Tankless vs. Conventional Water Heater
Mar 25, 2016
There is nothing quite like coming home after a long day and taking a hot shower or bath. However, you may not be able to do that if your water heater is not working properly. Whether you are looking to replace your old water heater or you have moved into a new home that needs a new one, deciding the right water heater for your home can be tricky. The primary choice is between whether you get a conventional one or one that is tankless. To make your life a little easier, we’ve listed the benefits and drawbacks for both models.
A Conventional Water Heater
A conventional water heater stores preheated water in a tank. Then, when individuals in the house take a shower, do the laundry, or wash the dishes, they can use hot water. The tank usually holds between 30 to 50 gallons of water.
The pros include:
- Lower upfront costs – The general set up of a traditional water heater can take less time and effort. Thus, homeowners can save on the costs.
- Familiar technology – The conventional water heater has been used for a long period of time. Most plumbers and technicians are familiar with the straightforward system.
- Easy repair and replacement – If the traditional water heater needs repairs or needs to be replaced, it is relatively easier to do. The easier to manage system makes repairs less complicated.
The cons include:
- Higher utility bill – Because conventional heaters are always on, they use more energy. They constantly heat and re-heat water, regardless of whether hot water is needed.
- Limited output of water – Traditional water heaters usually hold between 30-50 gallons of water. If you have a large family who constantly washes, this water can go quickly. The heater will then need time to heat additional water supplies.
- Bulky – The conventional water heater tends to be bigger and takes up more space.
- Shorter life span – The average conventional water heater lasts 10-15 years. This means, you may end up buying these more often than tankless heaters.
A Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater uses either electricity or gas to heat water on demand. Rather than storing the water in a tank, it produces the hot water instantly whenever you need it.
The pros include:
- Energy efficient – Tankless water heaters use less energy than conventional ones because they heat as you go. That means your energy bill will not be as expensive.
- Lasts longer – The average tankless water heater lasts over 20 years. This means that you will need to replace it less often.
- Doesn’t take much space – Because a tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank, it’s not as big or heavy. This means it will take less space in your home.
The cons include:
- High initial costs – Tankless water heaters can be complicated to install, meaning a higher setup cost. While conventional heaters will cost buyers around $300 to set up, tankless heaters usually start around $1,000.
- Easily overwhelmed – One of the benefits of tankless water heaters is that they heat water when you need it. However, this might also be a negative, if you have a large household. The higher demand of hot water can overwhelm the heating unit.
If you’re still wondering which water heater will be the best for your house, here are some questions to ask:
- Do I need hot water for one bathroom / area or the whole house?
- How often do I need hot water?
- Where will I put the water heater?
- How much space do I have?
Examining your current situation should give you a better sense of what you need. Whether you want a conventional or a tankless water heater, our plumbers at bluefrog can help. Call today to schedule an appointment for a free estimate!