Water heaters are an essential appliance that many people take for granted. They play such a large role in the comfort of daily life that many families don’t even realize how often they use the appliance. Determining what type of water heater is best for your home can be a confusing decision. NOW Heating & Air can help deliver some clarity on that decision for your family.
What’s the Difference?
The most obvious difference between a tanked water heater and a tankless is, well, the tank. The typical tanked water heater takes up a lot of space, where the tankless is much smaller because it doesn’t have to hold any water. Tankless water heaters are more expensive, sometimes costing two to three times as much as a tanked system. Tankless also cost more to install, but they are a long-term investment. The savings on energy and longer lifespan with offset those costs over the life of the unit.
The tankless unit heats the water as it’s needed, flowing the water through an exchanger that heats it. The tanked unit heats the water and then stores it for use later. Because the tankless unit only heats the water when there is demand for it, the cost of running these units is much less. Tanked water heaters generally have to run to keep the water heated for use, making the tankless much more energy efficient, and that lowers energy bills.
What Are the Benefits of Tankless?
That energy efficiency is the biggest benefit of moving to a tankless water heater. It’s eco-friendly, and can lower your utility bills because it only heats the water as you need it. Because of that energy efficiency, the tankless water heater generally has a longer lifespan. Most tankless water heaters can last two decades or more, compared to the 10-15 years of a tanked water heater.
Tankless water heaters also take up less space, because they don’t need any room for a bulky tank. That makes them more flexible in where they can be placed. Instead of clearing out a corner of your basement or garage, tankless units can be installed near an electrical outlet. If you have a conventional tanked water heater, and it’s running off of electricity, it is definitely worth considering switching to a tankless unit.
What Are the Benefits of Tanked?
Conventional tanked water heaters are typically less expensive than the tankless alternative. That up-front cost can be a deal breaker for a lot of buyers, even if the tankless units can provide savings down the line. Maintenance on tanked water heaters is generally simpler, meaning lower maintenance costs as well.
Depending on the size of a tankless unit, it might not be able to maintain multiple appliances – such as a dishwasher and washing machine – running at the same time. That could point to needing more than one tankless water heater to keep up with the demand, and that points to the issue of cost again. Tanked heaters have plenty of water in reserve, so this isn’t generally an issue. That’s why it’s important to talk to an expert to find out if a tanked or tankless water heater is right for your family’s demands.
The decision partly comes down to preference, but there are other more important factors in play. While the tankless is more energy efficient, but has a higher cost up front. The more conventional tanked water heater is generally more affordable, but takes up more space and has a limited capacity for hot water. For more information or a consultation on which might be right for your family’s needs, contact Denver’s water heater experts at NOW Heating & Air today.