Tank Versus Tankless Water Heaters | What’s Right for Your Home?

If you are looking for a new water heater for your home, it can be overwhelming. Water heaters, regardless of traditional tank or tankless, are costly investments for homeowners. Whether you’re a new homeowner with first time construction or you’re replacing an old system, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of tank versus tankless water heaters to help you decide what is right for your home.

How Does your Home’s Water Heater Work?

Before we jump into tank versus tankless water heaters, we wanted to provide a quick refresher as to what your home’s water heater is and how it works.

As the name implies, a water heater does just that; it heats the water in your home. You use this water to shower, wash your hands, cook and clean, and more. A water heater takes cold water from a water supply pipe and heats it up to create warmer water. The heater then pumps the water throughout your home when you open a tap or use an appliance that needs hot water.

The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years. With the right annual maintenance and upkeep, you can extend the life of your water heater by several years, while also making it operate more efficiently. There can come a time where your water heater needs replaced or you need to add an additional unit, that’s when you need to find one that is right for your home and family.

Tank Versus Tankless Water Heaters

If you are looking for a new or additional water heater for your Phoenix area home, you have options. You should understand the different types of water heaters when making your purchasing decisions, and two of the most common, are tank and tankless. We are going to take a deeper look at these two options to help you decide what is right for your home.

Tank Water Heaters:

Storage tank water heaters are found in the majority of homes. Storage water heaters offer a reservoir of hot water that is ready to be used when needed. These units usually have a 10 to 15 year life expectancy and a lower purchase cost than other units; however, you can run out of hot water in the tank and it takes a while to heat more water and energy can be wasted keeping water hot that is not being used. There are two common types of storage tank water heaters: gas and electric.

  • Pros:
    • Lower initial cost
    • Simpler technology; therefore, less and lower maintenance and repair costs
    • Hot water can be used by multiple sources at once
  • Cons:
    • Higher utility bills
    • Occupy more space due to their size
    • Shorter lifespan (10-15 years)
    • You could run out of water in storage

Tankless Water Heaters:

When it comes to tank versus tankless water heaters, tankless are less common, but continue to grow in popularity. Sometimes referred to as “on-demand” water heaters, tankless units work when hot water is on, instead of storing it. With tankless water heaters, when you turn on the hot water, cold water travels through the pipes and into the tankless water heater unit where it is heated by a gas burner or an electric element. Unlike standard hot water heaters that keep gallons of water and constantly heat the water within the tank, with tankless water heaters, the water is not stored in the tank. This creates a constant supply of hot water.

  • Pros:
    • Saves money over time
    • Longer lifespan (20-30 years)
    • Take up much less space than standard water heaters
    • Provide hot water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute, instead of having to wait for water to warm up once it has run out
  • Cons:
    • Higher initial cost
    • Installation, repair, and labor costs are more expensive
    • Require yearly servicing to prevent damage and ensure efficiency
    • Limited flow rate

To Sum it up

When it comes to tank versus tankless water heaters, it really depends on what you are looking and how much hot water you need at a time, where the unit can go, and your long-term goals for the unit and its costs.

If a tankless water heater fits the budget, it can end up saving you money in the long run and have a longer lifespan; however, tankless water heaters can also have output restrictions. Though the water is hot instantly, if there are multiple destinations requiring hot water, one might suffer. Storage tank water heaters offer a reserve of hot water and typically cost less for installation and maintenance, but take up more space, and if you run out of stored hot water, it can take a while for the water to warm up again.

Arizona Comfort Specialists is your Phoenix team of water heater experts. When you’re looking for a water heater replacement in Phoenix and the surrounding area, contact our friendly, professional team at Arizona Comfort Specialists, we will help you find a unit that is right for your home and family.

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