One of the easiest appliances to take for granted in homes today is the water heater—even though they’re also one of the appliances we rely on most from day to day (could you imagine never taking a hot shower again?)
When it comes time to replace your water heater, you may think it’s a fairly straightforward process. You already have a storage tank model water heater, so why not stick with that now? And it’s electric powered, so you’ll buy another electric-powered system.
What if we told you there is another option, though, and it could save you considerable money? It’s not right for every home, but it’s the perfect choice for many—the tankless water heater.
There’s Nothing Wrong with a Tank Water Heater….
In fact, storage tank-model water heaters are the most common, and typically what you’ll see in just about any older home. They do the job that’s required of them at a relatively low price. Tanks are also available in a number of sizes, by the gallon.
The reason it comes in different sizes is simple—one a storage tank water heater’s hot water supply runs out, you’ll have to wait a considerable amount of time for more water to heat up. So while a small family may be able to get by with a 30 gallon tank, a larger family may need 40 gallons or more.
But you don’t want to go too big, since any hot water that goes unused will suffer from standby heat loss, therefore wasting hot water and the energy it took to heat the water. This is a main reason people are choosing to go tankless, which we’ll elaborate on in a minute.
Just not that installing a tank that is too large for your needs has no benefit, and can be just as inefficient as one that is too small.
That said, one last benefit of a tank system is that they’re available in both gas and electric. Both are affordable, though natural gas tends to be even more so. Electric systems are great for homes that don’t have ready access to natural gas.
… But Could a Tankless Water Heater be the Better Choice for Your Home?
As the name suggests, a tankless water heater does not use a storage tank to hold heated water. Rather, these systems create hot water through electrical resistance—the hot water only comes on as you need it. This is known as on-demand heating.
So, tankless water heaters are highly efficient! No standby heat loss means no energy is wasted—which as we mentioned above is a huge reason homeowners are choosing to go this route. Additionally, tankless water heaters can typically last around 5-10 years longer than the average storage tank water heater as long as it is well cared for and maintained.
One last point of consideration, is that tankless systems do have limitations. This “on-demand” water heating is great, but your tankless water heater can be overwhelmed if too many hot water taps are on at once (i.e. if one person is showering while another is doing dishes and you have your washing machine going). Our staff is happy to discuss your options with you and see which water heater would be best, but we will say in general that tankless water heaters are usually a great choice for smaller households.