Water Heater: Tank or Tankless?
WHICH WATER HEATER IS BEST FOR YOU?
The best time to weigh the pros and cons of water heaters is before you ever need one. When that day comes, all you’ll care about is getting a plumbing estimate and some hot water, pronto! So, before you have to make that emergency plumbing call, take the time now to consider your options. Then you’ll know what to ask – or tell – your Tampa plumbing expert when you call.
Basics of water heating:
In the United States, the vast majority of heaters have 20-80 gallon tanks that fill with cold water which is then heated by coils or elements and stored until needed. Most are gas-fueled, although many Tampa water heaters are all-electric. As the tank of water waits for that next shower or load of laundry, it loses heat. This requires more fuel for reheating – and that’s a drag on efficiency. The holidays are approaching and before everyone wants a shower at the same time you want to run the dishwasher, it may be time to think about an upgrade to your water heater!
With instantaneous, on-demand or tankless heaters (different names for the same idea), the water is heated as it flows through a much smaller unit. This type of water heater is common in Europe and Japan, and is gaining favor in the United States. The major benefits to a tankless system are: better efficiency and lower operating costs, space savings, longer lifespan and – if sized properly – no more cold-showers. On the flip side, the upfront cost is higher, especially for retrofitting and the proper ventilation of gas units. And while tankless units typically last 5-8 years longer that tank-style, any repairs may be trickier and costlier. If you have a large family, or will be moving in a few years, a new energy efficient tank heater may be the sensible choice. But if you’re keeping the house and system for a long time, tankless may pay for itself – and you’ll feel good about a ‘green’ plumbing choice.
Compare Tankless Water Heater to Traditional Water Heater Tank
Operating cost savings will depend on what you have to begin with:
- Natural gas tank systems are more economical than electric
- Gas tankless systems are more expensive to install than electric
- Switching from one to another may or may not be a good investment
- The federal government has a cost calculator to help you decide between gas and electric water heaters you can use.
- We also like a calculator that let you compare fuel types & also tank versus tankless water heaters.
In the end, the choice is yours. Only you know if your primary concerns are for space savings, energy conservation or cost savings. And you can count on your Tampa plumbing repair expert to analyze your situation and offer suggestions. Now you know enough to ask the right questions – and don’t forget to ask your plumber about any current government or utility rebates. Installing a water heater is not a DYI project, so save yourself a headache – and give yourself some peace of mind – by calling a trustworthy plumbing company: Emory Garland Plumbing.