Tankless Water Heaters vs. Storage Tank Water Heaters
That massive hot water storage tank in your basement? You know the one. But what if we told you that a water heater the size of a carry-on bag could provide the same quantity of hot water (or more) while saving you at least $100 a year on your power bill? Those are the promises made by tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, which create hot water only when you turn on the water faucet, start a washing machine or dishwasher cycle or do something else that requires hot water.
That’s because they have a reputation for being more energy efficient, which is a desirable trait considering that heating water is the second most expensive utility expense for the average American household after heating and cooling the house itself.
The results were published in the magazine Consumer Reports.
A tankless water heater is a more complicated installation than a storage tank water heater since it requires a plumbing retrofit as well as an upgrade to your electric service or gas lines to enhance the available capacity.
- Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are worth considering if your storage tank water heater is reaching the end of its useful life and you’re interested in conserving both space and energy.
- “They’ve come a long way,” he adds.
- The feeling of “buyer’s regret” may be quite severe, according to him.
- Consumers who are accustomed to obtaining water from a standing tank of previously heated water will find that, while “tankless has its advantages,” there is a slight learning curve to get used to.
- According to the temperature of your groundwater, you may also have to wait for the water to get warm before using it.
- We also calculated the costs of installation for both storage tank and tankless water heaters, as well as the time it would take a homeowner to recoup the investment in a tankless water heater (known as the payback time).
- “It’s a difficult test,” Banta admits.
Tankless heaters for the entire home are meant to provide a specific volume of hot water per minute—3 to 4 gallons per minute in this case—and they did, according to Banta.
They then compared the groups with their conventional storage tank models that used the same fuel.
Tank for storing materials: Stored-tank water heaters are commonly available in capacities ranging from 30 to 60 gallons, with the most popular being 50 gallons.
These tanks continually heat water, either using natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, or propane, in order to have a complete supply of water on hand.
Storage tanks can be as tall as 5 feet and as wide as 2 feet.
If your water heater is located in the basement, you may not be concerned about the amount of room it takes up.
It’s also worth noting that, as a result of current federal energy requirements, a replacement storage tank may take up more room than your old one, even if it has the same capacity, because modern tanks are obliged to have greater insulation than older ones.
According to the energy-saving technologies employed, tanks holding 55 gallons or more would necessitate even more floor space than smaller tanks.
Instead, they heat the water as it flows through the unit, employing a heat exchanger to quickly bring it up to the proper operating temperature.
Tankless water heaters for the entire home attach on the wall, saving you valuable floor space and fitting into narrow areas.
Tank style water heaters are less costly than tankless water heaters since they store water in a tank.
However, we have seen tank water heaters priced for less at home improvement stores, and tanks with greater capacities or energy-efficiency enhancements cost more.
However, most manufacturers recommend that you hire a licensed plumber, and you may need one because tank water heaters have altered in recent years to meet more stringent energy efficiency rules.
If the current hookups are suitable, the cost can be as low as $600.
The prices of the nine devices we tested ranged from $525 to $1,150.
The venting and gas supply requirements of gas tankless models may differ from those of conventional tankless models, necessitating a larger diameter pipe connecting the water heater and the gas meter.
Tankless water heaters should only be installed by licensed electricians or plumbers, according to the manufacturers.
In order to evaluate the performance of traditional water heaters with tankless systems, we included two conventional water heaters in our testing as a control.
A few discrepancies in performance between the gas and electric types were observed while using the tankless model (see below).
(the amount of running water needed for the heater to kick in).
Electric models, on the other hand, may be more suited to locations with warmer groundwater, like as the southern United States.
Both are rated as Good in terms of energy efficiency.
Tankless: Tankless water heaters, whether gas or electric, operate more effectively than conventional water heaters of the same fuel type.
Using the same rates as previously, the yearly running costs for a gas tankless water heater are $195 and $535, respectively.
The rising cost of power, he explains, makes electric models more expensive to operate.
Storage tank: Our payback estimates are based on replacing a 50-gallon storage tank water heater with a tankless water heater, and then calculating how much it costs to operate the tankless type and how much energy it saves in comparison.
Tankless: We calculated an installation cost of $1,250 for a gas tankless system and a slightly lower cost of $1,150 for an electric tankless system.
The payback time for replacing a traditional electric tank with an electric tankless ranges from 12 to 20 years for an electric type, assuming energy prices of $0.132 per KWh.
For one thing, removing a huge tank requires far more time and work than removing the significantly smaller tankless units.
It doesn’t make financial sense to replace a tank water heater with a tankless water heater if you have a guarantee that lasts 12 to 15 years, as is normal, according to Banta.
To flush away sediment from a tank water heater, manufacturers also recommend that you drain the tank water heater on a regular basis.
It’s also a good idea to clear out the sediment filter on the heater on an ongoing basis.
The frequency with which you should flush your tankless water heater is determined by the quality of your water.
It makes a difference whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing one, and whether you want to save on space, have unlimited hot water, or enhance energy efficiency during the process.
If you rely on electricity to heat your water, you have an option that is superior to either a standard tank or a tankless water heater: a solar-powered water heater.
While it features a holding tank, similar to a typical water heater, the heat pump mounted on top of the tank absorbs warm air from the surrounding environment and transfers it to the water—sort of like a refrigerator operating backwards.
That is one of the reasons why it is so energy efficient.
