Tank Vs. Tankless Water Heater - Which One is Better?

You may not realize how much a water heater can impact your life until you're standing in the shower and the water turns cold.

If you live with several people, you may realize that you need to "schedule" shower time around the hot water supply.

Not only can your water heater affect your daily routine, but it can also affect your utility bills. 

When it comes time to purchase a new home or replace the water heater in your current home, you should always consider the cost, efficiency, and longevity of the water heater that will be in your home. Water heaters can be a very costly investment. However, you'll be living with the water heater you purchase for over a decade. 

When considering which type of water heater is best for your home, there are pros and cons to both the traditional water heater and the tankless water heater. 

The first question you may be asking is:

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater uses high powered burners to rapidly heat water as it runs through the heat exchanger and is delivered directly to the faucets without a storing tank. 

A tankless water heater is typically powered by gas or electricity. 

These water heaters have been found to be far more energy efficient because they only heat hot water at the time it is being used. 

There is no such thing as a perfect product, which means a tankless water heater is no exceptions, there are pros and cons to purchasing one of the water heater systems. 

Pros of a Tankless Water Heater 

  • Long Life Span: A tankless water heater will usually last between 20-30 years, which is double the life of a storage tank water heater. 
  • Takes up Less Space: Tankless water heaters are small and can be installed in tight spaces. They may even be installed on the outside walls of your home if your home is spatially challenged. 
  • Never a Lack of Hot Water: You will have hot water whenever you need it. Tankless water heaters can deliver 2-3 gallons of hot water per minute.
  • Saves Money Over Time: Tankless water heaters can reduce energy costs by as much as 25%. 

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater 

  • Tankless water heaters have a higher purchase cost than a traditional storage tank. The cost of a tankless water heater can range anywhere from $2,000-$4,500 compared to a storage tank water heater which ranges from about $500-$800.
  • They can be output challenged: This means when you are simultaneously taking a shower and doing laundry, the tankless water heater may fail to keep up with the hot water demand of both. If multiple showers are in use at the same time, one shower may be quite a bit more chilly than the other. 
  • If you are replacing a storage tank water heater with a tankless water heater, the replacement can be pricey. It will take more time to replace and increase the installed cost because of the complexity of relocating the existing piping. 

What is a Storage Tank Water Heater?

Storage tank water heaters are commonly found in most homes.

Standard storage water heaters store and heat water in a reservoir. The insulated tank will typically hold anywhere from 30-50 gallons of water. 

A pipe emerges from the top to deliver hot water to its destination. When water is used, the tank is refilled with water from the water source. This new water is heated and stored, and the cycle continues.

Pros of a Storage Tank Water Heater 

  • Storage tank water heaters have low initial installation cost. To have storage tank professionally installed the typical cost ranges from about $500-$800 as opposed the tankless water heater which is between $2,000-$4,500. 
  • Storage tank water heaters operate more simply than a tankless water heater which means there maintenance and repair costs are less.  
  • The simplicity of the storage tank water heater makes for lower cost repairs when they stop functioning properly.

Cons of a Storage Tank Water Heater 

  • Take up more space in your home: If you have special restrictions in your home, you may have a bit of a challenge finding a convenient location for the storage tank water heater. Also, they cannot be located outside of your home like the tankless water heater. 
  • Shorter Life Span: Storage tank water heaters have a shorter lifespan than a tankless water heater. They typically will only last between 10-15 years. They may need to be replaced almost twice as often as the tankless water heaters. 
  • Higher Utility Bills: Because the storage tank water heaters heat then reheat water to a pre-set temperature, this will increase your utility bills. Also, if the water heater is in a cool environment, it will need to work harder during the winter months to heat the water which will increase your gas or electric bills even higher during these months. 
  • You Don't Want to Use the Shower Last: The average storage tank water heater can only support three showers in a row. So if you are the fourth one to take a shower, it will more than likely be cold. You could get a larger tank if this seems to be a reoccurring issue in your home, however, keep in mind it will also increase your energy bills. 

How to Decide Which Water Heater is Best for You 

When deciding which water heater is better for you, you will need to decide if your bank account can handle the initial cost of the tankless water heater because it will save you more money over time. However, if that option is not possible for you, then a storage tank heater might make more sense for your budget. 

You can also discuss your options with one of our Licensed Plumbers from Assured Comfort. 

Our technicians have years of experience and can help you decide on the type, size, and brands of water heater that you should consider for your home. 

If you need a brand new water heater and are unsure what option is best for you, feel free to contact our Licensed Plumbers 24/7 for advice. 

Our goal is to provide you with the best service possible so you can be happy with the choice you make. 

Whether you are looking for a traditional storage tank water heater, or a tankless water heater, the Plumbers at Assured Comfort can help you. 

To speak with a Licensed Plumber from Assured Comfort, to discuss a Water Heater Installation or Repair in Atlanta click below to schedule an appointment with us today. Let us walk you through the pros and cons of a traditional water heater vs. a tankless water heater. 

* Schedule Service Online & Save 10% offer is only applied to the service call fee and does not apply to any additional service work.