Traditional vs Tankless Water Heaters - Which is best for your home?

  Blakeslee and Son   Dec 15, 2016   water heater maintenance, tankless water heater, Plumbing 0 Comments

Carpet or wood? Granite or laminate counter-tops? Ceiling fans or no ceiling fans?

These are just a few choices that homeowners make to get their homes looking and feeling exactly how they want them to.

Another (maybe not so glamorous choice) that homeowners have to make is the one between a traditional water heater and a tankless water heater. While every home is different and there are a lot of different variables to consider, here are a few of the main things to keep in mind when you are searching the market for a new water heater.


Traditional Water Heater Tankless Water Heater 
Capacity of Heater

Come in a variety of sizes, with storage tanks ranging in size from 20 - 200 gallons.

As the name implies, the units don't have a tank to store any water. But most tankless heaters can provide 2 - 4 gallons of hot water per minute.
Household's Water Use

Tank water heaters are the traditional standard for home builders. They offer many different capacities (40, 50, 65+ gallons) depending on size of home and number of people living within the home. However, there are a few limitations to how long the supply of hot water will last based on your family’s use.

Tankless also offers different models. Larger ones, that can offer radiant in-floor heating along with continuous hot water supply; medium models to offer families availability to operate appliances at the same time with a shower or bath; and smaller units for economical homes that have a single bathroom and fewer appliances.
Unit Lifespan

On average, these units tend to last 10 -12 years and some have a 12 year warranty. However, it is up to the consumer to do their research as many units only offer 1 year for parts & 6 years is the average warranty on the internal tank only.

On average tankless units tend to last longer than their traditional counterparts, with life spans of 15 - 20 years. Any homeowner who is looking to switch to tankless should also check into the manufacturer’s warranty program, and familiarize themselves with recommended routine maintenance to keep it operating for its full lifespan.

Future Maintenance

It is recommended that you have your water heater serviced by a professional on a regular basis to ensure the manufacturer’s warranty will be honored if a future repair is necessary. Many homeowners will try to complete simple annual maintenances themselves, but find it difficult to process a claim with the manufacturer as there isn’t paperwork documenting the maintenance was being performed.

Tankless units have a more complex internal heat exchanger system, so again, the homeowner should have it routinely serviced by a professional so the warranty will not be voided if future repairs, or replacement of parts is required during the life of the system.
Energy Use 

While these units have become much more energy efficient in recent years, they still use quite a bit of energy. Particularly if they have large reservoirs of water. The unit is forced to repeatedly ignite the burner for enough time to reheat the tanks’ reservoir to its preset temperature. Higher utility bills are the result with keeping your water hot

According to Consumer Reports, tankless water heaters are on average 22% more energy efficient than traditional water heaters.
Available Space

These units are something you may want to avoid if you have a small home or new construction. They can be quite large and take up a lot of space because of the storage tanks. If your home has an older water heater, now is the best time to decide if you are ready to change the system

In addition to offering larger units which offer continuous hot water for bigger homes & families, there are also units so small that they can even be mounted below a sink. They are a great option when space is at a premium.

If you have additional questions about which type of water heater is the best fit for your home, our expert technicians can help. They can also design a plumbing system specifically tailored to your home and needs. We look forward to helping you answer any questions and providing you with the perfect water heating system for your household needs.

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