Are you a person who uses a traditional or tank water heater? Then wait for a while and read this whole tankless water heater vs tank water heater comparison. This might change your thought process because although the price of a tankless water heater is higher than a traditional water heater still it is gonna save you $100 per year and lasts more years.
What are we gonna discuss?
Here we are gonna compare Tankless Water Heater vs Traditional Water Heater in every aspect and see which water heater is better for you.
According to eia.gov, Space heating and water heating were the top two energy-consuming uses in the U.S around 2015, so we will compare the energy efficiency of tankless water heater and traditional.
These are the following topics we are gonna discuss here:
- difference between tank and tankless water heater
- tankless water heater energy efficiency
- tankless water heater vs tank cost
- tank vs tankless water heater lifespan
- space efficiency of tank water heater and tankless water heater
- installation of tankless and traditional water heater
- tankless water heater pros and cons
- tank water heater pros and cons
- 3 myths about tankless water heater
- which water heater is better (situation wise)
Tankless Water Heater vs Traditional Water Heater
Let’s start with the basic difference between tankless and tank water heaters.
What is a tankless water heater?
By the name(tankless) we can understand that these types of water heaters don’t contain tanks. Tankless water heaters are also called on-demand water heaters because they can deliver the hot water on your demand instantly. With the help of gases like propane or electricity, it heats the flowing water very fast. They are almost 22-25% more energy-efficient than the usual gas traditional water heater.
You can check the tankless water heater buying guide if you are thinking to buy one.
What is a traditional or tank water heater?
Traditional water heaters are also called conventional water heaters. In these types of water heaters, we use a tank that is approximately as tall as a human and takes much space. Traditional water heaters are of 2 types, i.e electric and gas tank water heaters. Gas water heaters are more energy-efficient than electric ones.
So, there is one tank in which water gets stored to get heated up with the help of natural gas or electricity, then the water goes to the destinations like kitchen faucets, shower faucets, etc.
Tankless water heater energy efficiency
If you heat more than 40 gallons of water daily, then a tankless water heater will be energy efficient for you. But if you heat less than 40 gallons of water daily, the tank water heater might be a better choice from an energy efficiency perspective because you will save much money on installation, and return on investment would be really beneficial to you.
If you use more than 40 gallons of water heater daily, then a tankless water heater will be 25-35% more efficient than a tank water heater. And when you use lots of hot water daily (up to 86 gallons), the energy efficiency will increase by 8 to 14 percent.
If we take the normal cost of natural gas as $10.86 per 1,000 cubic feet, and the electric cost of $0.132 per KWh, then this chart is approximately correct.
|Water heater||Annual cost(approx.)|
|Tank water heater(gas)||$245|
|Tankless water heater(gas)||$195|
|Tank water heater(electric)||$580|
|Tankless water heater(electric)||$535|
Tankless water heater vs tank cost
Although the tankless water heaters are energy efficient I must say the cost of tankless water heaters will be higher overall than traditional water heaters.
|Traditional water heater||Tankless water heater|
|They cost 600$+installation+additional parts=$2000(aprrox)||They cost $1200+install+additional parts+increase gas, water, and venting lines|
But, paying the high charge for a tankless water heater is worth it because it usually lasts up to 20 years.
Tank vs tankless water heater lifespan
|Traditional water heater||Tankless water heater|
|Traditional water heaters last for 10-12 years||Tankless water heaters last for 15-20 years whereas you can increase this lifespan(up to 25 years) by adding one pre-water filter.|
Space efficiency of tank water heater and tankless water heater
A traditional water heater will take a lot of space in your home. You need almost a room or garage to install a tank water heater.
Whereas in the case of a tankless water heater, it is just a 3 ft x 0.5 ft cubic box and can be kept in any room.
Although a tankless water heater takes very little space than a traditional water heater the installation of a tankless water heater is way tougher than a tank tap water heater.
Installation of tankless and traditional water heater
The installation process of a tankless water heater is really a tough one because here you have to do a gas load calculation chart. You have to measure the gas pipe system, main coming in, and the exactly BTUs coming out thru the pipe.
