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Traditional vs. Tankless Water Heater


So you’re looking at water heaters and by now have realized that your two main options are tank storage heaters and tankless water heaters. You want to know which one is best for your situation, and what the differences are.

The main difference between the two is the tank. While it seems like a simple difference, it’s actually a big distinction that affects the efficiency and the way the unit is used.

Traditional tank storage heaters hold water and keep it heated until it is directed to a shower or tap. These can run on gas or electricity, and typically have a capacity of 25-50 gallons. Gas water heaters normally use less energy than electric ones, but the upfront cost can be higher.

Tankless water heaters San Francisco CA have no holding tank, and subsequently, heat the water as it passes through the unit. These heaters are more expensive than traditional tank water heaters, but they can also be more efficient and have a longer useful life, as well. Though they don’t have a tank full of hot water waiting for you, they are quick to heat the water as it passes through the unit.

They aren’t all perfect, however. If you depend on only one tankless heater for your home, you may have a difficult time having enough hot water if two bathrooms are using hot water simultaneously, or if the washer is filling up with hot water and someone is trying to run a bath.

One solution (and smart way to save money with tankless water heaters) is to install a smaller one closer to each place in your home that uses hot water. Doing this can cut the amount of energy used to heat your water by up to half, and you also won’t have to worry about not having enough hot water to go around.