“Heat pumps also have heating elements, just like conventional water heaters,” adds Banta.
Efficiency was excellent, and yearly running expenses were modest, at about $240 per year on average.
If you’re thinking about installing an electric heat pump, be sure you understand the space requirements.
They also require around 1,000 cubic feet of surrounding air to draw from, which is approximately the amount of air that circulates in a 12-by-12-foot space.
Depending on whether you are installing a new water heater or replacing an existing one, you may be eligible for a rebate from your local utility provider, which can help to cover some of the costs.
Knowing from an early age that I aspired to be a journalist, I decided to spruce up my byline by adding the middle letters “H.J.” to it.
Having worked in both print and online journalism, I’ve held positions at People magazine, MSNBC, the Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping and as a want tobe Consumer Reports online. However, the genuine article is far superior. You may follow me on Twitter.
Tankless hot water heaters vs Tank storage water heaters.
Water heaters may be a pricey purchase for homeowners, especially if you plan on staying in your house for more than a decade. As a result, when it comes time to furnish your new home or replace your old water heater, it is critical to evaluate the cost, efficiency, and durability of your new water heater. The following comparison of storage water heaters vs tankless water heaters is intended to assist homeowners and contractors in deciding on the kind of water heater that will work best for them.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, utilize high-powered burners to rapidly heat water as it passes through a heat exchanger, allowing it to be delivered straight to your taps or shower without the need to store it in a storage tank beforehand. Water heaters that do not require a tank are often fueled by electricity or gas. In studies done by Consumer Reports, it was shown that these sorts of water heaters were on average 22 percent more energy efficient than gas-fired storage-tank versions.
How are “Traditional” Tank Storage Water Heaters Different?
Storage tank water heaters are prevalent in most households, and they provide plenty hot water. Their main component is an insulated tank, which can normally contain 30-50 gallons of water and is used to heat and store the water until it is required. In order to bring hot water to its destination, such as the kitchen, the bathroom, or other sinks, a pipe emerges from the top. Storage-tank water heaters are often powered by either natural gas or electricity, depending on the model. Natural gas storage-tank water heaters consume about half the energy of electric storage-tank water heaters and run at a fraction of the cost.
They also have a temperature and pressure release valve, which opens when either the temperature or the pressure exceeds the predetermined values.
Tankless Water Heater Energy Efficiency
On-demand (tankless) water heaters provide between 24 and 34 percent more energy efficiency than storage tank water heaters for homeowners who use less than 41 gallons or less of hot water per day. Storage tank water heaters provide between 24 and 34 percent greater energy efficiency. It is possible to gain an extra 8 to 14 percent in energy efficiency if you consume large amounts of hot water on a daily basis (about 86 gallons). When comparing tankless water heaters and traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless varieties have a longer useful life than conventional models, which translates to a 20+-year useful life as opposed to storage tank types, which have a useful life of 10 to 15 years before self-destructing and flooding your basement or home, depending on where they are located in your home.
In order to “hit a home run,” it is recommended that a tankless water heater be installed at each hot water outlet. Why? On-demand water heaters installed at all hot water outlets in your home can result in energy savings of 27 to 50 percent, depending on your usage pattern.
ProsCons of Tankless Water Heaters
Because there are no ideal goods (tankless water heaters are no exception), there are advantages and disadvantages to on-demand water heaters, as with any other product.
Tankless Water Heater Advantages:
- Over time, it saves you money. According to Energy.gov, “demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24 percent to 34 percent more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily.” Demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24 percent to 34 percent more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Tankless water heaters (especially if they are gas-fueled) can save households more than $100 per year if they are kept in operation for a long time. According to the United States Department of Energy, electric tankless water heaters continue to save homeowners around $44 per year. Water heaters with a longer useful life than storage tank water heaters Tankless water heaters generally have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, which is double the expected usable life of a storage tank water heater, according to the manufacturer. Keep in mind that places with “hard water” may see a reduction in the usable life of both types of water heaters. It does not take up the same amount of room as a storage tank water heater. As a result of their size, on-demand water heaters may be put in “close quarters.” They can also be put on the outside of your home if you have a very limited amount of available space. You will have access to hot water anytime you require it. When you use a tankless water heater, you won’t even have to wait 15 to 25 seconds for your water to get hot because they produce two to three gallons of hot water each minute. As a result of the increased amount of water they must heat, many storage tank water heaters take longer to heat water than tankless water heaters
- However, this is not always the case.
Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters:
- Water heaters with storage tanks have a higher initial purchase cost. It can be very expensive to install a tankless water heater, especially if you’re replacing an existing storage tank water heater with a tankless water heater. Because it is more difficult to relocate existing pipe when you opt to retrofit a tankless water heater instead of a storage tank water heater, your plumber-installer will require more time, which will increase the installation cost, when replacing a storage tank water heater. They have the potential to be “output challenged.” When you are taking showers and doing laundry at the same time, your tankless water heater may not be able to keep up with the demand for hot water placed on it. With many showers in your home, it is common for one of the shower-takers to have a “chilly” experience
- However, this is not always the case.
ProsCons of Storage Tank Water Heaters (Tank) Water Heater Advantages:
- Storage tank water heaters have a significantly cheaper starting cost than other types of water heaters. Storage tank water heaters are less complicated to run than tankless models, resulting in less expensive maintenance and repair costs. When tankless water heaters are not operating correctly, their simplicity allows for quick and low-cost repairs to be performed. Tankless water heaters are more complicated and expensive to fix and, of course, to replace than traditional water heaters.
