Water heating takes up a surprisingly large portion of the typical American household energy budget. For most, it ends up somewhere between 15% and 20%. This is why getting a new water heater is such an important decision. We want to help you choose what’s best for your home. In this blog, we’ll do just that! Here are the pros and cons of the two main types of water heaters.
Traditional Storage Tanks
These types of water heaters have been the standard for decades in the United States. These water heaters face the problem of providing hot water to a home by first heating, then storing the water for later use. Whenever you turn the hot water on your faucets, hot water is pulled from the tank ready to go.
Tank systems have been so widely used because they are so good at their job. Most people don’t fall into too many issues as long as the system is properly sized and installed. You may see units as small as 20 gallons, while others can be as large as 80 gallons. It all depends on how much hot water your family uses on a day-to-day basis.
There are added cost benefits with tank systems because they typically are cheaper to install than other options. This makes them ideal for families who may be on the move in the next few years.
If storage tank water heaters were perfect, no one would have come up with competing options. Almost any investment in your home has some limitations and your water heater is no different. For these systems, the main limitation is the inherent inefficiency of standby heat loss.
Tank systems store hot water for later use. It takes energy to keep the water warm for when it’s needed. You’ll see how tankless systems aim to fix this problem in the next section. The other downside is capacity. This can mostly be avoided by correctly sizing the system. However, if you change your hot water habits, your system may run out of hot water when you need it. If this happens a lot, you may need to get a bigger tank or try to schedule your hot water use to spread out usage throughout the day.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless systems exist mainly in response to the inefficiency of standby heat loss associated with traditional tank systems. These units work by heating water only when you need it. By doing this, you can completely eliminate the worry of running out of hot water or wasting money on standby heat loss.
Tankless systems use less energy than traditional storage tanks. This means lower bills and less wasted energy. Additionally, some tankless systems can be installed to assist with one particular high use appliance like a shower. These point-of-use systems are perfect if you are constantly running out of hot water with a traditional tank. This added flexibility is a great bonus of the tankless systems.
There are some limitations with tankless systems. There is a limit to how much water you can use at any one time if you want to maintain consistent temperatures. So while you can run your hot water as long as you want, you may not be able to run two or three hot water appliances at the exact same time. Depending on your hot water use, this could require some scheduling changes for when you run your washing machine or shower, but it can definitely be worked around.
If you have any HVAC problems, give our helpful team at KC Home Services a call at (707) 377-3195 or fill out an online contact form. Our technicians are trained in hygiene and will take the utmost care when servicing your home.