Traditional or Tankless Heaters?

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Are you interested in going green, buying a new house, or just updating the one that you own? Although we literally couldn’t live without it and use it constantly, too often homeowners don’t give two thoughts towards how their house is getting its water. The two main water heater types each have their advantages depending on your situation, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each in the tankless water heater vs. tank matchup. 

How Do Water Heaters Work?

A traditional water heater, or tank water heater, stores around 40 gallons of preheated water inside of the tank. Whenever someone washes their hands with hot water, takes a hot shower, or flips on the dishwasher, the tank empties, then refills, where it heats up and waits for the next usage. A tankless water heater doesn’t store anything at all, and instead uses a high-powered energy source to heat up the water on demand. 

Tankless Water Heaters

These are the new kids on the block in the tankless water heater vs. tank debate. Whether you are concerned with the environment or not, one thing every homeowner can agree on is a desire to save money on the bills every month. This is the single biggest advantage of tankless heaters: they use less energy every single month, up to 34% less. This can add up to savings of over $100 every year. In addition, they frequently have up to twice the total effective lifetime as traditional tanks, which means they needed replacing half as often. They also take up far less space, even able to be installed outside if necessary. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, the biggest drawback is that the tankless variety costs more initially, sometimes significantly more so. 

Traditional Water Heaters

Traditional or tank heaters have been doing a good job for far longer than the tankless variety. The single biggest advantage is that they cost less money in the short term. True, they cost more to operate every month, but if initial cost is just not in the budget than a traditional water heater is a good choice. Just be prepared to replace it, because they typically last 10-15 years. Fortunately, installation is typically far easier thanks to the tank water heater simplicity. Additionally, if your home already has a tank heater it is often far easier to replace it with another one that it can be to retrofit a new tankless heater into the system. However, traditional water heaters can get pretty big- you need ample space for the smaller ones, let alone the 50-gallon variety. 

If you can afford the upfront cost, a tankless heater is a better choice in the long run. However, if initial budget is an issue than a traditional heater is a better choice.