Drawbacks of Storage (Tank) Water Heaters:
- Utility bills that are a little higher
- Because storage tank water heaters heat and then reheat water to a pre-set temperature, regardless of how much hot water you use, they raise your utility rates a little. If these water heaters are operating in a chilly environment (location), they will have to work harder during the winter months, increasing your gas or electric expenditures even more during the cold winter months. Storage tank water heaters require more room than on-demand water heaters due to their larger size
- If you live in a small place, you may have difficulty finding adequate space to accommodate storage tank water heaters. Additionally, unlike tankless water heaters, they cannot be installed outside the home. You don’t want to be the last member of your family to get out of the shower
- If you have a standard home water heater, you may want to upgrade to a larger model if you take multiple showers on a regular basis. While this solution may alleviate the hot water deficit, your energy expenditures may rise in tandem with the reduction in hot water supply. Storage tank water heaters are only capable of supporting three showers in a succession on average. It’s not pleasant to be the fourth shower-taker unless you favor frigid showers rather than hot showers
- Tank-style water heaters must be changed more frequently than tankless water heaters. Given that storage tank water heaters have a lower functional life (approximately a quarter of the life of on-demand water heaters), often 10 to 15 years, you may be required to purchase and install them nearly twice as frequently as tankless water heaters, diminishing your purchasing savings.
A tankless water heater can save you more money over the course of its lifetime if your bank account can handle the greater initial expense of such a water heater. However, if you have a fixed income and a low income, a storage tank water heater may be a better option for you. Talk to the plumber about the two types of water heaters available so that you can assess your alternatives. Having learned about the”good, bad, and ugly”of both major water heater alternatives, you may want to consult with a reputable company, such asPetro Home Services(1-888-735-5651), to assist you determine the kind, size, and brands of water heater you should consider purchasing or renting.
What’s the point of waiting?
- The hot water heater is not functioning properly. When is it time to replace your water heater? Tank and tankless water heaters are both available.
Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters: Which is Right for Your Home?
In the Indianapolis region, homeowners that want dependable hot water have two broad equipment options to select from: tank models and tankless water heaters. Tank models are the most common form of water heater. There is no one optimum option; rather, the greatest option for your home is determined by a number of factors particular to your household and hot water requirements, such as: This comparison of tank vs. tankless water heaters is presented by the plumbing professionals at Williams Comfort Air.
In addition, we evaluate tank and tankless water heaters against one another in a number of areas, allowing you to quickly identify the differences between the two types of water heaters.
Tank and Tankless Water Heaters
There are two major types of water heaters available for use in Indianapolis homes: tank-style water heaters and tankless-style water heaters. Each has a unique role in terms of supplying hot water to your family in order to carry out a variety of activities throughout your house. Let’s take a look at the fundamentals of each type to get a better understanding of your hot water alternatives.
Tank Water Heaters
Tank water heaters are the design that most homeowners are most familiar with — they’ve been around for a long time, and the majority of people are accustomed to having one in their homes. This sort of water heater may also be referred to as a conventional or traditional water heater, due to the fact that it is an older technology that has been the standard in houses for many years. The water heater in a tank model warms the water and then stores it in a tank for use when it is needed. These water heaters are available in a variety of sizes, with tanks generally ranging from 30 to 50 gallons in capacity.
Tank water heaters are powered by either natural gas or electricity.
The water in the tank is maintained at the right temperature at all times, making it ready for use when the faucets are turned on.
The feeling of being the last person in your family to jump in the shower is one you’re probably acquainted with — there isn’t always enough hot water to go around.
They are typically put in utility closets, garage, basements, or even directly in your bathroom, but they may also be installed in other locations.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are a relatively new type of water heating technology that has been presented as an energy-efficient alternative to traditional water heating systems. Their name suggests that they do not utilize a tank to store hot water, as you may have surmised from the name. The question is, where does all of the hot water originate from. Tankless water heaters do not heat water in advance and store it in a reservoir for later use. Instead, they heat water just when it is needed by your faucets and other appliances.
It only consumes electricity when the need for hot water arises.
Tankless water heaters, like tank types, can be powered by natural gas or electricity.
This means they take up less room when installed.
Comparison of Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters
Now that you have a better knowledge of how each form of water heater functions, let’s look at the differences between tank and tankless models. Examine how each model performs in the several areas that are essential to homeowners when choosing a new water heater for their residence.
The installation of a tankless water heater is often more expensive than the installation of a tank style water heater. Equipment and installation for a standard tank water heater costs roughly $1,000, but a tankless water heater costs only a few thousand dollars for the equipment alone. Gas water heaters are often more expensive than electric water heaters on both ends of the spectrum. Of course, the costs of these models vary widely depending on the specs of the model that you choose to purchase.
This is referred to as a retrofit, and your plumber will have to perform additional work to make room for a tankless water heater.
In the end, a tankless water heater will be more expensive to purchase up front than a tank-style unit.
Operating CostsEnergy Savings
Despite the fact that tankless water heaters are more expensive up front, many homeowners prefer this technology because of the energy savings it provides. Over a period of time, the savings created will allow you to recoup the cost of the item you purchased (called a payback period). Water heaters are the third most energy-intensive appliance in the average household. According to the Department of Energy, households that use a tankless water heater instead of a traditional tank model save around $100 per year on energy bills on average.
