Tank Versus Tankless Water Heaters: Energy Bills, Installation Costs, & Maintenance

Everyone loves a hot bath. After an intense day or workout, there is almost no better feeling than plunging into a hot tub with some candles and a relaxing playlist. 

But if you turn on the tap, and after waiting and waiting, nothing but cold water comes out…there is nothing more chilling to the spine than a broken water heater on any day!

Homes don’t need hot water just for bathing. Water heating is key to performing many tasks and operating appliances all around the home.

Most people aren’t prepared for a water heater breakdown until it happens. It’s important to prepare by getting to know the facts about water heater repair and replacement. Click here to read about Water Heater Replacement vs. Repair.

Tank Versus Tankless Water Heaters

There are generally two types of water heaters: tank (“traditional”) or tankless (“demand”). 

The functional difference between a tank and tankless water heater is that a tank water heater heats and holds hot water on standby in a large storage tank, whereas a tankless water heater heats water on demand. Hence, tankless water heaters are known as “demand” or “instantaneous” types. 

Tank water heaters use storage tanks that take up space, holding and maintaining the hot temperature of gallons of water for use at any given time, whereas tankless water heaters do not require space for storage tanks, heating water only when used. 

The Benefits & Costs of Tank Versus Tankless Water Heaters

Deciding between a tank or tankless water heater comes with a few considerations. 

A tank water heater will constantly heat gallons of water inside of the storage tank—even when hot water isn’t being used. Unless you have a large family or household that requires large volumes of hot water around the clock, an underutilized tank water heater means paying for a lot of standby water via your energy bill. 

Energy.gov says that “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water — around 86 gallons per day.”

Tankless water heaters are more expensive than tank water heaters upfront, but they are more energy efficient and they cost significantly less to operate in the long term. Furthermore, tankless water heaters are great for homes with limited space. 

Tankless water heaters do require regular maintenance performed by professional plumbers. A tank water heater tends to have higher maintenance costs than that of a tankless water heater, as the storage tank must be regularly drained and cleaned. Furthermore, tank water heaters are generally more prone to corrosion and buildup, therefore requiring more repairs and having a shorter average lifespan. 

“Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that may extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10–15 years.” — Energy.gov

California Plumbing provides premier water heater repair and replacement services in San Diego and Chula Vista. If you have any questions about tank or tankless water heaters and choosing the most suitable type for your home, give us a call today!

Call Us Today: (619) 747-3443

Email Us: info@californiaplumbingsd.com

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