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Tankless Water Heaters vs. Storage Water Heaters

Human beings have not always had on-demand access to hot water, but today it’s hard to find one of us who could live totally without it. Hot water is needed for showers, washing dishes, laundry, and a plurality of other everyday chores and tasks, and therefore it’s always an inconvenience when, for whatever reason, there is no access to hot water.

A homeowner who chooses a tankless water heater installation is a homeowner who values the important things in life, and owners of electric tankless water heaters rarely experience the nuisances that are typically associated with traditional gas and storage tank water heaters.

Contents

If you’ve been trying to decide what kind of water heater you want in your new home, or if you’re looking to upgrade to a more efficient water-heating system, then you should read through the points below and learn about why tankless water heaters are preferred over storage heaters.

  • What are electric tankless water heaters?
  • Electricity vs. gas
  • Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Energy efficiency
  • Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Affordability
  • Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Usability
  • Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Reliability
  • Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Maintainability
  • Who to contact for an electric tankless water heater installation

What Are electric tankless water heaters?

Compact electric tankless water heaters are designed with efficiency in mind. These systems have been around since the 1990s, and today they’re incredibly sophisticated; some use recirculating pumps so hot water can be accessed instantly while others are compatible with the latest smartphones.

These systems are installed to supply a home or building with hot water, and many prefer them over traditional water-heating methods because they’re energy-efficient, affordable, straightforward, reliable, and maintainable.

Electricity vs. gas

If you've done any reading about water heaters, you've probably discerned that there are two different types of energy sources: electricity and gas. Beyond this obvious difference, there are some key elements that you'll want to consider if you have the opportunity to make a choice between the two. If you want to dive into the differences between gas and electric water heaters, we’ve written another post you may want to read:

Want to know the difference between Gas vs Electric Water heaters? We’re written another post you may want to read:
 GAS VS. ELECTRIC TANKLESS WATER HEATERS

Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: energy efficiency

If you told a plumber you were installing a storage water heater to save energy, they’d probably look at you funny. Storage tank water heaters are bought for many reasons, but energy efficiency is far from one of them. Traditional storage water tanks waste 40 to 50 percent of the fuel they burn. But for all that wasted energy, the water stays hot for hours, right?

Wrong! Storage tank water heaters heat up and cool down regularly, and this is largely why they’re so bad on energy costs. Moreover, most of these heaters run on natural gas, propane, or fuel oil, and all these fuels are expensive, dangerous, and harmful to the environment.

Advantage: Tankless

Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are great on energy, and they run on electricity so you don’t have to worry about gas- or propane-related hazards. These systems use a coil to heat water, so there’s no waste from gas or oil use. The Department of Energy has found that 17 percent of energy use in the typical American home is linked to heating water, and across the U.S. homeowners routinely pay high energy bills.

A system that saves energy is a system that saves money, and this truth is one that leads many homeowners to go with a tankless water heater installation. You may also qualify for a rebate if you purchase one of these electric tankless water heaters.

Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Affordability

Affordability is an important aspect to consider when choosing a water heater, and you must decide how much you’re willing to spend before selecting an option. While tankless water heaters typically cost more than storage tank water heaters up front, they are designed to be more affordable in the long run.

Consider the following points when trying to decide which is a more affordable option:

  • Electric tankless water heaters cost around $500 whereas storage tank water heaters cost around $1,000.
  • Using a tankless heater throughout the year will cost less than using a storage tank water heater over that same period.
  • Storage tank water heaters are generally much larger than a tankless water heaters, so you may have to spend on creating an installation space. Tankless heaters, on the other hand, can be mounted on the wall to take up very little space.
  • Storage heaters typically run on expensive combustive fuels, whereas electric heaters run on a more sustainable form of power.

Advantage: Toss up

One must also account for risk, as well as for costs that could arise should something go wrong. A gas- or oil-related fire is a lot more costly than an electrical malfunction, and electric tankless heaters don’t pose the risk to life and limb that traditional storage heaters do.

Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Usability

Conventional storage tank water heaters have been popular for a long time, mainly because using these systems is not too difficult. It’s when things go wrong, however, that storage heaters reveal their inherent complexities.

For example, realizing that a storage heater is not working usually requires an annoying event, a cold shower for example. Then once the problem is detected, attending to it isn’t always straightforward; in most instances you’ll have to get a professional plumber over to help.

Advantage: Tankless

Electric tankless water heaters are designed with efficiency in mind, and this is largely why they’re so user-friendly. Operating one of these systems does not require a lot of thought, and they’re very good at alerting you of potential issues before it’s too late. Moreover, most tankless water heaters being made today have smartphone-enabled technology inside, and such systems are taking usability to a whole new level.

Tankless heaters vs. storage water heaters: Reliability

Hot water is often a necessity, and most people will tell you there are few things worse than having no hot water during a pre-work morning shower. Reliability is a word often associated with tankless water heaters, and these systems, with their on-demand access to controlled hot water, are installed by an innumerable amount of homeowners specifically because they’re so good at never letting users down.

Storage tank water heaters are reliable systems as well, though their reliability comes at some high costs vs tankless water heaters. You shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg, designate a large amount of room, and take on a lot of risks just to heat the water in your home. It’s 2019, and reliability now comes with, not at the cost of, affordability and eco-friendliness.

Advantage: Tankless

There's no doubt about it - tankless water heaters get the nod over storage tank water heaters when it comes to reliability.

Tankless heaters vs. storage heaters: Maintainability

Affordability and usability are the aspects that’ll come to mind first when you’re deciding on which water-heating system to purchase, but you shouldn’t forget about maintaining the system and all the elements associated with it. Maintaining storage water heaters is said to be simple, but many owners of these systems think otherwise after a few problems occur.

When it comes to maintenance, tankless electric water heaters are preferred over traditional storage water heaters. Maintaining these systems is not only cheaper, but maintenance only has to be conducted once a year in order to ensure everything is running at optimal conditions. And if you need to find professionals for a tankless water heater installation, finding reputable and certified electricians is not difficult.

Advantage: Tankless

If you value easy maintenance, go with a tankless water heater.

Who to contact for an electric tankless water heater installation

In order to get the most out of a tankless water heater, you must have the system properly installed. Installing an electric tankless water heater is not a DIY task, rather it’s a job best left to experienced electricians and plumbers. We here at Team Enoch have plenty of experience installing storage and tankless water heaters. If your home has been relying on storage water heating for years, we can help you make a smooth transition to a tankless system. After living with your new system for a couple months, you’ll begin to wonder how you ever got by with traditional water heating.

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