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What is the difference between tank and tankless water heaters?

May 9, 2014

Differences between a traditional water heater and tankless


Water Heater Installation Constantly heating your water in a big tank is inefficient and wasteful. Unfortunately, that is exactly how traditional water heaters work. In a traditional water heater the water is constantly being heated so that it is hot and ready to use at any moment. The problem with this is that hot water isn’t needed at every moment of the day. Tankless water heaters actually heat the water as you need it, so there is no wasted energy heating water when it isn’t being used. Here are the pros and cons of a traditional water heater and a tankless water heater.

The cost of a tankless water heater versus a traditional water heater is complicated. A tankless water heater will cost significantly more upfront, but will save you money in the long run. By not having to spend money on a water tank that is being heated constantly you’ll save money on operating costs per month. While traditional water heaters are cheaper, the savings on a tankless water heater make them more affordable long-term. Also, traditional water heaters last 10 to 15 years, whereas tankless water heaters are estimated to last up to 20 years. Again, you’ll save money long term by buying a product that will last longer.

Tankless water heaters take up far less space than their traditional counterparts. Traditional water heaters are 40 to 60 gallon tanks that are five feet tall and two or more feet wide. That’s a lot of real estate to give up. A typical tankless water heater is no bigger than your average computer, and they are usually mounted on a wall, out of the way.

One potential drawback of a tankless water heater is that they have a limited output when compared to traditional water heaters. A 40 to 60 gallon water heater can easily satisfy the need of the entire family, regardless of whether everyone is using the hot water at the same time. A tankless water heater can provide a few gallons of hot water at a time, but not enough to satisfy everyone’s needs at the same time.

Another pitfall is the instantaneous energy requirement of a tankless heater. The energy required at the time of use is five to ten times higher than a traditional water heater, and some older homes may not have the capacity to handle that kind of requirement.

There you have it, the difference between a traditional water heater and a tankless water heater. Each has its pro and cons, and ultimately it is up to the homeowner to decide which best fits their needs.

Looking into different water heaters for your Greenwood property? Call Johnson Heating & Cooling today at (317)881-7738 for a water heater installation! 

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