For a long time, the only kind of water heater available was of the storage tank variety. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it did mean that water heaters were rather limited in their options for homeowners who may have wanted something different. With the advent of tankless heaters, a debate has been sparked over which type of water heater is the best choice. Truthfully, that depends more on your individual circumstances than any general, objective assessment. However, there are a few things that can indicate that you should choose one or the other. Let’s take a look at the inner workings of each of these systems, and the areas in which each of them excel.
Storage Tank Water Heaters
Storage tank water heaters are a much older technology, but they are still quite capable of doing their jobs well. A storage tank water heater consists of a large, water filled tank, as you might have guessed. The tank is full of water at all times, with more being pumped in each time water leaves the system.
Storage tank water heaters can store and distribute a lot of hot water, which is a good thing. However, they aren’t very efficient. The water heater basically has to be on 24 hours a day to ensure that hot water is always available, which wastes a lot of energy. They are also susceptible to leaks, which can cause the tank to rupture and deal water damage to the surrounding area.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are an attempt to solve for the storage tank water heater’s energy efficiency problems. A tankless water heater is basically connected directly to the house water line. When the water heater is turned on, it heats the water directly as it flows through the line and into the house. A tankless water heater doesn’t store water, and only turns on when it is needed. This saves a lot of money on energy bills. However, a tankless water heater can be more easily overwhelmed if there is a lot of demand for hot water all at once. If you have a lot of people living in your house, you may want to consider staggering your hot water demand so that someone doesn’t end up taking an unwanted cold shower.