Water heaters are undoubtedly one of the most important appliances used in most homes. You use them regularly for hot water showers and other household needs. When you’re looking to purchase one, you’ll have two options. One is the traditional tank-based water heater and the other is a tankless water heater.
While both these types of water heaters are popular among home owners, you’ll need to consider their benefits and drawbacks. There are some significant differences between them, which can influence your decision to buy one for your home.
Tank-based Water Heaters
Tank-based water heaters or tank water heaters are the more traditional type in water heaters. They’re still commonly used in many households. As the name suggests, tank water heaters store hot water in a tank. It is then heated and kept hot throughout the day. When you turn on the hot water tap, water is drawn from the tank and delivered to the tap.
Among the major benefits of tank water heaters is that they’re relatively cheap to buy and install. They’re also straightforward to maintain and repair and most of their issues can be easily fixed. Besides, tank water heaters can deliver a large volume of hot water at once. This makes them a good option for larger households or families.
They do have some drawbacks as well. One of them is that they’re less energy-efficient than tankless water heaters. This is because they need to keep the water in the tank hot throughout the day. The water has to be kept hot even when you’re not using it.
This constant heating can lead to energy waste and higher bills. Tank-based water heaters also take up more space than tankless water heaters. This could be a big problem if you’re living in a home with limited amount of space.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters don’t have a storage tank. Instead, they heat water as it flows through the unit, delivering hot water when needed. Upon turning on a hot water tap, the water is heated as it passes through the unit. This means, you use only the amount of energy needed to heat the water.
Energy efficiency is among the major advantages that tankless water heaters provide. Because they only heat water when needed, tankless water heaters are much more energy-efficient than tank water heaters. As a result, you can save more on your energy bills. They’re smaller and take up less space than tank water heaters. This makes tankless water heaters an excellent option for smaller homes or apartments.
However, you also need to be aware of the drawbacks of tankless water heaters. One of them is their higher upfront cost. Tankless water heaters can cost significantly more than tank-based water heaters. The process of installing these water heaters is also quite complicated.
Deciding between tank-based and tankless water heaters
To decide between a tank-based and tankless water heater, you’ll need to consider your individual needs and circumstances. If you need to use multiple hot water taps at once, a tank water heater may be the better option. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient option and have a smaller household, go for a tankless water heater.
Before you arrive at a decision, it’s important to consider the upfront cost and ongoing maintenance costs. The energy efficiency also needs to be compared well. It would be a good idea to speak with a professional plumber or contractor. These individuals can help you decide which type of water heater would be the best for your home and family’s needs.