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Should I Get a Tank Style or Tankless Water Heater?

by Blake Wiltshire | Jan 31, 2019 | Residential Plumbing, Residential Services | 0 Comments

Tankless water heaters are known for being efficient and small in terms of their overall size and for that reason they are quite popular among most homeowners. Tank-style water heaters, on the other hand, will cost you much less than tankless water heaters and are easier to operate. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, but one might suit your home better than the other.

Tank-style or tankless water heaters: Which is right for your home?

Water heaters are a costly investment, and it’s often a decision you will be living with for more than a decade. However, a water heater can have a significant impact on your life without you even noticing which makes the decision even more important.

Whether you need to make sure you have enough hot water for your household or want to keep a low utility bill, choosing the right water heater for your home is extremely important.

We will now dive in and examine all of the pros and cons of tankless and tank-style water heaters so you can make the most informed decision possible.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are produced to be high-efficiency, direct-vent units. Because tankless water heaters have no tank, instead of slowly heating the water and keeping it in a tank, tankless water heaters only heat the amount of water that is needed and does so rather quickly.

It doesn’t matter if you take a five minute or a forty-five minute shower, you will never run out of hot water, and it will be available to you instantly. Having no tank also allows tankless water heaters to be smaller and rather than taking up a considerable chunk of your floor space, tankless water heaters are able to be mounted on your wall.

The best arguable benefit of a tankless water heater, though, is the amount of energy it consumes or rather doesn’t consume. Because there is no tank of water constantly needing to be kept hot, tankless water heaters don’t experience the same amount of standby energy losses that tank-style water heaters do.

In fact, the most efficient gas tankless water heater on the market has an energy factor of 1 and uses only 150 therms/year for natural gas. Not only that, but tankless water heaters also have a lifespan of 20 years or more which means you will be able to enjoy the upgrade for many years to come.

Drawbacks to a Tankless Water Heater

The most obvious and understandable drawback to a tankless water heater is the overall cost. For both the unit, as well as the installation, tankless water heaters typically cost about twice as much as traditional, tank-style water heaters, depending on the flow rate.

The average cost of a tankless water heater installation varies depending on the type, brand, your home, and whether you are installing a new water heater or replacing an old one.

As we mentioned earlier, tankless water heaters can be mounted on the wall to save floor space, but they also have special venting requirements and often need larger gas lines because of the higher BTU rating which makes them more difficult to install.

Lastly, though tankless water heaters can deliver an unlimited amount of hot water, there is, however, a limit to how much water is delivered at once. Tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through, so it’s important to make sure that you purchase a large enough tankless water heater to ensure that adequate hot water flow is available.

Benefits of a Tank-Style Water Heater

tank style water heaterOne of the main advantages of tank-style water heaters is that they are more cost-effective than tankless water heaters.

Tank-style water heaters also operate much simpler than tankless water heaters. Because of this simple operation, there will be less maintenance and less repair for almost identical functionality if you opt for a tank-style heater.

Tank-style water heaters can hook up to the existing gas supply in your home without having to make any changes or alterations in plumbing. Tank-style water heaters are also ready to go with the existing electrical power load in your home so new circuits will not have to be put in during installation.

Tank-style water heaters also have no minimum flow rate, so you never have to worry about how much hot water you need at one time. Because tank-style water heaters have a standby supply of heated water, you won’t have to worry about waiting for the water to reach your taps.

Drawbacks to a Tank-Style Water Heater

As with everything, though, there are some drawbacks to having a tank-style water heater in your home. Tank-style water heaters are relatively large and will take up more space in your home. This can be a bit of a challenge because you will need it to be in an area that is convenient and out of sight.

Also, compared to tankless water heaters, you will notice energy loss, also known as “standby loss,” caused by the energy that is wasted on keeping a full tank of hot water at all times.

It’s also worth noting that if the tank-style water heater is in a cool environment, it needs to work even harder during winter months to produce hot water which will increase gas or electric bills.

As you can see, deciding between a tank-style and tankless water heater depends on you and your home’s specific needs.

If you are looking for more information on water heaters, or need a water heater installed in your home, contact one of the licensed Chicago plumbers from Althoff. Contact us at 800-225-2443 today.

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