Whether your home’s water heater is ready to be replaced or you’re choosing a system for a new home, you may be wondering which type of water heater is best for your hot water needs. To help you decide, here’s an overview of two of the most popular types of water heaters along with a few key features and benefits of each.
Tank water heaters. Tank water heaters store and heat water in a large tank. The tank typically holds 30 to 50 gallons of water, but larger tank sizes are available. Tank systems store hot water and keep it heated to a set temperature all the time, independent of demand. Tank water heaters are available in electric, gas, and hybrid electric heat pump models.
- Low initial cost
- Easy to install, repair, and replace
- Consistent, reliable hot water supply
- Less sensitive to hard water mineral buildup than a tankless system
- Uses energy to constantly keep water hot, even when it’s not needed
- Hot water supply is limited to tank size
- Large space required for tank (11 sq. ft. of wall space plus 4 sq. ft. of floor space for 40 gallon tank)
- Tank rupture can cause water damage
- 8 to 15 year lifespan
Tankless water heaters. A tankless water heater heats water on demand, as opposed to heating it all of the time. In a tankless system, a heat exchanger is activated when hot water is turned on, and the water passes through the heat exchanger at the moment of demand. Tankless water heaters are popular because they are small and can be installed under a sink, near an appliance, or in a cabinet near the point of use. Tankless water heaters also come in larger sizes and can be installed for whole-house use. This option is available in electric and gas models.
- Uses energy only when hot water is in demand
- Provides unlimited hot water
- Uses up to 80% less space than tank system
- No risk of water damage (no tank failure)
- Saves energy costs by only heating water when it’s needed
- 20+ year lifespan
- Higher initial cost
- More complicated to install, repair, replace
- Requires annual servicing
- May need to be drained when not in use in colder climates
- Greater sensitivity to hard water mineral buildup
If it’s time to select a new water heater and you need some advice, request an appointment with a trusted IT Landes plumber. To learn more about our water heater options, including tankless systems, visit itlandes.com/water-heater-installation.