There are plenty of common traits shared by both your conventional water heater and today’s top tankless water heater models. Both also have their unique differences. Deciding on which type you would rather have in your home can be a tough decision. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each, then consider your budget and a few other key factors. By the time your research is complete, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision regarding your next water heater. Let us help you out!
Your home’s water heater is a costly investment. You’ll be living with and using the same water heater for a decade or more, so it’s important to research your options carefully.
Conventional Water Heaters
A conventional water heater – one with a tank – is what most homeowners know. It’s the style of water heater that most families grew up with. These systems vary depending on your needs. You can find a conventional water heater in a variety of types, sizes, and specifications designed for your home. But on average, expect to pay around $900 for a standard 40- or 50-gallon water heater.
- Installation – The installation of a conventional water heater is pretty straightforward. It takes just a few hours for an experienced plumbing technician to install a water heater indoors. The reason the system must be indoors is that the tank itself is not designed to withstand harsh weather. A few common locations where you may install a water heater include the kitchen, such as in an old home, or perhaps the garage or a closet in a new home.
- Lifespan – On average, a conventional water heater will last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. It depends on how often you schedule maintenance and prompt repairs.
- Operation – The overall operation of a conventional water heater is the most significant difference here. A tank system holds 20 to 80 gallons of hot water, stored at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, for use throughout the home. As you operate the dishwasher or take a hot shower, you drain the supply. It then takes time to reheat water and refill the tank.
Tankless Water Heaters
Then, you have tankless water heaters – a modern advancement for the home. These units are smaller in size, therefore taking up less space in your home, and vary in price. On average, expect to pay around $3,000 for a new tankless water heater. But the long-term benefits, including increased water efficiency and readily available hot water, pay for the unit over time.
- Installation – As a tankless water heater is smaller, it is easy to pick a spot for your new water heater. You can even install one on an exterior wall. However, when compared to conventional water heater installation, installation for a tankless model is a little more complicated. Your home may require an electrical upgrade to operate the new system.
- Lifespan – On average, a tankless water heater will serve your home for around 20 years or more, depending on maintenance and installation quality.
- Operation – Unlike a conventional water heater, a tankless unit does not store hot water. As you request it, from the shower or a faucet, hot water flows through the system and is heated and dispersed immediately. This design allows for more hot water for everyone.
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