Should I switch from a traditional tank water heater to a tankless model? We get this question from many Greater Cleveland homeowners these days–and the answer is “maybe.” Storage tank water heaters are better for some households. They can be nearly as efficient as “on-demand” or “instantaneous” tankless water heaters. Often, homeowners don’t want to invest in replacing tank water heaters–unless absolutely necessary. For those who don’t mind some initial expense and more complex installation, tankless units are more efficient, especially gas models.
Advantages of Storage Tank Water Heaters
- Traditional storage water heaters offer more capacity. If you need to use many home water sources at once, for instance if you have a large family on similar schedules, you may prefer conventional water heating. To ensure adequate water flow to simultaneous users, you’ll need more than one tankless water heater. You may need a dedicated model for far-flung parts of the home–like a hot tub out back, or for high capacity appliances/areas like the washing machine/laundry room. Too few tankless units means someone showering may get a slow, skimpy hot water flow, as the tankless struggles to instantly heat water. (Tank models can run out of water in the tank, however.)
- Standard tank water heaters are cheaper to purchase and install. Although tankless models are smaller (suitcase sized) and lighter weight, you may need more than one, and your gas line must be enlarged for gas-fired tankless units. You’ll need a large flue and careful installation to prevent air leakage. An electric tankless model gets around the latter issue, but operating costs are higher than gas units.
- Conventional tank-style water heaters need less (and cheaper) repairs than the newer tankless technology.
- Storage water heaters encourage thriftiness. When showering, most people keep in mind that there’s only so much hot water in the tank.
- Standard water heaters can be energy efficient. Storage water heaters with insulated tanks and/or insulating “blankets” experience less storage-tank heat loss. Newer tank heaters are programmable to use electricity during non-peak hours when energy demand is lower/costs less.
Need HVAC help? Contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, serving greater Cleveland.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about storage tank water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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