Water heaters don’t come cheap. They are a long-term investment, and as such, they require careful consideration. Whether you are making renovations to your home or replacing your old water heater, countless questions seem to arise. The dilemma that is troubling the majority of buyers nowadays is the following: tankless water heater vs standard water heater.
One should take efficiency, longevity, and cost into account before making a decision. Even more importantly, every buyer should think about his/her personal needs and expectations. After all, a water heater is something you buy every 10 years or more, so you better choose one that will meet your needs.
First things first, let’s learn about both of these types of water heaters, their functions, efficiency, and pros and cons so that we could make a sound decision in the end.
Tankless Water Heaters
As the name suggests, tankless water heaters have no tank, contrary to standard water heaters. They use high-powered burners to instantly heat water running through a heat exchanger. Then, that water is delivered to you through your shower or faucets directly, without having spent any time stored in a tank. These types of heaters are usually powered by gas or electricity.
Normally, tankless water heaters are considered a better and more luxurious option because they are smaller and more efficient than storage-tank models. However, they aren’t perfect for everyone’s needs. Also, they are pretty pricey.
Efficiency, Price, and Installation
Tankless water heaters can be from 24 to 34 percent more energy efficient if you use less than 40 gallons of hot water per day. If you, however, use really a lot of hot water (more than 80 gallons per day), your tankless heater will be even more energy efficient (to be precise, around 8 to 14 percent more).
The price can vary dramatically, depending on the brand, type, and your home. According to Bankrate, the average cost of a tankless water heater, with installation, is around $3,000.
Since they are smaller, tankless water heaters don’t require much space in your home. However, installation isn’t always simple. Depending on the kind of your unit, additional equipment might be required. Also, it is best to hire a professional to install your new tankless water heater, especially if you are replacing standard water heater with a tankless one. With proper installation, tankless heaters can last up to two decades.
- You will save money in the long run
- Extremely efficient
- Endless hot water
- Tankless heaters usually come with a longer warranty
- Higher purchase cost
- Complicated and expensive installation
- Expensive repairs
So, are tankless water heaters worth it? It depends on your current home conditions and your needs. If you need a lot of hot water, and you need it whenever you need it, then yes. Also, if you don’t have to make any major changes to your home to install it, then a tankless heater might be a great choice.
Tank Storage Water Heaters
Tank storage water heaters are very common, and most homes are equipped with one. An insulated tank, that can keep 30-50 gallons of water, heats water and stores it until you want to use it. Water is delivered through pipes that emerge from the top of the tank. This type of heaters can use either electricity or natural gas. Models that work on gas use almost half less energy than those running on electricity.
Efficiency, Price, and Installation
The biggest drawback of standard water heaters is that they waste up to 30 percent of their energy. To compare, tankless ones waste only 5 percent. Also, with tank storage heaters, you have to wait for the water to get hot, and you can also run out of it.
However, they are significantly cheaper. The price of a tank storage heater can vary depending on the size and the specs of your home. According to Home advisor, the average cost is around $900.
Although they are much simpler to install, tank storage water heaters require a lot of space. While you can put your tankless heater almost wherever, you have to find a proper place inside your home for a tank storage heater. Most people put them in their garages or closets. They can be potentially dangerous; if they break, they can flood your home.
Also, standard water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, which is a bit less than tankless ones.
- More affordable initial price
- Easy to install
- Operate in a much simpler way
- Less costly maintenance and repairs
- Waste of energy from standby loss
- Shorter lifespan
- Higher utility bills
- Occupies more space
- If it gets broken, it can flood your home
- You have to wait for the water to heat
- You can run out of hot water
All things considered, who is tank storage water heater perfect for? People who are on a budget will probably opt for this type, as its initial cost is much lower. Also, you won’t have to pay a lot for installation and potential repairs in the future. Furthermore, if your home runs solely on electricity, tank storage heater might be a better option. The average household capacity is around 200 amps, and that might not be enough to support a tankless heater. Take time to make calculations, and if the initial cost and installation of a tankless water heater outweigh your potential savings, it’s better to go with a tank storage heater.
In the case of tankless water heater vs standard water heater, it’s really hard to say which one is better. That is mainly because people have different views on spending, as well as different requirements. Here is a simple way to decide: if you can handle the initial cost and installation of a tankless water heater, go for it. You will definitely save money in the long run.
However, if you are on a fixed budget, a storage tank water heater will probably make more sense to you. Even though it wastes more energy and your bills will be probably a bit higher with it, it is a safer option for budget-friendly users who can’t afford the high initial cost.