Chances are you probably take a hot shower every morning when you get up. Your dishwasher runs on hot water as does your washing machine. Hot water is luxury you most likely take for granted. But where does hot water come from? You hot water heater of course! Whether you’re moving into a new house or it’s time to replace your old water heater, knowing the differences, pros and cons of tank and tankless water heaters will help you make the best decision.
Tank Water Heaters
Tank water heaters have been around since the beginning of modern plumbing. They are sizable containers that hold anywhere from 20-80 gallons of hot water. Once the water is gone, you have to wait for the tank to refill and heat.
The pros of a tank water heater are:
- Minimal upfront cost
- A reliable system that has been perfected over time
- Quick and easy installation
- Readily available back up water supply in the event of an emergency
- Electric tank water heaters don’t always require major changes to the design of your home when they are installed
The cons of tanks water heaters are:
- Shorter lifespan (usually 10-15 years)
- Higher utility bills due to energy spent when the water heater is not in use but must be kept full of water
- Wait time once the tank is emptied and has to refill
- Increased risk of property damage caused by leaks
If you find yourself on a budget or need a unit installed quickly, a tank water heater might be your best option.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are compact devices that heat your water on command using either gas or electricity. Because tankless water heaters have output limits, you’ll need to be cognizant of how much water you use at one time. A common problem for larger families is running out of hot water when everyone is trying to shower at the same time in the morning. With that being said, tankless heaters that run on gas generally have higher output limits than ones that are powered by electricity.
The pros of tankless water heaters are:
- Money, energy and water saved since the machine isn’t running until you turn it on
- Longer lifespan (20 years or more)
- More compact to take up less space
- Longer warranties
The cons of tankless water heaters are:
- More expensive installation and setup costs
- Significant adaptations may have to be made to your home
- The upfront costs may be greater than the money you save over the long term depending on the circumstances
If you already have gas in your house and the cost of installation poses no issue, installing a tankless water heater can save you substantial money on your heating and electric bills every month. If you live in a newer neighborhood where the majority of homes have tankless water heaters, it’s worth considering having one installed so that your homes holds its value should you ever decide to sell.
Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heater
Also called instantaneous or on-demand water heaters, point-of-use water heaters provide hot water the source almost immediately. These units run on electricity and is installed near the source which it heats. If you have an RV, ADU or specific place in your home where you need hot water at a moment’s notice, point-of-use tankless water heaters are a great option.
Whether you’re looking for a new place to live or building your own home it’s easy to get caught up in the fun stuff like countertop designs and hardwood floors. Paying attention to what type of water heater you can afford and is best for your living situation is essential though. Knowing the benefits of each type of water heater not only allows you to make the best choice for your living situation but can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time. If you’re considering installing a new water heater in your home, look no further than the pros at Einstein Plumbing.