This is not to suggest that storage tank water heaters are inherently inefficient energy consumers.
When compared to lower efficiency choices, a high efficiency tank water heater may save up to 8% on energy use.
It is possible to save money by installing greater insulation and using more energy-efficient components. An overall benefit of a tankless water heater is that it conserves energy and reduces running expenses.
A tank water heater has an average usable service life of 10 to 15 years, depending on the model. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, have a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years. Water heating equipment’s service life is affected by a variety of factors, including maintenance and water hardness. When it comes to the failure of a tank water heater, there are some damage hazards involved with the installation. Because a high amount of water is stored in the storage tank, a breakdown of the system has the potential to create flooding, which can cause significant damage to your home and belongings.
A tankless water heater provides more protection against water damage in the case of a malfunctioning appliance or system.
Tank style water heaters require significantly more installation area than tankless water heaters, owing to the presence of a storage tank. In order to accommodate a huge water storage tank, you must give up precious square footage that could otherwise be utilized for other purposes. If you have a limited amount of available space, tankless water heaters are an excellent option. Because they are smaller and may be mounted on the wall, they are more readily accommodated in cramped quarters, which is particularly advantageous in smaller households.
Hot Water Usage
The availability of hot water from the water heater is the most important consideration for the majority of households. When it comes to performance, both tank and tankless water heaters differ from one another. Tank water heaters store a large amount of hot water in reserve. The amount of hot water you have to use is determined by how large your storage tank is – when it runs out, you must wait until the tank refills itself. It is possible to solve this problem by purchasing a larger model, but doing so will incur more expenses in terms of installation and operation.
- It is possible for many applications to draw hot water at the same time — two people can shower at the same time, showers can run while the dishwasher or washing machine is running, and so on.
- This implies that if several hot water requests are being met at the same time, there may not be enough hot water to meet the needs of all of the applications.
- Tank water heaters are often advised for comfort in families that use hot water for more than one application at a time, such as washing machines and dishwashers.
- It provides excellent comfort in these situations.
- Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance in determining the best match for your house.
- Whatever type of water heater you choose for your house, Williams Comfort Air can provide you with the high-quality equipment you want.
Please contact us if it is necessary to replace your water heater and to learn more about your alternatives as well as to seek an estimate!
Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters
Known as demand-type water heaters or instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heaters supply hot water only when it is required. They do not generate the standby energy losses typical with storage water heaters, which can result in significant savings in energy costs. You’ll learn the fundamentals of how they function, if a tankless water heater is a good choice for your house, and what factors to consider when choosing the best model for your needs. Take a look at theEnergy Saver 101: Water Heating infographic to determine whether a tankless water heater is the best option for you, and our AskEnergySaver conversation on water heating for additional information on energy-efficient water heating.
How They Work
Tankless water heaters provide fast heating of water without the need for a storage tank. When a hot water faucet is switched on, cold water is sent through a heat exchanger in the unit, where it is heated by either a natural gas burner or an electric element, depending on the device. Consequently, tankless water heaters are able to provide a continuous supply of hot water. The need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with adequate hot water is no longer an issue. The output of a tankless water heater, on the other hand, is limited in terms of flow rate.
- Tankless water heaters that run on natural gas have higher flow rates than those that run on electricity.
- For example, having a shower while also running the dishwasher at the same time might cause a tankless water heater to reach its maximum capacity quickly.
- You may also install separate tankless water heaters for equipment in your house that need a lot of hot water, such as a clothes washer or dishwater.
- Demand water heaters are also used in the following other situations:
- Bathrooms or hot tubs in a remote location
- Increases the efficiency of household appliances such as dishwashers and laundry washers. Thermoelectric booster for a solar water heating system
Advantages and Disadvantages
Demand water heaters can be 24–34 percent more energy efficient than typical storage tank water heaters in residences that utilize 41 gallons or less of hot water per day on average. For houses that utilize a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day – they can be 8 percent to 14 percent more energy efficient than standard models. If you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet, you may be able to achieve even larger energy savings in some circumstances. A tankless water heater will cost more up front than a normal storage water heater, but they will often live longer and have lower operating and energy expenses, which may more than compensate for their higher purchase price in the long run.
- They also feature readily changeable parts, which might potentially increase their lifespan by many years.
- With tankless water heaters, you won’t have to worry about the standby heat losses that come with traditional storage water heaters.
- When compared to a storage water heater, the removal of standby energy losses might sometimes outweigh the savings from using a tankless water heater.
- A tankless water heater’s pilot light has a cost associated with it that differs from one type to the next.
Instead of a standing pilot light, look for versions that contain an intermittent ignition device (IID). This mechanism is similar to the spark ignition system used on certain natural gas furnaces, as well as kitchen ranges and ovens, among other things.
Selecting a Demand Water Heater
Before purchasing a demand water heater, you should take the following factors into consideration:
- Consider the following factors as well when purchasing a demand water heater:
Installation and Maintenance
It is possible to maximize the energy efficiency of your demand water heater with proper installation and maintenance. A variety of elements influence the success of an installation. These considerations include the type of fuel used, the environment, the needs of local construction codes, and safety concerns, particularly with regard to the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. As a result, it is recommended that you use a licensed plumbing and heating professional to install your demand water heater.
