Your water heater accounts for a substantial amount of your home’s total energy use. In addition to reducing your hot water use, having an energy efficient water heater can help decrease your bills. Here, we focus on two of the most popular types of water heaters: traditional and tankless.
How They Work
A traditional water heater is most likely what you’re familiar with. Water is stored and constantly heated to a certain temperature in a large tank. The hot water is used as needed throughout your house and new water pumps into the tank to be heated. The new water entering the tank takes some time to heat up to the desired temperature.
Tankless water heaters differ from traditional water heaters in that they only provide hot water as needed. Instead of storing hot water, tankless heaters quickly heat up water to the desired temperature.
Why Choose Traditional Over Tankless?
There are a couple of reasons why a traditional water heater may be the best fit for someone. The biggest reason may be the ease and cost of installation. Installation and replacement costs for a traditional water heater can be half as much as a tankless heater. Additionally, switching from a traditional heater to a tankless heater can be somewhat of a complicated and expensive transition.
Another reason someone may desire a traditional heater over tankless is the amount of readily available hot water. While tankless heaters heat water much more quickly than traditional water heaters, they cannot provide the same volume of water at one time. Running two things at the same time, such as the shower and dishwasher might be too much for a tankless heater to handle.
Why Choose Tankless Over Traditional?
Tankless water heaters are much more efficient than traditional water heaters. Traditional heaters constantly heat up the water tank, so a lot of energy is wasted when no one is using hot water. Since tankless heaters heat up water on demand, they don’t produce the energy losses that traditional heaters do. According to Energy.gov, tankless water heaters can be 24%-34% more efficient than traditional water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily. Energy.gov also estimates that an Energy Star tankless water heater can save users about $100 annually, which can add up to some serious savings considering the lifespan of tankless heaters.
The life expectancy of a tankless heater is greater than 20 years, significantly longer than the expected lifespan of 10-15 years for a traditional heater. The longer lifespan of tankless water heaters means fewer replacement and installation payments, which when added to the yearly savings tankless heaters can provide, add up to substantial long-term savings.
A big reason why a tankless water heater may be the best choice for a household is the amount of people living in the house. If you’ve ever been last in line to take a shower and were stuck with cold water, you know it’s not fun. A tankless water heater’s capability to heat water quickly means there is enough hot water for everyone.