The Pros and Cons of Tankless vs Tank Water Heaters

Water Heater

Water heating takes about 18% of all your residential energy expenditure. That’s a good amount! This is why you need to be smart about the type of water heater that you invest in and put in your home. To that end, our team at A. Fagundes Plumbing would like to explain two of the main types of water heaters and the benefits of each, so that when you need to buy your next one, you’ll be prepared!

Storage Tank Water Heaters

What Storage Tanks Can Do for You

Storage water tanks have been the standard in the U.S. for decades. Storage tanks take a fairly straightforward approach to water heating. Essentially, the water is heated and then stored in the tank for later use. Usually, the heating is done by a natural gas fuel though there are some other fuel sources as well. Whenever you turn on your sink or shower, hot water is drawn from the tank and is ready for use.

The Pros

  • Storage tanks still have a place in the modern home. They can vary in size which can make a huge difference in monthly costs. The smaller end systems are about 20 gallons. The larger ones can reach up to 80 gallons. This allows you some flexibility when you are getting the unit installed.
  • Additionally, many people are familiar with these types of systems because they have been around for decades. If you have that familiarity, you may appreciate that and keep going with your tank water heater.
  • Lastly, storage tanks have a cheaper installation cost than tankless units. If you don’t mind losing a bit of efficiency, it's more worth it to get a tank system, especially if you plan on moving from your current home in the next few years.

The Cons

  • There are some downsides to storage tank systems. Standby energy loss is a big one. While the hot water is in the tank waiting for it to be used, it will slowly cool off. Eventually, once the temperature falls enough, it needs to be reheated. This can use a lot of energy! Unfortunately, it's all wasted. This is the main reason why traditional tank systems aren’t the most efficient out there.

Tankless Water Heaters

What Tankless Water Heaters Can Do for You

Tankless systems are designed to specifically limit standby heat loss. They are able to do this because they only heat water when it’s actually going to be used. This ends up greatly increasing the efficiency of the unit and thus lowers your energy bills every month.

The Pros

  • Tankless systems are more efficient, but they are also flexible. You can install a small tankless system at a point of high usage. For example, a small unit by your shower can work with an existing tank system to give you unlimited hot water for your shower without impacting the stored hot water in the tank unit.

The Cons

  • Across most industries, higher efficiency comes with higher initial costs. For tankless systems, this means a more costly installation. However, they tend to pay for themselves after a few years. This makes it great in your “forever home”, but maybe not as great if you think you may move somewhere else soon.

Water heaters only last about a decade. Don’t be shocked when you need a replacement! We’ll help you out with water heater maintenance and give you adequate warning when you need to start thinking about replacement, so just give us a call and we’ll come to take a look! You can contact A. Fagundes Plumbing & Heating Inc. at (978) 350-5522 or fill out an online contact form!

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