- Request written cost estimates, as well as contact information for references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether the firm is legitimate. Check to see if the firm will seek a local permit if one is required and if they are familiar with local building rules.
If you’re determined to install your water heater yourself, first speak with the manufacturer about the best way to proceed. The relevant installation and instruction manuals are normally available from the manufacturer. Contact your municipality for information on acquiring a permit (if one is required) and on water heater installation codes in your area. Periodic water heater maintenance may considerably increase the life of your water heater while also reducing the amount of energy it consumes.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Consider implementing some further energy-saving measures once your demand water heater has been properly built and maintained to help reduce your water heating rates. Some energy-saving gadgets and systems are more cost-effective to install in conjunction with a water heater than they are separately.
Tankless Water Heater vs. Tank Storage Water Heater
Note from the editors: We receive a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. The thoughts and ratings of our editors are not influenced by commissions. In your house, hot water is essential for a variety of tasks such as having that first hot shower in the morning or cleaning filth and stains from clothes. Because this is a result of your hot water heater, you’re probably considering whether you should get a tankless or a traditional water heater. In this section, we’ll compare the two types and provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision about which kind of water heater to purchase for your home.
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Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters
The typical cost of installing a water heater is between $825 and $1,600 dollars. The cost of components and labor will typically run you roughly $1,200 in the usual case. Tankless water heaters are significantly more expensive than their tank-based equivalents, with average expenditures ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 on the high end. Tank water heaters range in price from $300 to $2,000 for the tank itself, and you may anticipate to pay between $45 and $150 per hour for a plumber, whom you should hire for this task because it is highly recommended.
Expect to pay between $300 and $2,500 for a tankless water heater, compared to between $100 and $450 for a tank-style water heater, depending on your location.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, provide hot water on demand. This is due to the fact that they continually supply hot water to your house, regardless of your water usage requirements. An electric or gas-powered tankless water heater utilizes high-powered burners to swiftly heat water and supply it straight to your taps or shower, rather than holding it in a tank. Tankless water heaters are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and they can be installed in any size home.
We’ll look at both categories in more detail below:
Gas-Powered Tankless Water Heaters
Installing a tankless water heater that is fueled by natural gas or propane will cost between $1,000 and $1,500 in most cases. If your property is located near a natural gas line, it will be quite straightforward for you to connect to the existing lines and use natural gas (and you may even be required to do this). If, however, natural gas is not available in your location, you will be need to purchase propane on your own.
Electric-Powered Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless electric water heater is marginally less costly than a tankless gas water heater. Installation of an electric water heater typically ranges from $800 to $1,500 in price. The cheaper price is due to the fact that the installation is considerably simpler than it was previously. Despite this, lengthy heating times and increased electricity bills are two of the most prevalent complaints regarding electric-powered heaters.
What Is a Tank Water Heater?
Storage tank water heaters are still used in around 90 percent of American households. There are significant distinctions between tankless and conventional water heaters, one of which being the presence of a relatively large water tank. Because they generally carry between 40 and 120 gallons of water, these tanks take up a significant amount of unusable room in the home. An underground pipe runs from the top of the water tank down to the faucets in your home. Tank water heaters, like tankless water heaters, are powered by either natural gas or electricity, similar to their tankless counterparts.
Pro and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters vs Tank Water Heaters
Estimates are provided without obligation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When it comes to energy economy, the newest tankless water heaters are by far the most efficient available today. Tankless heaters simply heat the water that is really needed, rather than heating a large volume of water that may or may not be utilized.
This is a considerably more energy-efficient method of heating water. As a result, energy expenses can be reduced by as much as 30% when compared to a tank-style water heater.
Can you get a tax break for having a tankless water heater?
In prior years, qualifying tankless water heaters were eligible for a $300 tax credit when purchased with a qualifying tankless water heater. If you’re considering on acquiring a tankless water heater because of the tax credit, it’s a good idea to conduct your research before making your purchase. The tax credit may change from year to year, so it’s a good idea to do your research before purchasing.
Storage tank water heaters vs. tankless water heaters
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images The purchase of a water heater is seen as a long-term investment and a requirement in every American household. When it comes time to replace your present water heater, do you intend to acquire a storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater, which is more efficient in terms of energy consumption? While a storage water heater is initially more economical, the cost savings over time can mount up quickly. According to the United States Department of Energy, homeowners using tankless water heaters that use less than 41 gallons of hot water per day can save as much as 34 percent on their energy consumption.
That is not to argue, however, that tankless water heaters are the perfect choice for every situation.
Depending on how much hot water is used in the household, storage tank versions may be a more cost-effective solution.
A Smart Home and Appliances Guide from CNET CNET provides smart home reviews and ratings, as well as video reviews, purchasing advice, pricing, and comparisons for various smart home products.
Storage tank water heater
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images The storage tank water heater is the type of water heater that the vast majority of renters and homeowners are familiar with. A standard storage water heater has a capacity ranging from 20 to 80 gallons of water. When the tank is full, it’s heated in the reservoir with whatever fuel source your home has available, whether it’s electric power, natural gas, oil, or propane. Whenever the hot water tap is switched on, hot water is discharged from the tank’s top.
The act of repeatedly heating water in the tank leads to standby heat loss.
The greater the age of the hot water heater, the greater the potential for standby losses to drive up energy expenditures. More information may be found at: How to control the temperature of your water heater.
