Tankless Water Heater Vs. Traditional Water Heater

According to Energy.gov, the average household spends $400-$600 annually on water heating.

It makes water heating the second largest expense at home, accounting for 14-18% of utility bills. When installing a water heater, you should note the different types of heaters, how they function, and their differences.

This article will cover tankless vs. traditional water heaters and their various benefits.

Difference Between Tankless Water Heater and Traditional Water Heater

Traditional Water Heaters

These are designed to heat and store water in a tank, typically 50 or 40 gallons at a time.

Once you open your shower or bath, the pre-heated water flows to the outlet. New water from your water source fills the tank again. This water is then heated and stored, and the cycle continues.

Traditional water heaters usually last 10-15 years.

Tankless Water Heaters

This appliance heats water only when needed for use, unlike the traditional water heater, which stores pre-heated water in a tank.

As a result, the energy required to heat the water is only utilized at the exact time of use, and for the precise duration, it is in demand.

Unfortunately, the output of this tankless water heater often limits its flow rate. According to Energy.gov, a tankless water heater typically provides hot water at a 2.5-gallon-a-minute rate.

The best solution for this is to install multiple tankless water heaters.

If properly maintained, tankless water heaters can last 20 years plus. In addition, they can be 24-34% more energy-efficient for homes that utilize 41 or fewer gallons of hot water daily.

Moreover, a tankless water heater can be 8-14% more energy-efficient for homes that utilize gallons of hot water daily.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

1. Instant Hot Water

The tankless water heater functions by heating water when required, unlike the regular heater, which pre-heats water and stores it in a tank.

As such, the hot water will never run out in the tank. This reduces the chances of missing hot water, especially in a home with many people. Moreover, you have access to hot water regardless of how far away you run the water.

2. Eco-friendly

In comparison, a tankless water heater uses less electricity than a traditional heater. Therefore, using tankless water heaters translates to less electricity use since you will be reducing your requests to the electricity company to keep working and adding pollutants to the air.

Reduced electricity use means reduced fuel amount required to run electricity.

3. Reduced Utility Bills

As previously mentioned, a tankless water heater uses less electricity since it does not need to keep the stored water warm constantly. As a result, tankless water heaters use 27-50% less electricity than ordinary water heaters.

Since a tankless water heater is directly linked to each room, it won’t need additional energy to reach a faraway room. Thus, reduced electricity bill translates to reduced electricity bills.

Read more: Tankless water heater Plumbing Code requirements.

4. It Takes Up Less Space

A giant traditional water heater takes up unnecessary space. Most of these traditional alternatives measure 60 inches tall by 24 inches wide. On the other hand, tankless water heaters measure about 28 inches in height and width.

Its size makes it ideal for saving up space and makes it easy to use. Taking up less space also means it is easy to dispose of when replacing it with a new one.

5. Longer Life Expectancy

Tankless water heaters can last you roughly twenty years or more. As such, it is an ideal long-term investment for your water heating needs.

6. It Requires Minimal Maintenance

Traditional water heaters require inspection and maintenance at least once or twice yearly. However, a tankless water heater requires maintenance once every three or four years, especially if your home has a water softener.

Read more: Benefits of replacing your old water heater.

Benefits of Traditional Water Heaters

1. Constant Hot Water Supply

With a traditional water heater, you will have access to hot water even without electricity. The water is heated ahead of time and stored in tanks, after which it is delivered hot.

If you have no electricity challenges, you will still have access to hot water unless you have no electricity for an extended period.

2. Wide Availability

Traditional water heaters are widely available since virtually all plumbing suppliers and contractors service and sell these units. In addition, they come in various sizes, meaning you can have an exact replacement of your existing unit.

3. Water Storage

The traditional water heater is a large tank designed to heat and store water. As such, you still have access to some water in case you have a water shortage or a plumbing issue.

However, the water storage does not hold lots of water, meaning the supply will be limited as long as there is no water storing in the tank. Nevertheless, this is better than the tankless system that has no storage.

Read more: Why my water heater making sounds and how to fix it.

4. It is Less Expensive and Easy to Install

A traditional water heater is typically less expensive than a tankless water heater. It is easier to install, meaning reduced labor costs you may incur when installing a tankless system.

A traditional water heater can be installed the same day, making it the ideal option for emergency water heater replacement.

5. Consistent Temperature

One of the biggest complaints about the tankless water heater is inconsistent water temperatures at all times. It is often due to individuals failing to turn on the faucet till the end when running water for a bath or shower.

However, this is not the case for traditional water heaters. Water usually flows pre-heated, meaning the temperature is not determined by how far you turn the faucet.

The Bottom Line

Most homeowners are conflicted when it comes to choosing between a tankless heater and a traditional water heater. Before settling on an option, you should evaluate which is the best solution for your home.

The tankless water heater is ideal for individuals looking for a long-term investment.

The traditional heater is ideal for individuals who are used to the heating system and don’t want to upgrade to the tankless system. It is almost as functional as the tankless water heating system. However, the tankless water heater is often the most preferred option since it takes up less space and is energy efficient.