When you're planning on getting a new hot water heater installation, you have a decision to make. Do you choose a tankless water heater or a traditional tank water heater? There are a lot of pros and cons to each, so here's a quick rundown of what you should take into consideration.
Tankless water heaters have the opportunity to provide you with significant energy savings. This is because tank water heaters constantly use a pilot light in order to maintain the heat of the water in the tank. Considering that tank water heaters can contain up to around 80 gallons of water, this uses a lot of energy to maintain the heat, especially if your water heater is located outside the home.
Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, only use energy when water is actively flowing through them. They heat water on the go, so they use considerably less energy than the average tank water heater, whether you choose electric or gas.
Which water heater you choose should also depend upon how much water you use in your home. For example, if you currently have a standard tank water heater and regularly run out of hot water while in the shower, you might consider getting a tankless water heater. The reason you end up using cold water in the shower is likely because you're expending all the hot water that's stored in the tank. When this happens, the tank fills with cold water and tries to heat it up as fast as it can, but it won't be fast enough to deliver the scalding hot shower you enjoy.
With a tankless water heater, you won't ever run out of hot water. So either choose a larger tank water heater or a tankless if you have this problem.
Last but not least, tank water heaters do have one major advantage over tankless. That advantage is that if your power or gas runs out, you'll still have hot water for a few hours' time.
The water that's in the tank will stay hot and then warm for quite a while just because it was already hot when the power or gas dropped out. So if you need to clean something, sanitize something, or just want to take a shower, you'll be able to do that. Your tankless water heater will effectively be offline until its power source is restored, so with a tankless, you're stuck with cold water in the interim.
Choosing a water heater ultimately depends upon your household's personal needs. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask a plumber.