How to Choose Between a Traditional or Tankless Water Heater

As modern technology has advanced so has water heater technology!


It used to be that there was only one type of water heater. These water heaters were big, bulky, and ran out of hot water pretty quickly. Worst of all, they were not very energy efficient. As technology progressed, these types of water heater got smaller and more efficient. Today, however, there’s a new type of water heater.

The new type of water heater on the market is a tankless water heater. Tankless heaters are small and compact. Best of all, most of them are energy efficient and use less water. Tankless water heaters are generally more expensive than traditional water heaters. However, there are many benefits to installing one. If you’re deciding between a traditional and tankless water heater, there are some things you should know.

Traditional Water Heaters

The old, tried-and-true traditional water heater is nothing special, but that’s also what makes it great. Traditional water heaters are easy to install and easy to maintain. There’s no special knowledge or maintenance required for one. Compared to tankless water heaters, they’re pretty inexpensive. Today’s traditional water heaters are also pretty energy efficient depending on the model you get.

Though traditional water heaters are inexpensive and relatively sturdy compared to tankless heaters, they do have a few downfalls. If you have a larger family, you may end up waiting for warm water in the morning. Traditional water heaters have a hard time heating up water quickly. Once they run out, a modern water heater could take up to 30 minutes before it has warm water again.

Tankless Water Heaters

Compared to traditional water heaters, tankless heaters offer many benefits. Tankless water heaters provide warm water on-demand. They don’t store hot water in a tank. This means they are more energy efficient because they don’t need to keep a large tank of water warm at all times of the day. A tankless water heater uses about 30 to 50 percent less energy than a traditional water heater. Tankless water heaters can function off of either natural gas, propane, or electricity.

Tankless water heaters may seem like the perfect water heating solution, but they do have drawbacks. Tankless heaters cost much more than a traditional heater. You may be able to justify the cost by thinking about how much you’ll save on your power bill each month. Very large families may need two tankless water heaters to meet their water demands. Tankless heathers struggle with providing hot water when multiple sources need it at the same time. However, you can always install two tankless heaters to meet your needs.

Which Water Heater Do You Choose?

In short, a traditional water heater is good for cutting upfront costs and can provide hot water to multiple appliances at the same time. However, they take a long time to warm up water once it’s gone. A tankless heater costs more and smaller units can only serve one appliance at a time. However, tankless heaters are better for the environment and you’ll never run out of hot water running just one appliance. Now that you know the benefits and disadvantages of each type of water heater, you can make the right decision for your family.