You have to make sure the pipe coming to the house is big enough and the distribution pipe is big enough.
If you are switching from a traditional to a tankless water heater, you have to measure everything like running water lines, running the attic, having enough accessibility, etc.
So, these factors justify the high cost of installation for the tankless water heaters.
Tankless water heater pros and cons
Advantages of Tankless water heater:
- saves money if you see for a long time period
- space-efficient(needs less space to get installed)
- 20%-30% more energy-efficient(if you use more than 40 gallons of hot water a day)
- long lifespan(up to 25 years with pre water filter)
- get hot water within few seconds, you don’t have to wait long
- it will take up to 15-30 seconds only to get hot water
- can be up to 199,000 BTUs capacity
Disadvantage of Tankless water heater:
- installation is very hard(you have to calculate gas loads, measure the gas pipe system, main coming in, and the exactly BTUs coming out thru the pipe)
- costs higher than traditional water heaters
- if you are going to switch from a traditional to the tankless water heater, it will cost so much because it will take more time and it is very complex also
- your tankless water heater may fail if many water outlets(like dishwater faucet, shower faucet, kitchen faucet, washing machine, etc) are open simultaneously.
Tank water heater pros and cons
Advantages of Tank water heater:
- low buying cost
- low maintenance cost and parts installation is easier than tankless water heaters
- maintenance is easier than tankless water and repairing the parts is also cheaper
Disadvantages of Tank water heater:
- not space-efficient(the tank is as tall as a human and needs a lot of space in a room, so kept in garage usually)
- slow water delivery
- not energy efficient(it increases your bill because traditional heaters keep water hot the whole day so it kick starts to heat the whole water)
- if you don’t own a house or you live in an apartment, you can’t find a place for the traditional water heater.
- you have to replace the tank tap water heaters often
- lifespan is only up to 10-12 years
- can be only up to 50,000 BTUs capacity
3 Myths About Tankless Water Heater
Myth 1: Tankless water heater gives instant water
The tankless water heater is not gonna give you instant hot water. The reason behind this is, the water has to move thru the heat exchanger slowly to get heated up and then reach the destination. The speed depends upon the volume of the water and also the distance between heater and fixture like kitchen or shower etc.
It will take up to 15-30 sec to heat the water and reach your destination. If you want to speed up this thing, you can add a recirculating pump with a tankless water heater.
Myth 2: Tankless water heater is gonna save you money
A tankless water heater won’t save you a lot of money if you use less than 40 gallons of hot water daily.
It will be worth it only if you see the long-term investment like 15-20 years. In 15-20 years it will definitely save you money but if you use it for only 10 years then no such difference you can notice between tankless water heater vs traditional.
Myth 3: Never have to maintain the tankless water heater
The tankless water heaters are way more sensitive than traditional water heaters so, you really have to maintain them in a good manner else it will decrease the tankless water heater lifespan.
Especially if your area gets hard water and you don’t maintain the heater from time to time, it is gonna lose its lifespan within 5-6 years only.
Note: There is a difference between inspecting and maintanance. You gotta go for maintenance once a year at least. If you live in a hard water environment then you must use a pre-water filter to increase the heater lifespan.
Which water heater is better (situation wise)
Which water heater is better, traditional or tankless? Well, here are the 3 important factors based on which you can decide yourself.
|Traditional water heater||Tank water heater|
|if you are going to live in a home for 5-10 years only.||if you are going to live in a home for lifetime.|
|if you use less than 40 gallons of hot water daily||if you use more than 40 gallons of hot water daily|
|only if you have a garage or basement to keep the tank water heater||you can keep the tank water heater in any room(but basement is preferred)|
I hope you got to know about many things from this tankless water heater vs tank water heater comparison. At last, I must say if you have a situation, you can go with a tankless water heater for a long period of time. It will save you money over time.
If you still have any doubt regarding Tankless Water Heater vs Traditional water heaters, please comment below. Every feedback is appreciated.