tankless vs tank

Hot Water Tank vs Tankless Water Heater–Which is best for your family?

Whether you have a hot water tank or a tankless water heater, one thing is for sure…you don’t want to be without hot water in your home! Maybe you just decided to upgrade to a new hot water heating system. Or perhaps your hot water tank just died with no warning. Either way, you need to make a quick decision on what to do next.


When you find yourself in need of a replacement hot water tank, take a look at both methods of heating water to decide which is best for you.



How It Works:


A hot water tank holds water in the tank and keeps it heated and always ready for use. It has a thermostat which regulates the water temperature and holds it at a pre-set temperature.


  • Hot Water Tank Pros:
    • Inexpensive Replacement Cost
      • The cost of a hot water tank is about 60% less than than of a tankless heater.
    • Less Expensive Installation
      • If you are replacing a hot water tank with another hot water tank, it’s usually a fairly inexpensive installation.
    • Quick Installation
      • If your hot water tank is out of commission, you may find that this is the quickest and easiest way to replace it. In true emergency you probably can’t afford the time without your hot water tank.


  • Hot Water Tank Cons:
    • Wastes Energy
      • A hot water tank runs throughout the day to keep the water held at your desired temperature. This means that is wastes energy. It runs whether you are at home and using hot water or away at work. It can’t discern when you need hot water and keeps it ready at all times.
    • Takes A Little While To Get Hot Water
      • When you turn on your hot water tap, cold water must evacuate the pipes before the hot water is delivered to the tap. This can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute or so.
    • Limited Number of Devices At One Time
      • A hot water tank has a limited amount of water available at any given time. Suppose you try to run the dishwasher while a family member takes a long, hot shower. At some point, the hot water tank will run out of water. Either your family member or your dishes will run the risk of getting washed in cold water.
    • Limited Life Cycle
      • A hot water tank has a life cycle of 7 to 10 years. Because of the tank construction, the minerals in water drop to the bottom of the tank and form a film. This causes corrosion fairly quickly. Within about 10 years, you can expect that corrosion to cause your hot water tank to fail.




How It Works:

Water is run through a series of coils and passes over a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger rapidly heats the water in the coils and sends the now hot water out to the tap.


  • Tankless Water Heater Pros:
    • Energy Savings
      • These units will heat your water up on demand. This means that until you need the hot water, it will not run. This equates to saving energy because it will only heat water when you tell it to. This can save homeowners on their monthly energy bills.
    • Unlimited Supply of Hot Water
      • A properly selected unit can heat enough hot water to run multiple devices at the same time. This means that even the teenaged daughter who takes a 30 minute shower will have sufficient water. Yes, this scenario happens in my home.
    • Quick Delivery of Hot Water
      • These units can deliver hot water as fast as a tank-style water heater. Sometimes it’s even faster.
    • Longer Life Cycle
      • These units are expected to last from 15 to 20 years. This doubles the life span of a hot water tank.


  • Tankless Water Heater Cons:
    • Unit Cost
      • The cost of a these units is up to 60% more than a tank-style water heater.
    • Installation Cost
      • The initial installation is more expensive. This is because specialized venting must be installed into the home due to the high-powered burner that heats the water so quickly.



In summary, consideration of all your options is crucial to making a solid decision. These units have many benefits that can improve your household and make it more convenient for your family. If you can swing the initial investment, you will save money on energy bills and on long-term replacement costs.


Many homeowners decide that a tankless water heater is an investment well worth its price tag.


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