How Tank and Tankless Water Heaters Differ

When it comes to choosing a water heater for your home, you may be torn between the two most popular options: tank and tankless water heaters. Both types have their pros and cons, and understanding the key differences between them can help you make an informed decision.

In this blog post, we will discuss the main differences between tank and tankless water heaters, as well as some common issues that customers may face. By the end, you should have a better idea of which option is best for your needs and your home.

1. How They Work

Tank water heaters store and heat a large amount of water in a tank, typically ranging from 30 to 80 gallons. When you turn on your hot water tap, the hot water stored in the tank is released, and cold water enters the tank to be heated.

Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat water on-demand as it flows through the unit. When you turn on your hot water tap, cold water travels through a pipe and into the tankless unit, where it is heated by a gas burner or electric element.

2. Energy Efficiency

One of the main differences between tank and tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. Tankless water heaters can be significantly more energy-efficient than conventional tank water heaters.

This is because tankless water heaters only heat the water when it is needed, eliminating the standby energy losses associated with tank water heaters. However, it's important to note that the actual energy savings will depend on factors such as your water usage habits and the efficiency of the specific model you choose.

3. Lifespan & Maintenance

Another key difference between tank and tankless water heaters is their lifespan and maintenance requirements. Tank water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

Tankless water heaters also tend to have fewer issues with sediment buildup and corrosion, which can lead to leaks and other problems in tank water heaters. However, tankless water heaters may require more frequent maintenance, such as annual flushing to remove mineral deposits and maintain efficiency.

4. Installation & Cost

The installation process and cost for tank and tankless water heaters also differ. Tankless water heaters are generally more expensive upfront, but they can save you money in the long run due to their energy efficiency and longer lifespan.

They also require less space and can be mounted on a wall, making them a good option for homes with limited space. Tank water heaters, on the other hand, are more affordable upfront but may cost more in energy bills over time. They also require a larger space for installation.

5. Hot Water Supply

Finally, the hot water supply of tank and tankless water heaters differs. With a tank water heater, you have a limited amount of hot water available at any given time, depending on the size of the tank.

Once the hot water in the tank is used up, you will have to wait for the tank to refill and reheat before you have hot water again. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, provide a continuous supply of hot water as long as the unit is operating within its capacity.

However, tankless water heaters may struggle to keep up with high hot water demands, such as multiple showers running simultaneously.

Our Professionals Are Here to Help

At Cregger Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we understand that choosing the right water heater for your home can be a challenging decision. Our expert team is here to help you determine whether a tank or tankless water heater is the best fit for your needs and provide professional installation and maintenance services.

Contact us today to learn more about our water heater services and schedule a consultation!