Choosing the best water heater for you and your family is an important decision that can significantly impact your energy bills, comfort, and overall lifestyle. Two popular options on the market today are tankless water heaters (or demand-type) and storage tank water heaters. In this blog, we’ll explore the main differences between these two types of water heaters so you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs.
Operation and Design
- Tankless Water Heaters: Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the storage tank. They utilize high-powered burners to rapidly heat water as it flows through the unit. This means you only get hot water when you need it, making them energy-efficient and space-saving.
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: Traditional storage tank water heaters store and preheat a significant amount of water in a tank. The heated water is ready for use whenever needed. While this design allows for a constant supply of hot water, it can be less energy-efficient as the water heater continually works to maintain the set temperature.
- Tankless Water Heaters: An essential benefit of tankless water heaters lies in their energy efficiency. They only heat water as it’s needed, minimizing standby energy losses found in storage tank water heaters. This can lead to sustained savings on energy bills, especially in households with varying hot water usage patterns. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage water heaters by 8-34%.
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: Unfortunately, storage tank water heaters could experience standby heat loss as the water in the tank cools down when not in use. To maintain the set temperature, the heater cycles on and off, consuming energy even when hot water is not being used. While newer models have improved insulation, tankless heaters are generally more energy-efficient.
Hot Water Supply:
- Tankless Water Heaters: They offer an uninterrupted and virtually limitless supply of water, provided that the demand does not surpass the unit’s capacity. This makes them ideal for households with varying hot water needs.
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: They can provide a consistent supply of hot water for a specific tank capacity. However, if the demand exceeds the tank’s capacity, you may experience a temporary depletion of hot water until the tank reheats.
Installation and Maintenance:
- Tankless Water Heaters: Tankless units are usually more compact. They can be mounted on walls, for example, which will save floor space. However, installation costs can be higher due to the need for proper venting and gas lines. Regular maintenance is essential to prevent scaling and ensure optimal performance.
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: Storage tank units have a simpler installation process and lower upfront costs. Maintenance involves periodic flushing of the tank to remove sediment. However, they typically have a larger footprint and may require more space in your home.
- Tankless Water Heaters: While tankless water heaters may have higher upfront costs and installation expenses, their efficiency can lead to substantial long-term savings on utility bills. It’s essential to consider your hot water usage patterns and the return on investment over time.
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: Storage tank water heaters generally have lower upfront costs, but their energy efficiency may be lower, resulting in higher long-term operational costs. However, they can be a cost-effective solution for households with predictable hot water needs.
- Tankless Water Heaters: If properly maintained, they can last up to 20 years, and maybe even up to 30 years. It’s essential to maintain your tankless water heater regularly in order to prevent mineral and hard water build-up. Lack of maintenance can shorten the lifespan of your water heater.
- Storage Tank Water Heaters: On the contrary, gas water heaters typically last anywhere between 8-12 years and electric water heaters anywhere from 10-15 years. Of course, similar to tankless water heaters, the lifespan depends on maintenance. It’s crucial to maintain your water heater regularly to get the most life out of your unit.
Contact Done Right Today for All Your Water Heater Needs in Pennsylvania and Delaware
Choosing between a tankless and a storage tank water heater depends on various factors, as listed above. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type to make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize energy efficiency, continuous hot water supply, or cost-effectiveness, understanding the differences will help you select the water heater that best suits your home and lifestyle. And if you’re still unsure, the experts at Done Right Today can help! We can assist with all your tankless or storage tank water heater maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation needs. Contact us today!