AO Smith water heater

What's the Difference?

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 vs tankless water heaters

Arizona Comfort Specialists are here to compare traditional storage water heaters and tankless water heaters, so you can decide what is right for your home.

Pros and cons of Tank water Heaters

What is a Traditional Tank Water Heater?

Storage tank water heaters are found in the majority of homes. Essentially, a tank water heater is an insulated tank that holds between 30 and 50 gallons of water. This tank is used to heat and store the water until it's needed at it's destination. Destinations can include the kitchen, bathroom, or even laundry. Additionally, there are natural gas and electric water tanks. Natural gas tank water heaters utilize almost 50% less energy to operate, resulting in lower costs. 

Pros of Tank Water Heaters

Significantly lower initial cost
Simpler technology; therefore, resulting in less maintenance and repair costs
Hot water can be used by multiple sources at once

Cons of Tank Water Heaters

Slightly higher utility bills
Occupy more space due to their size and cannot be installed outside of the home
Shorter lifespan (10-15 years) than tankless water heaters
You could run out of water in storage

Pros and cons of Tankless water Heaters

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters are also known as on-demand water heaters. Why? Well, as you might be able to infer by the name, tankless water heaters don't store water like their traditional counterpart. Instead, high-power burners rapidly heat water as it transfers through the heat exchanger. Then, the hot water is delivered to it's destination. Tankless water heaters can be powered by electricity or gas and are found to be over 20% more energy efficient than storage water tanks.

Tankless Water Heater Pros

Saves money over time 
Longer lifespan (20-30 years) than tank water heaters 
Require a lot less space and can also be installed on outside walls
The water supply is hot when you need it versus waiting 30 seconds for it to heat up 

Tankless Water Heater Cons

Higher initial cost
Installation, repair, and labor costs are more costly due to the complexity
Require yearly servicing to prevent damage and ensure efficiency
Limited flow rate

Tank vs tankless water heaters


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.

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 you need water heater services, whether it's new installation, repair, or replacement services, Arizona Comfort Specialists are here to help! Contact us today.
Navien Tankless Water Heater


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