Tank Water Heater vs Tankless, What's the difference?
Hot water is an indispensable component in any home. Many households use hot
water for taking a shower, laundry, and washing dishes. Therefore, if you are thinking
about installing a water heater, you will be faced with the option of a tank versus a
tankless water heater. Here are some differences between the two types of water
heaters to make your decision easier.
One of the major differences between a tank and a tankless water heater is
convenience. A tank water heater heats water and reserves it in a tank. The insulated
water tank ensures the water stays hot. However, if several people are using hot
water at the same time, you may run out. As a result, cold water will come out of the
taps until the water tank can heat more water.
A tankless water heater consists of burners that heat water. The water goes through
a heat exchanger and to your appliances whenever you want hot water. The burners
heat water on demand instead of storing hot water in a tank until you need it. This
means you should never run out of hot water.
Gallons of Water Consumption
Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than tank water heaters for
households that consume less than 41 gallons of hot water daily. These heaters are
small and do not occupy a large space in your house. Installation consists of
mounting them on walls where, then they vent the exhaust through the side wall or
roof depending on the installation. A tankless water heater supplies hot water at 2-5 gallons per minute. A tankless water heater can either run on gas or electricity. Gas-powered tankless heaters give a higher rate of water per minute than electric ones. However, tankless water heaters cannot provide sufficient hot water for multiple uses in a big household that exceeds 41 gallons of water. For example, running your shower and dishwasher
simultaneously can overwork your tankless water heater unless properly sized for the
home, which may incur additional cost of installation adjustments.
On the other hand, a tank water heater can hold up to 80 gallons of hot water in a
storage tank. Therefore, they are suited for large households. One downside is that
these tanks are large and take up a significant amount of space. Moreover, if you
deplete the hot water in the tank, you have to wait until the heater heats more water.
Another difference between a tank and a tankless water heater is cost. Tankless
water heaters are more costly than tank heaters. According to Forbes, the average
cost of a tankless water heater is between $4,000 to $7,000. However, a tank water
heater costs between $2000 to $3,000. Installations cost also vary. For example, if you want to switch from a tank to a tankless water heater, you will possibly have to pay extra for plumbing and wiring changes. For instance, you need to remove sediment from the tank heater once a year. This will cost you approximately $200. Since a tankless water heater lasts up to 20 years, twice the amount of time a tank water heater lasts, it is a cost-effective option. However, a tank water heater may be the best option if you are on a tight budget and need a water heater urgently.
What Home Inspectors Look for In Water Heaters
A home inspection also includes checking the condition of your water heater. With a
tank water heater, a home inspection evaluates how soon you are running out of hot
water without increasing consumption. Other concerns include strange noises, leaks
from the tank, and whether the water is rust-colored.
When inspecting a tankless water heater, we will evaluate hot water delivery, error
codes, proper installation, proper venting & exhaust, correct location etc.
Wrapping It Up
The choice between a tank and a tankless water heater will depend on your specific
needs. A study by Energy.gov established that tankless water heaters could result in
energy savings of up to $100 annually. Therefore, if you can manage to pay for the
high installation costs, you will get a return on your investment in the long run.
A tankless water heater is ideal if you need hot water on demand, but if you are on a
limited income, you should opt for a tank water heater. This is also a great option for
large households. During your home inspection we always provide you with a detail
report of our findings, pictures, and areas of concern. Give us a call when you are
ready to schedule. 951.351.1855