Every homeowner in Atlanta, GA, considers a water heater a necessary long-term investment. If you plan to replace your water heater, you have two options: a storage-tank water heater or a tankless water heater.
Tankless water heaters cost more upfront but provide significant long-term cost savings. Homes with tankless water heaters that use less than 41 gallons of hot water daily can benefit from up to 34% in energy savings.
Storage water heaters, too, have their benefits. They’re cheaper initially, and the ones that feature insulation have significantly less operating costs due to less standby heat loss. Join us as we compare these two types of water heaters, including cost, size and other factors.
Storage Tank Water Heaters
Most homeowners and renters alike are familiar with the storage tank water heater. Its capacity is typically 20–80 gallons. This tank stays full and is heated in the reservoir using your preferred fuel, such as gas, electricity, propane or oil. When you turn on the hot water tap, the tank releases hot water from the top.
At the same time, cold water flows into the bottom of the tank until it’s full to ensure hot water is always available. This constant heating of the water in the tank results in standby heat loss, which refers to the amount of heat lost when the tank is not in use. As the hot water heater gets older, its standby heat loss increases, driving up your energy bill.
Tankless Water Heaters
Also known as an on-demand water heater or instantaneous heater, a tankless water heater heats water only when you need it. The heater uses propane, natural gas or electricity to heat water at a rate of 2–5 gallons per minute. Compared to storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are more efficient partly because they have no standby heat loss.
Their drawback, however, is the lack of capacity, which limits the number of hot water taps your household can run at the same time. Furthermore, gas-fueled tankless water heaters can waste energy in an effort to exceed the flow rates in electric water heaters. To achieve this, tankless water heaters keep the pilot light burning to maintain the optimal temperatures in the tank. You can get around this quirk by purchasing a model that relies on an intermittent ignition device instead of a standing pilot light.
Other Factors To Consider
Take into account the capacity of hot water that your household needs. Storage tank water heaters cost less to purchase than tankless. The factors that determine the price of a storage tank water heater include the capacity, brand, fuel used, dimensions and warranty.
The prices of tankless heaters vary widely as well, depending on several factors. For example, you can buy a tankless water heater to heat a single plumbing fixture, such as a sink, or to heat water for the entire house. The more the amount of hot water your household needs, the higher the price of the tankless water heater you need to buy.
The cost of installing different water heaters varies as much as the purchase price. The most affordable water heaters are point-of-use tankless heaters that heat a single plumbing fixture like one sink. Whole-house tankless heaters cost the most to install and storage tank water heaters are in between.
Tempting as it may be to go the DIY route and install your storage tank water heater yourself, it’s not recommended. The installation process can be complicated and mistakes can be costly. For that reason, homeowners in Atlanta, GA prefer to leave the work to professional water heater technicians who have the skills and experience to guarantee safe, effective results.
Choose a water heater that can handle your household’s hot water needs. After all, there’s no right time to run out of hot water. Tankless water heaters are ideal in smaller homes where the heater can keep up with your demand. Conversely, storage tank water heaters suit larger homes that require a substantial amount of running hot water.
If you prefer to use a tankless water heater but still need a higher capacity of hot water, consider installing multiple point-of-use water heaters to match your household’s needs. Consult a plumbing professional to help you determine the most suitable options to ensure you always have enough hot water.
Tankless water heaters are far more energy-efficient than storage tank water heaters. The biggest factor affecting energy efficiency is standby heat loss, which diminishes the efficiency of storage tank water heaters and drives up energy costs. Insulation increases the efficiency of storage tank water heaters but still doesn’t match the performance of a tankless unit.
Lifespan of the Water Heater
Once again, the tankless water heater shines. Tankless heaters last longer than storage tank water heaters. According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy, storage tank water heaters last about 10–15 years whereas the typical lifespan of tankless heaters is 20 years or more.
Even so, you can prolong the lifespan of a storage tank water heater by replacing the anode rods to slow down corrosion and rust. How frequently you need to replace this component depends on the water heater and whether the water in your home is soft or hard.
Install the Best Water Heater in Your Home With the Help of Reliable Plumbing Services
In the comparison between storage tank water heaters and tankless, tankless units are the better option in most categories. Granted, tankless heaters cost more to buy and install. So, if the price is your primary concern, a plumbing professional can help you determine if the cost savings of a tankless water heater adequately offset its purchase and installation costs.
Otherwise, if long-term cost savings are your biggest priority but your Atlanta, GA household regularly uses hot water at multiple points in the home, consider installing more tankless water heaters to meet your household’s hot water demand. Call Peach Plumbing & Drain today and let us help you find and install a water heater that fits your needs and budget.