Hot water heaters are out of sight and out of mind until the water goes cold during your shower. If you’ve always had a traditional water heater with a tank, you might wonder if you should get a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters have some compelling qualities, but traditional models remain a familiar and competitive choice.
Traditional Water Heaters Basics
Most residential water heater models feature tanks of 30 to 60 gallons. Due to the presence of a large tank, the unit will occupy floor space in your utility room or basement. A tank model uses electricity or burns natural gas or propane to heat the water in the tank.
Since the unit is constantly keeping the contents hot and ready to use, you can imagine a traditional water heater as a glorified kettle. Although you can wrap the tank in an insulation blanket, the unit will still use power whether you’re using hot water or not. As a result, they are not as energy efficient as tankless water heaters.
Tankless Water Heaters Basics
Also known as on-demand water heaters, this style sends water through a heat exchanger as it is needed by your household. Because the unit has no holding tank, it is much more space-efficient. Tankless water heaters mount on walls and have a low profile. If you’re dealing with a tight space, then a tankless water heater is an excellent choice.
Electricity, natural gas, or propane supply the power for tankless units. However, they consume less power than traditional models because they only run when your household is actively using hot water. The unit does not have to produce heat around the clock, which results in significant energy savings over the course of a year.
Advantages of Traditional Water Heaters
The lower upfront cost of traditional water heaters often makes them the practical choice when you need to replace a broken water heater. You can expect to pay about $500 to $800 for a traditional water heater before installation.
Speaking of installation, you probably won’t need to pay for any expensive plumbing alterations when you replace an old tank with a new tank model. The pipes and power supply connections will be largely the same.
Should your traditional water heater need repair, most problems can be fixed quickly and affordably. Parts are plentiful and modestly priced. A traditional water heater that has gone cold or appears to be leaking may not necessarily require replacement. In Cincinnati, OH, fixing water heaters is a routine matter for Wingate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our plumbers will diagnose breakdowns accurately and have the parts on hand to get your hot water flowing again.
Disadvantages of Traditional Water Heaters
Keeping a tank of hot water hot 24 hours a day places unavoidable stress on the unit. You can only expect traditional water heaters to remain useful for 10 to 12 years. Their large size also makes them cumbersome to move in and out of houses during replacement.
Of course, there is no denying that sometimes you may run out of hot water in the middle of your shower with a traditional model. The last person to take a shower in a big household knows very well the limitation of this technology.
A system that heats water as you need it delivers plenty of hot water to everyone. There is no tank to run out of hot water.
On top of ending the problem of hot water interruptions, tankless models cost less to operate. A traditional style simply cannot compete when it comes to energy efficiency.
Tankless water heaters have longer operational lifespans compared to their tank-toting cousins. You can expect a tankless water heater to serve you for 20 years.
Even when you’re attracted to energy efficiency and continuous hot water flow, the cost of a tankless water heater may give you pause. Models will run a few hundred dollars more than traditional models.
If you’re switching from a traditional to a tankless, then you’ll also have to pay for new plumbing connections.
Service for Your Home
Wingate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is a licensed company that can fix or install any plumbing and electrical systems in your house. We also provide heating repair and cooling repair, installation, and maintenance. Contact us today with your questions.