Tankless water heater
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images It is only when water is needed that a tankless water heater, also known as an instantaneous or on-demand water heater, is activated and warms the water. Water is heated at a rate ranging from 2 to 5 gallons per minute using one of three fuel sources: electricity, natural gas, or propane. Electricity is the most common fuel source. Water heaters with no storage tanks are more energy efficient than those with storage tanks, in part because there is no standby heat loss.
A common source of energy loss with gas-fired tankless heaters is the pilot light that is left on to heat water in the tank in order to give greater flow rates than electric water heaters.
More information may be found at: how to purchase a tankless water heater.
The capacity required for your hot water requirements will decide the pricing range in which your water heater will be sold inside. An electric storage tank water heater will almost always be more cheap than a tankless water heater when only the purchase price is taken into consideration. The price of a storage tank water heater will vary depending on the capacity, fuel source, warranty, brand, and dimensions of the water heater itself. Water heaters typically cost between $300 and $1,500, while certain types and brands can cost as much as $2,000.
Depending on the model, a tankless water heater may be purchased for as little as $150 to as much as $2,500 or more.
If you need to calculate the size of either type of water heater, including storage tank heaters, there are online calculators you can use to help you figure it out.
Installation prices, like the purchase price, vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including your location. Putting in a point-of-use tankless water heater will be the most cost-effective option, followed by storage tank water heaters and finally whole-house tankless water heaters. Storage tank water heater installation costs on average range between $400 and $1,000 per unit. The national average cost to install a tankless water heater is around $2,500, with estimates ranging from as little as $1,000 to as much as $6,000.
With storage tank water heaters, some homeowners can save money by installing them themselves, rather than paying a professional. It is preferable to leave the installation of tankless water heaters to a professional because the process is more involved.
If you get a storage tank water heater with the appropriate capacity, you should not have any problems running out of hot water. This is one of the reasons why the storage tank performs better than the tankless water heater. It is possible that a tankless water heater would struggle to keep up with demand if you often operate the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time. Installation of several tankless water heaters to meet the demands of your family or the installation of a point-of-use type where the water is being utilized will alleviate this problem.
Because of its energy efficiency, tankless water heaters are a viable alternative to traditional storage tank water heating systems. While standby heat loss is a significant contributor to increased energy costs and worse efficiency in storage tank water heaters, investing in an insulated unit can help to mitigate this loss. According to the United States Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are 8 to 34 percent more energy efficient than storage water heaters in terms of operation.
Life of the unit
When comparing the predicted life spans of different types of water heaters, tankless water heaters are expected to outlast their counterparts. Storage tank water heaters are expected to last 10 to 15 years per unit, however tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years or more. One method of extending the life of a storage water heater is to replace theanode rods, which are a component that aids in the slowing of rust and corrosion. The frequency of maintenance is determined by the type of heater used and if the residence has hard or soft water.
When comparing storage tank water heaters vs tankless water heaters, tankless water heaters come out on top in practically every area. The tankless water heater, on the other hand, will cost you more money to acquire and install. Last but not least, if cost is an issue, it is a good idea to utilize calculators to assess capacity requirements and energy consumption in order to establish the break-even threshold for the greater initial cost of the tankless water heater when compared to energy efficiency benefits.
For storage tank models, find out the cost of replacing anode rods and when they should be replaced before purchasing and installing the tank to ensure that it has the longest possible life expectancy.
Tankless Water Heaters: 7 Pros and 6 Cons You Should Know
Compared to typical tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instant water heaters, provide a number of advantages and can be a good long-term investment. However, like with every product, they have their drawbacks, and they are not the best answer for every household situation. Tankless water heaters, in contrast to classic tank-style water heaters, which continually consume electricity to provide a hot water supply, only consume energy when you switch on a hot water faucet or when you use appliances.
In addition to the energy and cost savings, there are a number of other advantages to using a tankless water heater rather than a typical tank-style heater.
The most important drawback of tankless water heaters is that their upfront cost (both for the device and for installation) is substantially greater than that of tank-style water heaters (see chart below).
On average, tankless water heaters are three times more expensive than traditional tank-style water heaters, including installation. Tankless water heaters offer a number of drawbacks as compared to traditional tank-style water heaters, in addition to their high initial costs:
- They take longer to supply hot water
- The temperature of the water is variable when numerous outlets are turned on at the same time
- And they are unable to deliver hot water during a power outage
Making the decision to purchase a tankless water heater is a challenging one, so it’s critical that you grasp all of the facts before making a final decision. The purpose of this essay is to give you with a complete summary of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters so that you can make an informed decision based on your specific scenario. Let’s get this party started. To jump to a certain part, simply click on one of the links below. The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters include the following:
- Energy and cost savings over the long run are a plus. Pros: an unlimited supply of hot water
- A smaller footprint
- A lower risk of leaks and water damage
- And a lower cost. Advantage: There is no danger of the tank exploding. Benefits include a reduced risk of burns and exposure to toxic metals. Pro: A life expectancy of more than 20 years is expected.
The disadvantages of tankless water heaters are as follows:
- The unit and installation are expensive up front, which is a disadvantage. Cons: It takes longer for hot water to be delivered. Cons: Sandwich made with cold water
- If more than one outlet is used, the water temperature does not remain constant. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to get a lukewarm temperature. During a power outage, there is no access to hot water
- Disadvantage The bottom line: Is a tankless water heater a good investment?
