Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters - National Refrigeration Blog

Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters

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Water heaters are one of the most essential systems used in modern homes; they are vital for comfortable bathing and sanitizing dishes and laundry. Investing in a water heater that suits your needs and budget is paramount but sorting through the seemingly endless options can be overwhelming. One way to simplify this search is by accessing which category of water heater is best for you: a storage tank water heater or a tankless system.

Professional plumbers can evaluate and perform maintenance on your hot water system.

Traditional Storage Tank Water Heaters

Tank water heaters are the most common type of water heater. They work by storing hot water in an insulated tank which is then pumped throughout the home. These systems run electrically or by natural gas.

Some pros to using a storage tank water heater include:

  • Lower upfront cost, compared to tankless water heaters.
  • Repairs on tank water heaters are, for the most part, inexpensive.
  • Tanked units are convenient and easy to maintain.
  • You have the flexibility to choose whether you want to use natural gas or electricity as an energy source.
A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, doesn't store hot water but heats it as it moves through the unit. The burners inside the unit allow an endless supply of water to run through it, so you never run out.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, doesn’t store hot water but heats it as it moves through the unit. The burners inside the unit allow an endless supply of water to run through it, so you never run out. Homes or businesses that use a significant amount of hot water are ideal candidates for this type of water heater. More pros for choosing a tankless hot water heater are:

  • They are very efficient. According to energy.gov, “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day.” The more efficient the unit, the more you’ll save on your utility bill.
  • Tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of over 20 years. (Compared to storage tank water heaters which last only eight to twelve years.)
  • They are effective. Tankless water heaters deliver 2-3 gallons of hot water per minute and provide hot water on-demand. This means most people will not have to wait more than 15-25 seconds for hot water.
  • Long-term cost savings in utility bills combined with the longer life expectancy make this a good investment for those looking to save money in the long run.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both types of hot water heaters, and the right choice will be different for everyone. A trained professional can aid you in comparing efficiency, effectiveness, maintenance, lifespan, and upfront cost to find the right hot water heater for you and your home.

If you’re looking for one-on-one expert advice about your HVAC options in New England, contact the National Refrigeration team, and we’ll find the right system for you.


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