Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater

Buying hot water heaters is much easier said than done. There are several considerations you may need to weigh before you purchase a water heater according to your needs. Today, manufacturers offer a wide range of water heaters that use the latest technologies that enable them to maximize efficiency and at the same time minimize the cost. Popular brands such as AO Smith, GE, Kenmore, Rheem, and Whirlpool manufacture storage tanks as well as tankless water heaters. All you need to do is decide which type suits your requirement and purchase it. Read on to know more details.

Tank water heaters
These traditional hot water heaters are by far the most commonly used. Storage tank heaters are uncomplicated, hassle-free and make use of the generation-old tried-and-tested technology that is highly reliable. They make use of electricity, propane, oil or natural gas to function properly. A typical residential tank stores 20 to gallons of water and the heater heats and re-heats a certain volume of water stored inside the insulated tank. Hot water comes out of the tank from the top and cold water replenishes it from the bottom. Unlike the conventional tank heaters, the new hot water heaters waste less energy and some even have an energy star rating.

Again, while switching from one fuel type to another, for example from gas to electric- may include additional cost and even some amount of complexity. However, it is not as bad as you may think it to be. The sole reason for this is that the storage tank heaters don’t require any piping or wiring modifications. Therefore, with minor changes, you will be able to switch from one fuel type to another.

One drawback of this type of heater is- as the tanks are of finite size and it does not heat water instantaneously, there is a possibility of the tank from running short of hot water. However, this is a minor drawback considering its cost and other advantages it offers.

You can buy a storage tank from the following.

  • Tank Store
  • State Water heaters
  • Bradford-White Water heaters
  • Amazon (Online)
  • Chewy.com (online)
  • Sears.com (online)
  • Marey.com (online)

Tankless water heaters
Tankless water heaters although not new, are slowly gaining importance in the country. More and more manufacturers are producing tankless units. These units are smaller than traditional water heaters and can be easily mounted on the wall. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on-demand. In this, cold water enters the unit and exits fully heated a second later. These hot water heaters use either electric resistance heating coils or a gas burner to heat the water.

Tankless water heaters work efficiently and are around 30% better than storage tank water heaters. However, tankless water heaters can cost you almost twice as that of the conventional heaters. In addition to this, installing tankless units can cost you more as it requires some modifications to be made.

Tankless water heaters promise limitless hot water. A small catch here is, if you decide to get into the shower while your dishwasher is running, the low flow rate may not allow the unit to heat as fast as it would otherwise.

Where to buy tankless water heaters from?

  • Rinnai
  • American Water Heaters
  • Noritz: Tankless Water Heaters
  • Takagi Tankless Water Heaters
  • EcoSmart Tankless Water Heaters
  • Navien Inc.

Choosing right hot water heaters for your home may need a lot of considerations that range from the cost of the heater, its energy efficiency, the volume of water used, how long you plan to stay in the same house. If needed, you can even consult an expert in the field of hot water heaters and suggest you the type that would suit you the best. Additionally, it is recommended that you do a thorough research on your own and only then take an informed decision.