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Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters

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As a homeowner, you have lots of options for the home comfort systems in your house. From HVAC systems to ductless air conditioners, tankless water heaters and beyond, there’s a comfort system that’s right for you.

But how do you choose? At Cross Heating in Waterloo and Listowel, it’s our pleasure to help customers choose the right system for their needs and their home. And when it comes to water heaters, that often means knowing the difference between a tankless water heater and a tank storage water heater.

What are Tankless & Tank Water Heaters?

First, it’s important to know what these two options are. A tankless water heater is powered by electricity or gas, and acts as a heat exchanger to take water from an outside system to your faucets and shower. Tank water heaters, on the other hand, store up to 50 gallons of water and keep it heated and stored until you need it. They’re more common in homes than tankless water heaters.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have many advantages, and while there are some factors that could be seen as a drawback to some homeowners, they’re often a better choice than tank water heaters.

Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater

  • Higher efficiency (up to 35% more energy efficient than tank water heaters) comes with heating water when you need it vs. all of the time
  • Longer lifespan than tank water heaters
  • They save you money over time (up to $600 in a year)
  • Their smaller size allows you to install them in tight corners or on outside walls if you don’t have the space
  • When sized correctly by a professional, you will never run out of hot water

Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater

  • Higher initial upfront cost than a tank water heater
  • Upgrading to a tankless water heater can include added costs like relocating the existing piping

Tank Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heater mounted on wall in basement

While tank water heaters tend to be more common in households, more and more homeowners are choosing to upgrade to a tankless water heater.

Advantages of Tank Water Heaters

  • Lower initial purchase/installation cost
  • Their operation is more simple, which could save you money on maintenance and service

Disadvantages of Tank Water Heaters

  • Higher utility bills, less energy efficiency
  • Because of the tank, they take up more space in your home and cannot be placed outside
  • You may run out of hot water; average storage tanks can only hold enough water for three showers in a row, so if you’re the fourth, you’ll be out of luck
  • Lifespan is about half that of a tankless water heater, which negates the savings of the lower cost for purchase
  • Over time, your tank may lose some of its capacity due to the water quality in your home

At Cross Heating, we offer both tankless and tank style water heaters and installation for your home. Learn more about our water heaters.

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