Are you planning to upgrade your water heater system? Choosing between a tank and tankless water heater can be quite tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with how these systems work. With various factors to consider, it’s vital to know which one fits your needs and budget. So let’s talk about the difference between tankless and tank water heaters and guide you in choosing the right one for your home.

How Tank Water Heaters Work

A tank water heater is an appliance that stores hot water in a large tank. The water is heated with gas or electric elements, which are maintained at a constant temperature. Once you turn on the faucet, the hot water in the tank flows to the plumbing system. A tank water heater can store a large amount of water, making it available on demand. However, this type of system has some downsides, such as limited storage capacity, long wait times for hot water, and higher energy consumption.

  • Pros: A tank water heater has a lower upfront cost, is easy to install, and requires minimal maintenance. 
  • Cons: This type of system means that you may have to sacrifice some storage space, have long wait times for hot water, and have higher energy consumption

Getting the Right Tank Size

If you decide to go with a tank water heater, you’ll need to decide on the right tank size. Choosing the right tank size is essential since it affects energy efficiency and cost savings. Tank water heaters come in a range of sizes, from 20-80 gallons. You’ll also want to consider factors such as the size of your household and how often you use hot water.

Tankless Water Heaters

Unlike tank water heaters, tankless water heaters don’t store hot water. Instead, they heat water on demand as it flows through a heat exchanger. This way, you only get hot water when you need it, eliminating the need to store water. However, they cost more than tank water heaters and require professional installation.

  • Pros: These systems require less space than tank water heaters, use less energy, and have a longer lifespan. Additionally, they can provide a continuous supply of hot water. 
  • Con: However, they may cost more upfront, have flow rate limitations, and require professional installation.

Comparing Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

When it comes to energy efficiency and cost savings, tankless water heaters are more efficient than tank water heaters. Since a tankless system only heats the water when you need it, it doesn’t waste energy by heating and reheating water—helping you save on your energy bills. Depending on how much water your family uses, tankless water heaters can be up to 35% more energy efficient than tank water heaters.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

Apart from energy efficiency, homeowners should also consider their specific needs and space accommodations.

Space requirements

If you have limited space in your home, a tankless system may be more suitable since it takes up less room.

Water usage

Tankless systems are better for households with high hot water usage since they can provide an endless supply of hot water. On the other hand, tank water heaters are best suited for households that don’t use too much hot water.

Long-term Maintenance

When it comes to long-term maintenance, tank water heaters require more frequent flushing than tankless systems. Tankless systems also require special filters and periodic descaling to maintain their efficiency.

Cost Comparison—Initial Vs. Operational

Tankless heaters tend to cost more upfront than tank systems, but they can save you money in the long run. Tank water heaters are cheaper initially, but their operational costs may be higher due to lower energy efficiency.

Get a Professional Consultation

If you’re having trouble deciding which water heater system works best for your home, seek professional assistance. A qualified technician can evaluate your hot water needs and provide recommendations on the best unit for your home. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions that you may have about the installation and maintenance of the water heater system.

Choose Three Kings Plumbing for Your Plumbing Needs

Three Kings Plumbing is dedicated to providing top-notch plumbing services for all your water heater needs. We provide professional installation and maintenance of water heaters, as well as troubleshooting, repair, and replacement services. Our team of experienced technicians will help you find the right system that meets your needs and budget. Contact us today to get started!