Water heaters can be a costly investment for home owners that you’ll be living with for over a decade. That’s why when it’s time to equip your new home, or replace your old water heater it’s important to consider cost, efficiency, and longevity of your new water heater. We’ve put together this comparison of storage water heaters vs tankless water heaters to help homeowners and contractors decide on the type of water heater that’s best for you. We’ll examine the pros and cons of tankless and traditional water heaters so you can make an informed decision.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, use high-powered burners to rapidly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger and deliver it directly to your faucets or shower without storing it in a tank. Tankless water heaters are usually powered with electricity or gas. These types of water heaters were found to be 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in tests conducted by Consumer Reports.
Tankless Water Heater Energy Efficiency
Homeowners with on-demand (tankless) water heaters that use less than 41 gallons or less of hot water each day, enjoy between 24 and 34 percent more energy efficiency than storage tank water heaters. If you use lots of hot water daily (around 86 gallons), you might enjoy energy efficiency of an additional 8 to 14 percent.
Purchasing a tankless water heater will cost you a bit more than a traditional storage tank water heater, but, tankless varieties las longer than conventional water heater models which translates to a 20+-year useful life, as compared to storage tank types which last only 10 to 15 years before self-destructing, possibly flooding your basement or home, depending on their location If you want to “hit a home run,” install a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet. Why? You may receive energy savings of 27 to 50 percent if you put on-demand water heaters at all hot water outlets in your home.
Tankless Water Heater Advantages:
Saves you money over time.
According to Energy.gov, “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.” Tankless water heaters (if gas-fired) will save homeowners over $100 annually the longer they remain in service. Electric tankless water heaters still save homeowners around $44 per year according to the US Department of Energy.
Longer useful lives than storage tank water heaters.
Tankless water heaters typically last 20 to 30 years, double the forecasted useful life of a storage tank water heater. Be aware that “hard water” areas, may reduce the useful life of both types of water heaters.
Does not consume the space of a storage tank water heater.
On-demand water heaters are small and may be installed in “tight quarters.” They can even be installed on outside walls if your home is terminally space-challenged.
You’ll have hot water whenever you need it.
You won’t have to wait even 15 to 25 seconds for your water to become hot, as tankless water heaters deliver two to three gallons of hot water per minute. Many storage tank water heaters take longer to heat water, because of the larger volume of water they must heat, than most tankless types.