In colder countries, water heaters are popular in bathrooms and kitchens. Two main types of water heaters are available. They are-
- Traditional (Tank) Water Heater
- Tankless Water Heater
In this article, I will discuss how a tankless water heater differs from a traditional water heater. You can then decide which one is best for you.
What is Traditional Water Heater?
A water heater of this type has a storage tank that holds hot water. Traditional water heater supply hot water from the top of the tank. As hot water is used, the tank is always kept full by allowing cool water to slowly enter the bottom of the tank. Water is then heated and stored in the tank, and the cycle continues. A tank water heater usually stores 40 to 50 gallons of water.
What is Tankless Water Heater?
Unlike conventional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water as it is being used, instead of storing it in a tank. The energy used to heat water is only consumed when the water is in demand. With a tankless water heater, there are no standby heat losses, which means no energy wastage. You can install them at the point of use, and they come in many different sizes.
Difference between a Traditional and Tankless Water Heater:
The following factors indicate the main differences between the two units.
- Energy Efficiency:
No traditional water heater will perform as efficient as a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters need to heat up constant water in the tank. So there will always be hot water on standby as you need it. The heater turns on when the thermostat senses the temperature of the water gets colder. Two heating elements stay on until the water gets hot enough. Few energy efficient storage water heaters are available today.
But, Tankless water heater works on demand instant use only. In this unit, you can save energy as it needs only electricity when you turn on the hot water. You need not worry when you are asleep at night or out of the house on vacation. The unit remains off until you return and need it again. It makes it very energy efficient.
Traditional water heaters are notorious for not producing enough hot water. There is a limited amount of hot water in the tank at one time. The water will only be lukewarm as the new water flows into the tank as you use it up. It will take some time to heat a full tank of water.
With a tankless water heater, there is a limitless supply of hot water. In the tankless unit, you can get instant hot water. Unlike the conventional water heaters, it can heat water very fast. Yet, if the unit is to serve the entire house, you need to install a whole home tankless water heater.
Tankless water heaters are small in size compare to tank storage models. You can install it outside on a wall. You can place them in both horizontal and vertical position. So it can save a lot of space for you.
But Tank storage water heaters need a dedicated and larger space for installation. Compare to tankless water heaters.
- Hot Water Supply:
In the tankless unit, you will not run out of the hot water. Since there is abundant hot water is available. You will not run out of the water. In the case of the traditional water heater, there is a risk of running out of hot water. They can heat only a limited amount in a given period of time.
Water heater price varies according to the size and model. A tankless water heater costs about twice as does the traditional unit. A tankless water heater costs on average from $897 to $2,607 to install. A traditional device ranges from $729 to $1321. You should keep in mind that a traditional water heater lasts 10-13 years and the tankless unit can last up to 20 years. You can even save more with energy star qualified tankless water.
From the above you know the various points of comparison between traditional and tankless unit. It can help you to make an easy decision.
For the clearer concept, I would like to mention the pros and cons of the two units. Both traditional and tankless water heater have their positive and negative sides. By weighing the pros and cons of each, you might be able to understand the difference.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Water Heater:
- Lower initial cost: A traditional water heater installation can be half as a tankless unit.
- Easy and inexpensive to replace: It needs fewer installation complications. It means that there is less that can go wrong.
- Bigger and harder to place: A Traditional unit occupies more room. You cannot place it outside.
- Higher utility bill: Storage unit heat water at a pre-set temperature as per your need. It increases your utility bill.
- Shorter Life: Traditional unit lasts 10-15 years. So you have to buy them twice as often as a tankless unit.
Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater:
- Save money: Tankless unit can save both water and energy. It uses 41 gallons or less of hot water daily. The unit can be 24%-34% more energy efficient than a conventional storage tank water heaters.
- Take less space: Tankless unit is small in size. You can install it anywhere you want. You can also install it outside on a wall.
- Longer life: Tankless unit last longer than a traditional unit. It lasts for more than 20 years. Almost double a traditional water heater’s life.
- Endless hot water: It can provide two to three gallons of hot water per minute on demand.
- Higher initial cost: Traditional unit costs $2800 to $4500 installed.
VIDEO: Tankless vs Tank Water Heater:
The water heater is a part of our daily life. It has many benefits. From the various above points of comparison between tankless vs tank storage water heater, you can make your decision. The final decision depends upon your budget and preference.