A new water heater is an investment in something that you and your family will use daily. To decide which one will be most beneficial, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both tankless and traditional water heaters.

Here’s everything that you need to know about how to choose a new water heater and the benefits of each type.

What’s The Difference Between A Tankless And A Traditional Water Heater?

Both traditional and tankless water heaters have unique functions and many different benefits. They differ in the way that they produce hot water and the way they are set up.

Traditional water heaters are known for having a water storage tank that holds 30-50 gallons of water. The water is pre-heated so that when you go to use it, it’s already hot. When you’ve used all of the hot water, the heater will then begin to preheat another 30-50 gallons of water. It repeats this cycle over and over again.

Tankless water heaters are water heaters that don’t have a water storage tank and heat water only as needed creating an “on-demand” system. This is done by using your home’s power supply, whether that be gas, propane, or electricity.

Tankless vs Traditional Water Heaters: Pros and Cons

Knowing the pros and cons of both types of water heaters will help you in your decision to choose a new one for your home. Let’s dive into the perks and downfalls of each type of unit.

Traditional Water Heater

  • Increase Hot Water Flow. Traditional water heaters are set up to make sure that hot water steadily flows and doesn’t get cold. This happens because the water is preheated before being used. This can help when using multiple appliances such as the shower and washing machine at the same time.
  • Simple Replacement. Since these water heaters are the more common water heaters in residential homes, it make replacement and repair much more accessible and easier for plumbers.
  • Installation Cost. Your home is already set up with the necessary plumbing components for traditional water heaters. This makes the installation process easier and more smooth which will save you money upfront. When you compare the cost of installation between tankless and traditional water heaters, traditional units will come out to be about half that of a tankless unit.
  • Uses More Energy. The water is pre-heated to a specific pre-set thermostat setting. Because the water heater will continually re-heat the water, your unit will always be running which will take more energy.
  • Short Lifespan. A traditional water heater lasts a shorter amount of time than a tankless heater with 10-15 years being its lifespan.
  • Takes Up Space. Due to the bulky, large storage tank, this unit will take up more space making them less preferred for small areas. They also need to be in a covered area such as a closet.

Tankless Water Heater

  • Energy Efficiency. Due to this kind of unit only heating the amount of water that is in use, it will save your home energy. If you use about 41 gallons of water per day you can expect to save as much as 24%-34% more energy.
  • Prolonged Hot Water. Tankless water heaters are great for hot water that stays hot for a longer amount of time since it only heats up what you are using.
  • Saves Money. Because these units have a higher energy-efficient rating, you’ll save money on your monthly energy bill. This is particularly true in areas that have a high energy cost.
  • Saves Space. These units are ideal for small areas because they don’t have a water storage tank that needs extra space.
  • Restricted to One Appliance. Since these units only heat the water that is being used, it may cause your hot water to go in and out if you’re trying to run multiple appliances at one time. The workaround for this would be to install a second unit or only run one appliance at a time.
  • Initial Investment. The installation of these water heaters is more complicated than traditional units so it may cost more to install them. You can expect to pay $500-$1,500 for the unit itself depending on your home’s power source. If this is the route you want to go your unit will pay for itself within the first 3 years because of its energy-saving features.
  • Power Dependent. If you live in an area that is subject to frequent power outages, you may not want to get this kind of water heater. Even if your home is powered by gas or propane, these units still need electricity to heat the water.

Now that you know all the pros and cons of each type of water heater, you’re ready to start shopping for a new unit.

The plumbers at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air are ready to help advise you further on which water heater is best for your home and provide a smooth installation process. Give us a call today for a consultation!

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