Many people prefer to take hot showers because they know its role in relaxing muscles and calming nerves. Therefore, they decide on having water heaters in their homes. Some upgrade to getting tankless water heaters while others stick to the traditional water heaters. Now, these two are very good in supplying you heated water for your bath, laundry or what have you but each comes with its own cost.
How then do you know which to go for? A traditional water heater or a tankless one? In making this decision on behalf of your household, factors like installation cost, space, water usage, utility bill, etc., should be considered. Let us take a look at these two types of water heaters.
Traditional Water Heater
A conventional water heater works by preheating 30-50 gallons (depending on its gallon-capacity) of water in a tank, and when the water has been used, it immediately refills and heats another gallon again.
Pros and Cons of a Traditional Water Heater
- Pocket-friendly installation cost: Traditional water heaters are very cheap to install. With half the price of a tankless water heater, you get a traditional water heater fully installed.
- Cheap to maintain: Traditional water heaters are inexpensive to maintain. Since they are designed with less sophistication, repairing when faulty will only cost you a penny.
- They occupy space: Traditional water heaters occupy space as they come with tanks in different sizes and capacities.
- High utility cost: The method of heating and reheating water at a pre-set temperature, regardless of when it is needed, causes a high utility cost. It even gets higher if the water heater uses electric energy.
- There is the possibility of running out of water: It is possible for a traditional water heater to run out water, especially if the tank is a small one. To avoid this, you might decide to go for one with a bigger tank but mind you; bigger tanks means higher energy cost.
- Short life span: Traditional water heaters last up to 10-15 years before replacement which is shorter when compared with a tankless water heater.
A Tankless Water Heater
Just as the name implies, a tankless water heater is a kind of water heater without a tank. How does this work then? Rather than storing water in a tank like the traditional water heater, a tankless water heater uses an energy source of electric or gas to heat cool water whenever you need it. This is why this type of water heater is called ‘on-demand water heater.’
This water heating system does not have a tank. It heats water directly. When the hot water tap is turned on on demand, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, and in the process, a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. With this kind of mode of operation, tankless water heaters do supply constant hot water.
Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater.
- A constant supply of hot water: Since tankless water heaters do not have tanks that store heated water, instead they supply as you demand it, there is no way they will run out of hot water.
- Low utility bill: Although tankless water heaters might cause you quite a fortune to install, but in the long run, they cut down your utility bill. This is because you do not have to pay for what you do not need. Traditional water heaters store hot water at a pre-set temperature, whether you need it or not, thereby increasing utility bill but a tankless water heater only provides you with hot water when you need and demand it. In the long run, you get to save yourself some dollars every year.
- Takes up little space: The portability of tankless water heaters gives them a plus. Since they do not come with a tank, they are very small and can be installed anywhere- even outside on the wall.
- Longer life span: Compared with traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters are designed to last double the years’ traditional water heaters can last. Twenty years and above, a tankless water heater will still work as efficient as when newly bought.
- Water temperature is consistent: Since tankless water heaters do not have to store water and keep reheating it, but rather supply water on demand, the water temperature is constant.
- High installation cost: One thing that can scare you a bit about tankless water heaters, is the price. Compared with traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters are costly to install. A single installation can cost you an amount of $2,800 to $4,500, depending on the model and place of purchase.
Which Is Right for My Home? Tankless Water Heater Or Traditional Water Heater?
The question of which water heater best suits your home can only be answered considering some factors as these:
- Water usage: How often do you use water in your home? If your house is one that uses a lot of water in a day- say 41 gallons and above, then a tankless water heater is the best for you.
- Budget: If you aim to cut down on your utility bill and save a few bucks a year, then go for a tankless water heater. Feedback from users of tankless water heaters is that they can save $100 per year.
- Affordability: Before going for a particular thing, you should be sure your income is solid enough to cover the cost. A tankless water heater is quite expensive and you get it for your home depends on your income. If your income can cover the cost of installation of this water heater, then go for it. In the long run, you will be able to save more money than when using a traditional water heater.
- Space: You do not want a house all crammed because of appliances, leaving little or no space left. High water usage can amount to you purchasing a water heater with a bigger tank, but with tankless water heater, you have your space and still use hot water to your satisfaction.