When it comes to home improvements, choosing the best water heater is an important decision. There are many factors to take into account before making a hot water heater purchase including energy efficiency, energy costs and required space. Let’s compare a tank vs. tankless water heater so that you can decide which one is right for your situation when you need water heater installation.
What Is a Storage Tank Water Heater?
Storage tank water heaters are the most common type of system because they’re affordable and require little maintenance, other than an annual flush. They’re available in either natural gas or electric models. Most homes have a natural gas water heater with a standing pilot light that holds 40 to 50 gallons.
These conventional water heaters continuously heat the water so it’s ready whenever you want it. Constant heating makes them slightly less efficient, but how much energy they use depends on the gas model you select. You can choose a traditional water heater that’s ENERGY STAR® certified to keep operating costs down and pass on more cost savings to you.
And while storage tank water heaters are the most affordable, they don’t last as long—typically 8-15 years with proper maintenance.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters deliver endless hot water. They’re also called on-demand water heaters because they heat the water when you want it, instead of storing it. This is great for households with high hot water demand. You’ll have an endless supply of hot water that’s great for running multiple showers at once. Or running your washing machine at the same time you’re taking a shower.
This makes them very energy efficient, with most of them achieving ENERGY STAR certification, which may make you eligible for additional rebates. Because tankless water heaters don’t store water, they take up less space. You can install yours on a wall, in a closet or even under the sink. Like traditional water heaters, your tankless model is available as electric or gas water heaters.
They have a higher initial cost than tank water heaters but typically last around 20 years with proper maintenance.
Which Water Heater Is Right for Me?
Let’s review the pros and cons of these water heater styles so you can find the right solution for your home.
Most Affordable Installation Costs
Storage tank water heaters are the most common because they’ve been around for a long time and they’re also the most affordable. ENERGY STAR models have a higher initial cost, but the payoff is that they may qualify you for extra rebates. And they’ll help you reap energy savings over the long term. Your exact price will vary based the model and fuel type that you choose.
Tankless water heaters provide endless hot water. This is very convenient because there’s no need to wait for the tank to reheat when someone else in your home uses hot water. They rapidly heat water on demand and they’ll deliver hot water whenever you want it.
Most Energy Efficient
Tankless water heaters are the most energy efficient because they only produce hot water when someone needs it, which means a lower utility bill.
Storage tank water heaters are constantly heating water, which can waste energy and result in higher utility bills. And you’ll also be dealing with standby heat loss with this heated water. However, there are some things you can do to keep energy costs under control, such as choosing one with an insulated tank.
Since tankless models usually achieve at least ENERGY STAR certification and some come with rebates, this can help you save more money on your gas or electric bills over time.
Tankless water heaters have the longest life span, typically lasting 20-plus years with proper maintenance.
Storage tank water heaters will typically last around 8-15 years. They tend to wear out more quickly because minerals collect in the stored water and eventually corrode the heating element and the water tank itself. You can tell that your conventional water heater is wearing out when you get cold water more quickly, among other signs.
Most Hot Water
Storage tank water heaters can provide you with a large amount of hot water at once. But once the tank is empty, you’ll have to wait for it to refill and heat the water with natural gas.
Tankless models can keep up with all your demands because they heat water as you need it via a heat exchanger. This means they can provide an endless stream of hot water.
Most Space Saving
A tankless water heater is more space efficient because it doesn’t have a tank. They can be installed under the sink, in an alcove or on the wall to save floor space. Tank style water heaters need to be installed on the floor and typically need more space.
However, if you do tankless water heater installation, keep in mind that it will still need venting pipes like any other natural gas appliance. You may also need to upgrade your gas lines to accommodate your new water heater. Take note—this only applies for gas units, as electric tankless heaters won’t need to be vented.
Upgrading Your Water Heater is Easy with AC Mechanical
When upgrading your water heater, you’ll want to consider the convenience of a conventional storage water heater or whole house tankless heaters, as well as how much hot water supply you need. You may also be interested in affordability and keeping energy bills low.
The best way to find out which is right for you is by talking with our team at AC Mechanical! We’ll walk through all the different models we offer so that you can make an informed decision about what type of water heater will work best for your household.
Give us a call today at 307-778-0515 to get your free estimate for water heater installation in Cheyenne.