Your home’s water heater is a vital to make sure that every day life keeps going on as normal. Most water heaters have an average lifespan of approximately 15 years but when it’s time to replace yours, it pays to know about what types of water heaters are available, how they work and which one might be best for your home and specific needs.
Water heater options:
There are two types of water heaters that can be used in pretty much any home:
- Tankless water heaters
- Storage water heaters
However, there are some important differences to know about each of these water heaters before making the final decision about which one might be better for you.
Tankless water heaters
Often referenced to as “on-demand” water heaters, these are equipped with high-powered burners. These burners heat water rapidly as it travels through a heat exchanger, which then delivers hot water directly to showers, faucets, etc. without storing it in a tank – hence it’s called ‘tankless.’
Normally powered by natural gas or electricity, tankless heaters provide you with energy efficiency that’s approximately 22% better than water heaters with a storage tank.
Storage tank water heaters
These heaters have a tank, normally with the capacity to hold up to 30-50 gallons of water, which is heated to a set temperature and then stored until the hot water is required. The hot water is then forced through a pipe at the top of the tank and delivered to the bathroom or kitchen or wherever hot water is needed throughout the home Storage tank water heaters also have a temperature and pressure-release valve, which opens when temperature or pressure goes beyond levels that you’ve set for the system.
These heaters are the most common in US homes, as they have been around for many years. They usually require natural gas or electricity to heat the water in the tank. Heaters using natural gas to heat water use almost 50% less energy than those that use electricity but natural gas systems are a little more expensive to buy than electric systems.
Water heater comparisons – cheat sheet:
Tankless water heaters:
- Provide up to 34% more energy efficiency than storage tank water heaters, which means better energy savings for you
- Use less than 41 gallons or less of hot water each day compared to storage tank heaters
- Are normally more expensive than storage tank heaters but normally last longer, increasing your water heater’s life span from 10 or 15 years to over 20
- While tankless systems cost more initially, it will help you save more on energy costs over time
Storage tank water heaters:
- Can be at risk of rupture which can lead to potential damage and costly repairs
- You could enjoy energy savings of up to 27%-50% more by installing a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet
- The latest heaters still provide good energy efficiency and may be fine for you
It always pays to discuss your hot water system needs with a plumber who will help you determine which is best for you and your home.
Contact our team today if you have any questions about water heater installation. We can handle all your water heater repair needs, too.