Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater – What Should I Choose?

Have you ever been on a family outing and on the way home, your family members are already calling a shower order to ensure they have hot water? The water heater plays a huge role in our lives which sometimes is forgotten until you are the last one in the shower line and the water turns cold.

The water heater does not only disturb household daily routines but can also impact your utility bills.

When it comes time to replace your existing hot water heater or purchasing a new home investigate the different models available to increase home efficiency. Ideas to consider are cost, unit lifetime, and installation procedure. At Restano Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, our plumbers are skilled to assist homeowners decision when it comes to choosing a water heater.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

A tankless water heater is operated by high-level burners that quickly heat water as it passes through the heat exchanger, delivering heated water immediately to the faucets without a larger storage tank.

Tankless water heaters only use water on request utilizing gas or electricity with an endless source of hot water and removes standby losses (energy saving). The downside to tankless water heaters is the limited number of fixtures that can simultaneously operate with hot water.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater:

  • Longer Lifetime: Tankless water heaters generally have double the lifespan of a storage tank water heater.
  • Takes Up Less Space: A tankless water heater has smaller dimensions than a traditional water heater, therefore more options are available for placement.
  • Never, a Shortage of Hot Water: Tankless water heaters produce water as you need it. On average, a tankless water heater can produce 2-5 gallons per minute.
  • Saves Money Over Time: A tankless water heater can reduce homeowner utility bills, due to removal of storage tank.

Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater:

  • Greater Investment: A tankless water heater has a greater upfront cost compared to a storage water heater.
  • Limited Output Generation:  If the house is running multiple faucets a tankless water heater could run out of hot water if the home is operating for example the washing machine and multiple showers simultaneously.
  • Replacement of Traditional Water Heater: If you are switching from a traditional storage water heater to a tankless water heater home reconstruction of pipes could be more costly to switch.

How Does a Storage Tank Water Heater Work?

The water heater of the storage tank works cyclically. A pipe sitting at the top of the unit transports hot water to its destination through pipes, then begins to restock heated water from its water supply. Traditional tank water heaters contentiously heat gallons of water, ready to use at the homeowners’ convenience, ranging in size from 20 to 80 gallons of water. Various energy alternatives are available, such as electricity, natural gas, and oil. A major downside of storage tank water heaters is the amount of energy used to continuously heat gallons of water otherwise identified as “standby losses.”

Benefits of a Storage Tank Water Heater:

  • Cost Efficient Investment: Storage tank water heaters are less expensive up front than tankless water heaters.  
  • Easier Installation & Maintenance: A storage tank water heater operation system is less complex than tankless, therefore less maintenance work.

Disadvantages of a Storage Tank Water Heater:

  • High Utility Bills: A storage tank water heater consistency reheats water as the water supply is used. New water will be heated to the preset temperature, increasing your utility bills. For consumer living in colder climates like Pittsburgh your storage heater workers harder during colder winter months to reach the desired preheated temperature.
  • Shorter lifetime: A storage tank water hear has a shorter life span than a tankless water heater.
  • Takes Up More Space: The large base of a water heater can lead to issues if the home space is limited, due to their large size.
  • Shower Line: You do not want to be the last in the shower line at home, due to the increased chance of taking a cold shower. If this is a reoccurring problem think of installing a larger water tank to store more water. However, your utility bill can increase.

How to Decide Which Water Heater is Best for Your Home?

When choosing a water heater first think if the tankless water heater can fit into your budget because overtime the tankless will save you money on your monthly energy bill in the long run. However, if that option is not possible, then a traditional storage tank heater might make more sense for your budget.

At Restano Heating, Cooling & Plumbing our skilled plumbers can assess, size, and recommend the right hot water heater model best for your home.  Contact your trusted Pittsburgh plumbers today for an estimate or advise on which water heater model is right for you. Call us today at 412-793-8330!

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