Tankless Water Heater vs Tank: Which One Should You Choose?

Tankless Water Heater vs Tank: Which One Should You Choose?Many people are surprised to know that the first tankless water heaters were invented in the 1920s. Since then, they have become more and more popular, but water heaters that feature storage tanks are still more common. If you’re researching tankless water heater vs tank water heater, then you might want to consider some things.

Modern tankless water heaters have come a long way since they were first invented. The systems today can fit filters and can integrate into a smart home system. Innovation continues in areas of energy efficiency and flow capacity.

Older storage tank-type water heaters are a tried and true technology that has existed since the late 1800s. Modern versions of these units use both electricity, gas or propane.

Both tankless and storage tank units are designed to give you hot water, beyond that, there is almost nothing similar about the two types of water heaters. Let’s go in-depth on this and figure out which one you should get for your home.

Tankless Water Heaters vs Tank

To begin with, let’s take a look at what a tankless and a tank water heater are. Once we have that clearly defined, we will begin to break down the advantages and disadvantages.

While this article is intended to be impartial, there are some clear advantages that you will see.

Tankless Water Heater

A modern tankless water heater is a device that is mounted on a wall, usually in a basement, and heats water as it passes through it. Sometimes called “on-demand” water heating, these units act quickly and do not restrict the flow of water.

When you turn on your hot water, the tankless water heater flash heats the water that passes through it to the temperature you have set. This means that hot water is available almost instantly and for as long as you want it.

These units are sleek and don’t take up much space. They fit snugly against a wall wherever your water lines run. This means they are out of the way and less prone to getting damaged during basement flooding.

If you don’t have a basement, then they fit into a storage or utility room quite nicely. They don’t take up a lot of space, so you won’t be sacrificing storage when you go tankless.

Tank Water Heater
Credit: Brian Cantoni

Tank Water Heater

Tank water heaters are probably what you grew up with. They feature large, usually cylinder-shaped tanks that are heated by a gas flame underneath its storage tank. This fire goes on and off as needed to keep the water in the tank at a constant temperature.

These tanks are simple in design and are always on unless manually turned off. This means that at all hours of the day and night you have hot water waiting to be used. You simply open the tap at your sink and the hot water circulates through your pipes to your faucet.

Since hot water rises over cold water, the tank always keeps hot water closest to the pipes. This way, when you turn on your faucet you get hot water sooner.

Tank water heaters do take up considerable space and are usually put in a basement or storage room. This is because they can be noisy and unattractive inside a home’s living space.

Tank water heaters are so common that they are just called water heaters. This is because tankless water heaters have been less popular in the past and are only now becoming common.

Advantages and Disadvantages

To consider the benefits of a tankless vs tank water heater, we have to take a look at what they both do well and not so well. There are benefits to both, but by the end of this guide, you should be able to make a clear decision for your needs.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater has several advantages. A tankless water heater vs tank water heater analysis wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk about efficiency. Tankless water heaters are far more energy-efficient.

Since the water is not stored at temperature but only heated up as you need it, tankless water heaters waste very little energy. Water is hot when you want it, and when not being used the system isn’t running. This is one of the reasons that they last up to twice as long as a tank water heater, this is because they aren’t subjected to the continuous heat of the flame underneath the tank. This heat eventually fatigues the metal at the bottom of the storage tank which subsequently causes the tank to leak.

Hot water will not run out after a showerTankless water heaters are also great for houses that have large families in them. The hot water will not run out after a shower. Instead, you can take five showers in a row and still have hot water flowing.

Tankless water heaters require far less space than a tank water heater. They are so small that they won’t be noticeable unless someone is looking for them. They are also very quiet since most home models are heated with electricity and not a roaring gas fire.

The main disadvantage of a tankless water heater is that they cost more. Most cost around three times what a traditional water heater would cost. Additionally, if you don’t get a large enough tankless water heater, you run the risk of not having enough hot water for all your needs, buying the larger unit, of course, adds to the cost as well.

Tank Water Heaters

Wastes a lot of energy and means your utility bill will be higherTank water heaters are the traditional method of heating water. They usually cost less to purchase and are cheaper to install. They can cost up to one-third the price of a tankless water heater. This price can be key when deciding on a tank vs tankless water heater.

Depending on the model you get, tank water heaters can bring you hot water faster. Some tankless water heaters have a longer lag time in heating water. In a tank water heater, the water is already hot and ready to go.

The main disadvantages of a tank water heater are that they are always on. There will always be hot water in the tank being warmed by gas or electric energy. This wastes a lot of energy and means your utility bill will be higher.

What Is the Right Choice?

For most people, the tankless water heater will be the better option. With cheaper operating costs and a better look, these units are becoming the more popular option.

In the end, the choice is up to you, but you should consider switching to a tankless water heater. They provide you with a longer-lasting alternative to the energy-wasting traditional water heaters of the past.

Selling Your Home

There are a lot of steps to selling your home. You should consider replacing your old water heater with a tankless one if it isn’t already. Tankless water heaters are an attractive addition to any home, and they last a long time.

A prospective buyer will be impressed that your home has modern appliances and features. Additionally, most rental properties do not have tankless water heaters because of their up-front cost. This will set your home apart from what your buyer is used to.

Buying a Home

Buying a home can be a fairly complicated process and the final choice of which house to buy often boils down two features and amenities. So, if you’re looking at a home and see that it has a tankless water heater already, that tells you a couple of things. The home will be more energy-efficient and has newer appliances.

Tankless water heaters last for years in most cases and when you do your home inspection you can generally count on the home inspector being happy to see a tankless heater versus the old storage tank-type unit.

A lot of older homes feature traditional water heaters. If you do buy a home without a tankless water heater, they are easy to install. While they do cost more to install than traditional tank water heaters, a plumber can get you going quickly.

The Verdict on Water Heaters

The older style of water heater is becoming less popular every year. More and more people are switching to tankless units because they offer more advantages and fewer disadvantages. Tankless water heaters are safe to operate and they last a long time.

The monthly savings you receive can total in the thousands over the life of your tankless water heaterThe monthly savings you receive can total in the thousands over the life of your tankless water heater. The tankless vs water heater debate for new homes is settled already. Many new homes come with tankless water heaters.

If you’re going to be relocating to Colorado Springs, find a realtor that can help you with more than just the outside of the house. Our agents have a great deal of experience and can help you make the right decision for your family.

Tankless water heaters vs tank are something that comes down to more than a personal choice. It’s a choice that will affect your family for years to come. Reducing your energy use helps reduce your carbon footprint.

Contact us at Springs Homes if you have any questions about what you should expect when moving out to the Colorado Springs area. We can help you find a house with all the right things that you want.