Traditional vs. Tankless Water Heaters

If you need to replace your water heater, you will first need to find out what type of water heater that you want. There are two main types of water heaters: traditional and tankless. In the rest of this blog, I’m going to inform you on what type of water heater that complements your needs.

First off, what exactly is the difference between traditional and tankless water heaters?

Traditional Water Heaters

This type of water heater stores up to 30-50 gallons of water inside the tank. This water is preheated and will be ready to use every time you shower, use the faucet, do the laundry, etc. Once this water is used in the process of your daily needs, it will refill to be reheated once again. This water heater will light at least 8-10 times a day without the hot water actually being used. This is used to keep the water in the tank hot so it can be used when needed.

Tankless Water Heaters

This type of water heater is different from traditional because it doesn’t actually have a tank (Hint: why it’s called a tankless water heater). So how does it work? In this case, the water heater actually uses a heat source. This can be either electric or gas. This heat source warms up the water whenever you need to use it, rather than storing it inside a tank. It is connected to the main water line. Once the hot water is needed, the heat exchanger fires up and heats the water as it is coming through. By the time is gets to you, it is hot and ready to go. This is more economic for the homeowner because the water heater is only on when it is being used. This drives your gas bill down because you don’t have to keep a tank of water heated at all times.

water heater installation
tankless water heater installation

Now that you know the difference between these two types of water heaters, here are the pros and cons of each:

Traditional Water Heaters

Pros:

Lower initial cost - To install a traditional water heater it can be half as much as it would be to install a tankless water heater. Inexpensive to replace - There’s less installation complications, which will save time and money.

Cons:

Higher utility bill - Since the water is being heated and reheated at the same temperature regardless of your water needs, this will cause a higher utility bill monthly for you.

Space required - Traditional water heaters take up more space and also can’t be placed outside.

Can run out of hot water - This happens when the tank you have is too small, especially if your household uses a large amount of hot water (possibly due to having a large amount of family members). A solution to this could be to buy a bigger tank, though this would result in increased energy costs.

Shorter life expectancy - Traditional water heaters last on average about 8-12 years, which is about half as long as the expected life span of a tankless water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters

Pros:

Saves money in the long run - Tankless water heaters can be more energy efficient than a traditional water heater, which leads to less monthly utility costs for your household.

Less space required - They are smaller than traditional water heaters and can even be placed outside as well. Not only that, they have a higher durability, and technicians will likely have either access to a tankless water heater if repair arises.

Life expectancy - 20 years or more.

Delivers hot water on demand - Tankless water heaters provide about 2 to 3 gallons of hot water on demand.

Cons:

Higher initial cost - Cost varies on the model and the company installing it, but is more expensive at first when compared to a traditional water heater.

Replacing a traditional with tankless - It is a more complicated task to replace a traditional water heater with a tankless water heater, so that leads to installation costs being higher.

So, which water heater should you decide to buy? The decision to which water heater a customer should go with depends entirely on that particular customer and their house layout, living situation, and financial capabilities. If you don’t have enough income at the time you need to purchase a water heater a traditional water heater would be a better choice as it is initially cheaper. If you’re settled in your living situation though a tankless water heater could prove to a better choice for you as it has a longer lifespan, as well as being more energy efficient.