There are two main types of water heaters available for your home. Traditional water heaters and the newer, tankless water heaters. Understanding the differences between these two, and the pros and cons of each will help you make a smarter, quicker decision.
Traditional water heaters
- Store and preheat 30-50 gallons of water in a tank. Once it’s used, the tank refills and heats once again.
- Have a lower initial cost – about half that of a tankless water heater.
- Heat and reheat water at a pre-set temperature regardless of your water needs. This increases your utility bill—especially during the winter months.
- Occupy more room and can’t be placed outside.
- Can run out of hot water if your tank isn’t large enough to support your family’s use.
- Have a shorter life – Traditional water heaters last about 10-15 years, so you’ll be replacing them about twice as frequently as their tankless counterparts.
Tankless water heaters
- Use a heat source (electric or gas) to warm up cool water on-demand whenever you need it rather than storing hot water in a tank.
- Have a higher initial cost, and retrofitting adds to that cost, so if you’re replacing a traditional water heater with a tankless system you’ll pay even more for the installation.
- But, they save money in the long run – According to gov, “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.”
- Don’t take up much space – They are small and can be installed in more places—even outside on a wall.
- Last longer – Lasts 20+ years. Almost double a traditional water heater’s life.
- Deliver hot water on demand – Provides two to three gallons of hot water per minute on demand.
- Serve hot water one faucet at a time, which can be a problem if you want to take a shower while the dishwasher is running.
- Are wall-mounted and more compact than a standard water heater.
- Have special venting requirements (a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requires professional installation). Natural gas burners often need a larger diameter gas pipe, which adds to the installation cost.
Which water heater is right for you?
Pick the water heater that best fits your water usage, lifestyle situation, and budget. And don’t forget to get an estimate on the installation when you’re pricing each style.
Maplewood Plumbing and Sewer has been installing traditional and tankless water heaters in St. Louis basements for more than 30 years. Contact us today at 314-645-6350 or here for more information or to request a bid.
We offer a one-year warranty on all parts and labor excluding washers.