and 8 to 14 percent for homes that use 86 gallons per day.

Another benefit of using a tankless heater is that you’ll get a longer life out of it. These units can last upwards of 20 years, compared to 12-15 for tank units.

Which One is Right for You?

The major factor in determining which system is right for you is how much water you use on a daily basis. The more water you use, the less benefit you’ll see from switching to a tankless water heater.

That benefit should be weighed with other factors, like installation cost, maintenance, and operating method. For example, it’s more expensive to switch to a tankless water system rather than replace an existing tank unit. It also can be costly to switch energy types (gas, oil, electric).

Both units require maintenance to run effectively. Try to schedule maintenance every year to ensure you get the most out of your unit.

Space is also a factor. If you don’t want a large water tank taking up space in your home, tankless may be the way to go. Tankless units usually mount on the wall and are minimally invasive in a room, leaving more space for you.

Your Water Heater Experts, Guaranteed

When you need a repair or replacement on your water heater, turn to the experts at Guaranteed Service. Our team has extensive experience and knowledge to help with any of your home plumbing needs. Contact us today at (732) 412-1134!


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