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Tankless Water Heaters vs Tank: Which One’s Best?

Apr 15, 2020

Plumbing
A side view of a matte black kitchen faucet and sink that was supplied and installed by romaniuk heating.

When it comes to water heaters you have two choices: Storage tank water heaters or tankless water heaters. You’re likely familiar with storage tank heaters, as they’ve been the way most of us have heated the water in our homes for years. But tankless water heaters have grown in popularity over the last decade and hold a number of advantages over conventional water heaters.

So, when it comes to tankless water heaters vs tank water heaters, which one is best for you? In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about tankless water heaters to help you decide whether it’s a good idea to make the switch.

How do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

As its name suggests, a tankless water heater doesn’t store any hot water in a storage tank. Instead, cold water travels through the unit inside a pipe and is heated by either a gas or electric burner. The water that exits the water heater is heated and can be delivered to appliances throughout your house.

This system allows for a continuous flow of hot water without the need to wait for a storage tank to fill up.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters provide a number of advantages when compared to conventional water heaters. However, there are a few disadvantages you need to consider.

Here is a complete list of pros and cons for tankless water heaters.

Pros

  • Lifespan: Tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years, which is nearly double the average lifespan of storage tank water heaters.
  • Constant Hot Water: Unlike storage tank water heaters, that can run out of hot water when their tank is emptied, tankless water heaters provide an uninterrupted flow of hot water.
  • Energy Savings: Because tankless water heaters aren’t continuously heating water in a tank, they only come on when hot water is needed. This makes them far more energy-efficient and less expensive to operate.
  • Space: Tankless water heaters are small and compact units that are installed on the wall. This is very advantageous for people with smaller homes or limited storage space.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Tankless water heaters can help you reduce your use of non-renewable resources. They can also be repaired with replaceable parts, making them more eco-friendly than traditional water heaters

Cons

  • Flow Rate: While tankless water heaters provide a continuous flow of hot water, they may have trouble keeping up if you use more than one appliance at the same time. Gas-powered units provide a better flow rate than electric ones, but you still might have issues if too many appliances are being used at once. In some cases, an additional tankless water heater may need to be installed to keep up with the demand. Talk to your HVAC technician when installing your tankless water heater to ensure it can handle your daily usage.
  • Installation: Installing a tankless water heater is generally more expensive than installing a conventional unit. This is especially true if you need to install new venting and gas lines. However, in the long run a tankless water heater will actually save you money due to the energy savings.
  • Doesn’t Work During Power Outages: Because a tankless water heater doesn’t store hot water you won’t have any reserves if the power goes out.
  • Heating Time: Since a tankless water heater needs to heat the water before it delivers it to you it may take slightly longer to get hot water. But overall the difference is usually only a few seconds.

How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost, Including Installation?

One of the main determining factors for many people when it comes to deciding whether or not to install a tankless water heater is cost. Here’s a breakdown of how much these units cost, as well as the cost of the installation.

  • Tankless Water Heater Cost: The price to purchase a tankless water heater can range anywhere from $200 - $1800, depending on the type of unit you choose to buy. Larger units with a higher Gallons Per Minute rating will cost more, so larger houses with higher hot water demands will likely require a more expensive unit.
  • Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost: Tankless water heater installations can range anywhere from $1500 - $5000, depending on the unit that’s being installed and the requirements of the house.
  • Total Cost: On average, people pay a total of $3500 to purchase and install a tankless water heater.

Tankless Water Heater Savings

While installing a tankless water heater is often more expensive than installing a tank heater, the long-term energy savings more than make up for it. A tankless water heater can reduce your hot water usage by up to 35%, which translates into a lifetime savings of up to $1800.

Contact Us Today for All of Your HVAC Needs

Romaniuk has been serving the greater Edmonton area for over 30 years. Our team of certified experts is ready to help you with all of your HVAC needs. If you’re considering installing a tankless water heater, or you have any questions about your water heater, call us today at 587-400-7333.

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