Pro: Long-term Energy and Cost Savings
The most significant advantage of tankless water heaters is that they are energy efficient and so save you money over the long term of ownership. When a tank-style water heater is in use, it expends energy continuously to maintain the temperature of a 40 to 50-gallon water supply in order to ensure that hot water is available when it is required. In contrast to traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water on demand rather than maintaining a constant supply of water. The lack of standby heat loss caused by tankless water heaters eliminates the need for regular warming of the water.
- It takes only seconds for the water to be heated and then circulated throughout your home through the pipes, where it is used to flush toilets and wash dishes.
- Water use and the efficiency of your prior tank-style system determine the amount of energy you will save.
- An electric tankless water heater is 24 percent – 34% more efficient than an equivalent gas tank-style heater when you consume less than 41 gallons of hot water per day.
- This is because they are running more often.
- You can save anywhere between 27 percent and 50 percent.
Pro: Unlimited Supply of Hot Water
Consider the following scenario: you return home from a day at the beach with your family and everyone in the house has to shower. The hot water has ran out after the sixth shower in a row, leaving you with no choice but to take a cold shower. That scenario will never occur if you have a tankless water heater installed. Allow me to explain. For each tankless water heater, there is a maximum flow rate; in other words, each tankless water heater can only heat a particular volume of water at any given moment.
For the time being, tankless water heaters provide an unending supply of hot water, provided that your water use is less than the maximum permissible flow rate at any one moment.
Taking a shower for 10 hours (or more) with a tankless water heater will result in water that is as hot as taking a 10-minute shower. This is because tankless water heaters function by heating water from an external source on demand.
Pro: Take Up Less Space
Tankless water heaters are quite advantageous if you have a limited amount of available space in your house. When compared to tank-style water heaters, they are often attached to the wall and take up substantially less physical area than they do. To give you an idea of how tankless and tank-style water heaters compare in terms of size, the average 40 to 50-gallon tank-style heater is 54 to 60 inches tall with a 20-inch diameter and is shaped like a cylinder. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are smaller in size and are typically smaller in capacity.
Tank-style (on the left) versus Tankless (on the right) (right) Unlike tank-style heaters, which take up valuable floor space and are typically found in the basement, tankless heaters are fixed to the wall like a circuit breaker and may be stored in most closets.
Pro: Lower Risk of Leaks and Water Damage
One of the most serious concerns associated with tank-style heaters is that minerals from hard water accumulate within the tank over time, causing corrosion and, eventually, leaks. The absence of a tank means that there is no possibility of leaks or floods with a tankless water heater. This does not rule out the possibility of problems with tankless water heaters. There is a potential that they will encounter issues that will result in leakage, but the likelihood of experiencing a huge leak that floods your whole basement and causes severe damage is remote.
Pro: Zero Risk of Tank Exploding
The current plumbing code mandates that all tank-style water heaters be equipped with a temperature and pressure relief valve, which opens to relieve pressure and prevent the tank from bursting. Temperature and pressure relief valves are two types of relief valves. Minerals and silt from the water might block the valve and prevent it from performing its job effectively over time. When this occurs, a potentially hazardous amount of pressure might build up, putting you in danger. If you have a tank-style water heater, experts recommend that you test the valve at least once a year; find out how to do so in the video below.
Tankless heaters, on the other hand, do not have a tank, thus there is absolutely no possibility of an explosion ever occurring.
Pro: Lower Risk of Burns and Exposure to Toxic Metals
The use of tankless water heaters, according to many experts, is safer than the use of traditional tank water heaters. Beyond the fact that they do not have a tank that may explode, they also offer more accurate temperature control, which means you are less likely to get burnt by hot water when using them. Additionally, as previously stated, tank-style heaters fail over time owing to hard water, which causes the inside lining of the tank to rust and corrode, leading the heater to fail. That mineral buildup and particle accumulation ultimately finds its way into your water pipes, exposing you and your family to potentially dangerous pollutants.
In addition, because tankless water heaters do not store water in a corrosion-prone tank, the water they distribute throughout your house is purer and safer for your skin to drink.
Pro: Life Expectancy of Over 20 Years
I recently released an essay on the issue of how long water heaters last and how to extend the life of your water heater. I hope you will find it informative. Tank-style water heaters have an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years; tankless water heaters, on the other hand, have an average lifespan of more than 20 years. If you’ve already found your “forever home” or want to remain in your current location for an extended period of time, investing in a tankless water heater will prevent you from having to replace your water heater for an extended period of time.
Con: High Upfront Cost of the Unit and Installation
The most significant disadvantage of tankless water heaters is the large initial investment required for the device and its installation. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical cost of a tank-style water heater with a capacity of 40 to 50 gallons, including installation, is $889. Installation of a tankless water heater costs around $3,000 on average. Tankless water heaters are more expensive than traditional water heaters, mostly because of greater installation expenses. Often, more wiring must be added in order to manage the higher load, and/or a new vent pipe must be erected to accommodate the increased load.
Tankless water heaters can also be harmed by hard water (water that contains high quantities of minerals), which makes them work harder and finally fail.
The cost of installing this additional component is added to the total cost of the project.
Please keep in mind that the prices shown above do not include installation.
- Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Tankless Water Heater
- Rheem Performance Plus 8.4 GPM Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater
- Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Tankless Water Heater Rinnai High-Efficiency Plus is a high-efficiency water heater. Natural gas tankless water heater with a flow rate of 11 GPM
Water Heaters in the Form of Tanks (links open listings on HomeDepot.com)
- Rheem Performance 40-gallon tall natural gas tank water heater with a 6-year warranty and 36,000 BTUs of output
- Rheem Performance 30 gal. short 6 year natural gas tank water heater with 30,000 BTUs
- Sure Comfort 40 gal. tall natural gas tank water heater with a 3-year warranty and 34,000 BTUs of output
Con: Take Longer to Deliver Hot Water
Another disadvantage of tankless water heaters is that they create and supply hot water at a slower rate than traditional tank-style water heaters, which increases energy costs. Keep in mind that tankless water heaters do not maintain a constant supply of hot water that is ready to be used whenever you want it. When you turn on a hot water faucet, the water in the pipes is either cold or, at best, room temperature since it is not being used. Once the chilly water has been drained out, hot water will begin to flow through the faucet; however, it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute depending on the distance between the heater and the faucet.
The hot water produced by tank-style heaters is not instantaneous, but because they have a supply ready to go and do not require activation, it reaches the outlet more rapidly.
Con: Cold Water Sandwich
As part of your investigation into tankless water heaters, you’ve almost certainly come across the phrase “cold water sandwich.” Cold water sandwiches occur when you use hot water intermittently, causing you to feel an initial surge of hot water, followed by a cold water rush before the hot water surge returns, soon becoming cold again. It’s important to remember that when you switch the hot water on and off fast, like you would when hand-washing dishes, the pipes still contain hot water in them from just a few seconds earlier.
The experience of eating a cold water sandwich is not a huge problem, but it might be disorienting if you are not used to it.
Con: Inconsistent Water Temperature When Multiple Taps/Showers/Appliances Are in Use
When I first started writing on this topic, I described a scenario in which your family returns home from a day at the beach and everyone has to shower. Using tankless water heaters in this situation allows your entire family to shower side by side without having to worry about running out of hot water at any point. The disadvantage is that tankless water heaters are unable to keep up with the demands of numerous showers operating at the same time. Having a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time is not only a problem with showers; depending on the size of your water heater, you might run into problems if you do both.
The amount of water that a tankless unit can heat in a given length of time is referred to as the flow rate.
The flow rates for each type of outlet are depicted in the chart below to give you a sense of the average flow rates.
|Outlet||Average Flow Rates (GPM)|
|Bathroom Faucet||.5 – 1.5|
|Dish Washer||1 – 1.5|
|Washing Machine (Clothes)||1.5 – 3|
|Shower||2.5 – 3|
The bottom line is that tankless water heaters are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from large units designed to manage large families with a lot of water to tiny ones designed to handle households with little water use. It is critical to assess how much heat you will require for your family and to purchase the suitable size heater. Just keep in mind that if you turn on too many faucets, showers, or appliances at the same time and exceed the flow rate capability of your water heater, the water will not be hot enough.
Con: Difficult to Achieve a Lukewarm Temperature
It is one of the less well-known drawbacks of tankless water heaters that they have difficulties producing water that is just warm enough to bathe in. Due to the fact that tankless water heaters require a minimum volume of water flow before they can be activated, there is a gap between entirely cold water and the coldest warm water that can be created by mixing hot and cold water in a single container.
Because there are very few situations in which you will not be able to attain the temperature you require, this isn’t a major problem, but it is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re the sort of person who truly loves taking chilly showers.
Con: No Access to Hot Water During a Power Outage
When a storm comes through and takes out the power in your home, the hot water in your home is also gone. The energy source for tankless water heaters can be either natural gas or electricity, however even gas-powered tankless water heaters rely on an electric control panel to run the unit. As a result, regardless of the sort of tankless water heater you have, you will be without hot water if your electricity goes out. Compared to tankless water heaters, tank-style water heaters have a major advantage in this category.
Bottom Line: Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth It?
The use of tankless water heaters has a number of advantages over the use of conventional tank-style water heaters. They conserve energy (and so save you money), they give infinite hot water, they are tiny and compact, they never leak, and they do not contribute to the presence of hazardous metals in your drinking water. The best part is that they last twice as long as traditional tank-style water heaters. Alternatively, you’ll have to pay around $3,000 up front, and they deliver variable water temperature in various conditions, as well as leaving you without hot water in the event of a power outage, among other things.
Some basic questions to ask yourself include the following:
- What if you only have $3,000 to invest in an appliance that won’t pay off for several years and you don’t want to risk losing your money? Is your home a new build or do you intend to live there for an extended period of time (10 years or more)? Do you frequently run out of hot water as a result of taking multiple showers in succession? Was it possible for you to profit from additional room in your basement (and who couldn’t? )
If you responded “yes” to any of the questions above, a tankless water heater may be the best option for you. It’s generally best to hold off and stay with a tank-style heater if you responded “no” to one or more of these questions, particularly question1. Tankless water heaters may be found on Amazon and HomeDepot.com, where you can read more about them and see the latest models. On HomeAdvisor.com, you can receive free, no-obligation estimates from specialists in your region to get a general idea of what installation prices will be in your area.
If you found this post to be useful, you may like to read the following articles from the past:
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- What is the average lifespan of a hot water heater? 5 Ways to Make Their Lives Longer
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