Many existing homes today are still equipped with tank-style water heaters that use gas, propane or electricity to heat and then maintain the water temperature inside the tank. Tank-style water heaters have been used with good results in residential homes for more than a century, with most proven to be capable of having a lifespan of a decade or longer.
Recently, tankless water heater options have become more popular with homeowners. In fact, improvements in tankless water heater design and attractive purchase prices have caused many homeowners to consider switching their from tank-style to a tankless water heater. If your home is currently equipped with a tank-style water heater, but you find yourself wondering whether a tankless might be more suitable for your home, this information can help you decide.
Household usage needs
One of the drawbacks of a tank-style water heater is the length of time it takes to bring incoming cold water to the desired temperature. This recovery time can be a important disadvantage in homes where hot water usage is high, such as when multiple showers are taken over a short period of time.
Tankless hot water heaters continually heat water to the desired temperature as it is used so water for each bather or hot water usage need is delivered without delay or potentially uncomfortable temperature fluctuations.
Homeowners faced with deciding to stick with a tank-style water heater or switch to a tankless model can use their average daily hot water needs to help them make a good choice. When opting to move to a tankless water heater, however, homeowners will need to consider whether to install a large whole-house tankless water heater or several smaller point-of-use models for specific areas of the home.
Costs related to hot water production and usage
In addition to the way in which hot water is used in the home, it is also important to look at the costs related to hot water production and usage. Tank-style water heaters must cycle on and reheat stored water to keep it at usage temperature. In homes where work and school schedules mean that occupants only use hot water during one or two short time periods each day, the constant reheating of stored water can be much more costly than hot water that is produced only on demand.
To learn more about both types of water heaters, including differing fuel types and sizes, homeowners should consider discussing their situation with a reputable HVAC contractor in their area.