Key Differences Between Tankless Water Heaters & Storage Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters give you all the hot water you need and only when you need it. In fact, that’s why they’ve taken their place as an alternative to the time-honored storage tank units that have dominated water heating in the United States for over a century. Tankless water heaters have gained market share in the U.S. every year for the last decade.
Tank or Tankless?
Storing water in a tank between uses causes standby heat losses. By the time someone in the house finally uses hot water held in a storage tank heater, the water may have been reheated many times by the burner to maintain proper temperature. Multiple reheats for a single use are not a formula for optimum water heating efficiency. As the name implies, a tankless heater stores no water.
Instead, the heater provides hot water on demand, initiated when a hot water tap is opened. The tankless unit senses the pressure fluctuation and ignites the burner to heat the flow of water passing through the heat exchanger. When the tap is closed, the burner deactivates. No energy is consumed on standby. Here’s how a tankless heater stacks up against a standard storage tank:
- Up to 40 percent lower energy costs
- Unlimited hot water as long as the unit is properly sized to household demand
- Small footprint
- Twenty-year expected service life, twice the life of a storage tank heater
Storage Tank Pros
- Low upfront purchase price
- One-to-one replacement of previous unit without alterations
- Universally available and low maintenance
- Substantially higher upfront cost
- More complex installation, new venting required
- May need gas line and gas meter upgrades
- Annual professional maintenance required to descale heat exchanger
Storage Tank Cons
- Standby energy losses reduce efficiency
- Finite tank capacity means high demand may exhaust supply
- Mineral sediment accumulation affects service life
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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