Are you looking into a new water heater for your home? If so, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about tankless and traditional hot water heaters. But what’s the difference, and why are so many people talking about it?
Tank vs. Tankless
A traditional (tank) water heater is what most homes have. Water is heated and stored in a tank until you’re ready to use it, and the tank refills and heats when the water is low. A tankless water heater, also called an instant water heater, heats water only when you need it. Let’s discuss the different advantages and disadvantages of the two models.
Because it only uses energy when you need it, a tankless water heater is much more efficient than a traditional one. Traditional heaters must use energy to not only heat the water but to keep it hot, as well, so they often end up being “energy vampires,” or appliances that use energy even when you aren’t using them. Tankless water heaters only turn on when you want hot water, and while this produces a greater spike in energy use, it doesn’t use as much energy as the constant heating of a tank.
The lower monthly energy costs aren’t the only thing to consider when comparing tankless and traditional water heaters. Installation costs for tankless heaters are generally higher than that of traditional heaters, and they sometimes require changes to water heater hookups and electrical systems. However, the subsequent energy savings over time pay for tankless water heaters.
Additionally, tankless models don’t have to be replaced nearly as often as water heaters with tanks. The tanks are prone to rust and other damage, leading traditional water heaters to last only eight to twelve years. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, can last over 20 years.
One of the biggest advantages of tankless water heaters is their ability to supply virtually unlimited hot water almost instantaneously. That means you’ll get hot water from your tap faster, and you’ll never run out of hot water, even if you’re the last person in the house to take a shower. Traditional water heaters just can’t beat that!
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