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tankless water heater

Water Heaters: Conventional vs. Tankless

If you’re like most homeowners, you still use a conventional storage tank water heater. However, with tankless water heaters growing in popularity, you might be wondering if switching to a tankless model would be more beneficial for you. The truth is that while tankless water heaters do have their advantages, they are not going to meet every household’s needs.

Here is a quick breakdown of storage tank water heaters versus tankless (demand) water heaters.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

How They Work

As their name implies, this type of water heater has a tank full of water that it heats continuously so that hot water can be supplied whenever needed. Storage tank water heaters vary in terms of storage capacity (how much water they can hold) and how the water is heated (electricity, natural gas, propane, etc.). They need to be replaced about every 10 to 15 years.

Who They Benefit the Most

A standard storage tank water heater is adequate to provide enough hot water for a household of three. A larger household will likely need to purchase a higher-capacity model.

Even so, storage tank water heaters tend to be much less expensive to purchase and install than tankless models. The upfront cost of purchasing and installing a tankless water heater (especially if retrofitting or relocating is required) can be prohibitive for many homeowners. The difference can be thousands of dollars.

Tankless (Demand) Water Heaters

How They Work

Water enters the unit, where it gets heated by either a gas or electric heating element. Whereas you often need to wait for a storage tank water heater to fill up with enough hot water to meet your needs, a tankless water heater’s design allows it to bring you an uninterrupted supply of hot water. They need to be replaced about every 20 years.

Who They Benefit the Most

A tankless water heater will work best for households that will not need hot water for multiple uses simultaneously. A single tankless model provides a hot water output of 2 to 5 gallons per minute, depending on the model. However, even the most high-powered unit can struggle to provide enough hot water for a shower and running washing machine at the same time. To keep up with these sorts of hot water demands, it’s best to have two tankless water heaters installed.

If you do switch to using a tankless water heater, you can experience noticeable energy cost savings. For households that use around 86 gallons of water a day, a tankless water heater can be 8% to 14% more efficient than a storage tank model. For households that use around 40 gallons of water a day, a tankless water heater can be 24% to 34% more efficient than a storage tank model.

If you’re in the market for a newer, more energy-efficient water heater, the plumbing experts at ServiceOne Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make a smart purchase for your home and provide you with a worry-free water heater installation.

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