Water heaters are an essential component of your household’s comfort. Nobody wants to step into the shower only to discover that they are out of hot water! When it is time to replace that old worn-out unit, you’ll have to make some critical decisions. The most important one you’ll make is deciding whether to go with a traditional style or upgrade to a newer tankless model.
Learn the differences between today’s most common models before making this all-important purchase.
The Pros & Cons of a Traditional Water Heater
If it’s been a while since you purchased a new water heater, you may be surprised at the number of choices available. Sticking with what they know is best for some people, and a traditional tank unit isn’t always the wrong choice. However, before you make up your mind, you will want to consider the pros and cons of these classic models:
- Pro: Insulated tank models can be very inexpensive to buy and replace.
Con: They only last about 10-15 years.
- Pro: Insulated storage tanks keep 30-50 gallons of water hot at the ready.
Con: You pay to keep all of those gallons warm throughout the day.
- Pro: Natural gas models are pretty cheap to run.
Con: Electric models can cost twice as much to run as their gas counterparts.
- Pro: Most models fit well in a basement or closet.
Con: Traditional units cannot be stored outside.
The Pros & Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
Compared to traditional units, tankless water heaters are generally far more efficient. That may make you rethink your decision and buy this more modern model. But wait! There is a lot to consider when comparing tankless units to traditional ones:
- Pro: Tankless models give you on-demand water.
Con: Most units can only dispense about 3.5 gallons of hot water per minute.
- Pro: Tankless water heaters never run dry.
Con: While tankless water heaters provide water as you need, they work best when you only use one water source at a time. Suppose your family wants to run two showers, the dishwasher, and a shower simultaneously. In that case, you may need a second unit.
- Pro: Tankless units are more energy efficient. In homes that use less than 40 gallons per day, the savings can add up to 35%.
Con: If you buy an electric model, you may need to upgrade your home’s electrical capacity. This upgrade may be costly in the short term.
- Pro: Tankless heaters last 20-30 years.
Con: This type of water heater costs much more than a traditional storage tank model.
- Pro: Tankless heaters are more compact, take up less space, and are suitable for outdoor installations.
Con: The components of these units are more complex and challenging to repair.
There is a lot to consider when buying a new water heater. While traditional units are cheap, they don’t last as long. In addition, they are not quite as energy efficient as their more modern tankless counterparts.
Yet, the cost of a tankless unit can sometimes make the purchase prohibitive. Plus, large families with multi-draws on the water supply may need to purchase and install more than one unit to keep up with the home’s water demands.
There is no right or wrong answer when deciding between a traditional storage tank unit and a tankless water heater. The final decision depends on your lifestyle and your budget. Knowing the facts, you can make the best choice for yourself and your family.
When you’re ready to commit one way or another, call the Service Pros Plumbers at (925) 753-5600 today