One of the most important quality of life appliances in your home is your water heater. Whether it’s your sink or shower, all that precious hot water comes from a single appliance. If you’re a new home owner, or just looking for an upgrade, you may be confused with all the options out there.
Down below, we’ve listed and separated the two major kinds of water heaters that will be offered to you. Hopefully, with some clarity, we’ll be able to pick the best option for you!
What are the Different Kinds of Water Heaters?
The two major kinds of water heaters that you find in homes across the world are tankless hot water heaters, and tank-storage water heaters. The two generally achieve the same goal, but do so in two totally different ways. Naturally, that comes with their own set of pros and cons.
How Do They Work?
Tank-storage water heaters preheat water in advance by using a coil, powered by either natural gas or electricity, to achieve its goal. Once the water is heated, it is stored in the tank for use. Opposingly, tankless water heaters are, of course, tankless. When you turn your faucet to hot, cold water will flow through the heat exchanger, and after a few moments – hot water will reach its destination.
Tank-Storage Water Heaters: The Pros and Cons
Hot water on demand, sometimes even during power outages, make tank-storage water heaters extremely attractive. Other pros include lower purchase prices and generally lower installation fees. Tank water heaters also support multiple outlets of hot water. And depending on which model you select; they can store up to 80 gallons of gallons of water ready for use.
As stated above, tank-storage water heaters can either be powered by electricity or natural gas. Historically, gas-powered water heaters have been more cost-efficient than their electric brethren. However, this heavily depends on the current cost of natural gas. On the other hand, the long-term cost of electric water heaters solely depends on the lifestyle of you and/or your family. But with every pro, comes a con. Tank-storage water heaters are often associated with the stereotype: “Ugh! There’s no more hot water!” And unfortunately, it’s often true. If you have a big family, you might find yourselves arguing over who gets the first shower.
Further cons include:
- They’re extremely bulky
- The older they get, the more they leak
- They will need frequent maintenance.
Tankless Water Heaters: The Pros and Cons
Tankless water heaters are very minimalistic and equally efficient. They provide the same hot water but without the giant 30+ gallon tank. As well as being efficient with space, they’re also cost efficient. In fact, recent reports from Energy.gov suggest that owners of tankless, electric water heaters will save $100 per year – at least. They’ll also produce less waste then their gas-powered, tank-storage counterpart. Tankless water heaters also eliminate the chances of a leak, or worse, a bursted water tank. Their long lifespan ensures that you won’t be searching for a replacement every couple of years. In addition to the electric version, a gas-powered version is also available. However, you will still not be able to use it without electricity; rendering use in a power outage impossible.
The cons, however, seem to level out the pros. While they may be more energy and space efficient, the upfront pricing of a tankless unit will cost considerably more than the tank-storage water heaters. The same can be said for installation fees, as the tankless unit is far less common. In addition to the high pricing, a single tankless unit may not support an entire family and will take a few minutes before the water reaches your desired temperature.
The Final Decision: Tankless Vs. Tank-Storage
While the tankless unit may free up some space and cost less annually, it just doesn’t match up to the tank-storage water heater in terms of functionality and cost efficiency. Tank-storage heaters cost a lot less in regards to upfront pricing and installation fees. Their gas-powered counterparts can be used in power outages and there’s no waiting five minutes to fill up a hot bath. This makes tank-storage water heaters a much more popular option in colder climates compared to tankless. A Dallas plumber will install many more tankless water heaters than a plumber in Michigan.
Furthermore, if you have a large family, opt for a unit with a bigger tank. This option far outweighs buying multiple tankless units just for adequate hot water. In all fairness, if it’s just you, or if you have a small family with little room – purchasing a tankless unit is still a sound decision.
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