So you’ve found yourself needing a new water heater. Before you replace it with a newer version of what you already have, you should stop to consider what type of water heater meets your specific needs. While traditional water heaters have their value, a tankless water heater could be a better choice for you.
Traditional water heaters store and preheat 30-50 gallons of water in a tank. This preheated water is used whenever you shower, do laundry, or wash dishes. The tank then refills to be reheated. Tankless water heaters use a heat source—either electric or gas—to warm up cool water on demand whenever you need it instead of storing hot water in a tank. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve outlined basic benefits and disadvantages of each below.
There is a lower initial cost associated with traditional water heaters, plus they are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace. Traditional water heaters do tend to come with higher utility bills than their tankless counterparts, since they heat and reheat water at a pre-set temperature no matter what your water needs are. Traditional models are also larger and typically harder to place than tankless water heaters, but if you have a limited budget and just need a quick replacement then a traditional water heater may make the most sense.
The energy.gov site states that for homes using 41 gallons of hot water or less daily, tankless water heaters can be 24-34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. This means tankless water heaters can save you money in the long run. They also don’t take up much space in your home, deliver hot water on demand, and typically have a longer lifespan (20+ years) than traditional water heaters. Retrofitting this type of water heater for your home could add do the upfront cost, making a tankless water heater more expensive initially. However, if you have a large family this could definitely be a good choice.