Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heaters

A tankless water heater may be a good option for you if you are considering a new heater. If so, you are likely considering the benefits and downfalls of tankless versus traditional water heaters so you can make the best-informed decision about your water heater replacement. As always, there are positives and negatives to each choice, depending on your needs, budget and overall goals.

Should you consider a tankless water heater?

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Some benefits to a tankless water heater include:

Endless hot water. Because water is heated as needed rather than being stored in a tank, it is practically endless making it ideal for large families.

Energy efficiency. The increased energy efficiency over the full life of the tankless can amount to several thousand dollars.

Space Savings. Rather than a 40 or 50 (or larger) gallon tank, a tankless is wall-mounted, making it ideal for small spaces, such as a condo.

Longer Lasting. A tankless water heater is designed to last nearly twice as long as traditional ones and with technology improving, it is possible they may last even longer.

Downfalls to Tankless Water Heaters

Potentially higher upfront cost. Tankless tend to cost more than traditional water heaters, which means if you don’t plan on recapturing the energy savings over the long haul, it may not be worth the upfront cost.

Potential need for reconfiguration. Typically, a swap out of like water heater for like will yield the best cost. However, changes in plumbing code that require higher efficiency water heaters may change this simple swap, thus making the upgrade to tankless even more attractive.


Considering a Regular Water Heater?

Benefits of Traditional Water Heaters

Energy efficiency. New laws in plumbing are mandating higher energy efficiency than before, making new models very attractive and closing the cost gap between traditional and tankless water heaters.

Potentially lower upfront cost. If a fast, inexpensive change is needed, such as a home sale or fix-and-flip, costs can stay lower with a traditional water heater.

Downfalls to Traditional Water Heaters

Space hogs. Traditional water heaters can take up quite a bit of space, especially when larger tanks, such as 50 or 75-gallon versions are needed.

Limited water. In large households, commercial spaces, and homes where multiple appliances need to be run at the same time, hot water can run out before desired. If you’ve ever taken a cold shower because someone “used all the hot water”, you will understand this.

Limited parts. With new plumbing codes, older water heaters run the risk of not being able to be repaired as parts will no longer be available. If you purchase less expensive, older water heater, not only will you be out of code (which means you may not find anyone to install it), you may need to replace it rather than repairing it if it breaks down.

Whether you are considering a tankless water heater or a traditional one, AC&R Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing is happy to help you understand the options that are best for your goals. Give us a call today for a quote or to get your questions answered.