Homeowners often take their water heaters for granted. As long as the dishes get washed and the shower runs, then there’s nothing to worry about — right? How your heating system functions and delivers water throughout your home matters. Your water heating system impacts your utility use and monthly expenses.
Water heaters fall into two categories: tanked systems and tankless systems. Use this guide from All Aloha Plumbing to understand the different types of water heaters. Then, when it’s time to invest in a water heater installation, you can make an informed decision.
What is a Tanked Water Heater
Most homes today come with a tank water heater. This type of water heater stores between 30-50 gallons of water for home use. Storage tank water heaters use either natural gas or electricity to heat the water.
Gas water heaters cost more upfront but are less expensive to operate than an electric model. In general, a tank water heater is less efficient than a tankless model, as it works to heat stored water.
What is a Tankless Water Heater
A tankless, or on-demand, water heater does not store gallons of water. Instead, hot water travels directly to faucets or appliances around your home.
These types of heaters use gas or electrical power to run a heat exchanger. When you open a tap in your home, water runs over a series of burners. The system heats up the water as it goes to the outlet. This type of water heater is upwards of 20% more energy efficient than a tanked model.
Pros of Tanked Water Heaters
- Low initial investment and installation costs.
- Simple to operate and maintain.
- Can tie into an existing gas line.
- Does not need its own electrical circuit.
- Less complicated to repair.
Cons of Tanked Water Heaters
- Less energy-efficient than tankless models as it heats stored water.
- Shorter lifespan than tankless models–about 10 years.
- Takes up lots of space in your home or garage.
- Cannot supply hot water as needed, holds a finite amount.
- Costly clean-up if damaged as the tank can cause flooding if it breaks.
Pros of Tankless Water Heaters
- Hot water on demand with no limit.
- More energy efficient than tanked models.
- Takes up less space than a tank with some models designed for outdoor installation.
- Install a tankless heater for every water outlet for optimal efficiency.
- Longer life span than tanked models by almost double.
Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
- Higher purchasing cost than tanked models.
- High initial investment since it often requires a new gas line and electrical lines.
- Limited water for multiple outlets can result in temperature fluctuations.
- Even models powered by gas use electricity for the control board. In the event of an electrical outage, you are out of lights and hot water.
- Can produce a “cold water sandwich.” When warm water held in the faucet comes out first, followed by cold water from the exchanger and then freshly heated hot water.
All Aloha Knows Your Plumbing
In the long run, a tankless water heater is more energy-efficient than a tanked model. Yet, the classic storage tank may work best for you and your household. Discuss your options with a trusted Maui plumber.
When it’s time for a new water heater installation, contact All Aloha Plumbing. Not in Maui? No problem! For O’ahu residents, reach out to our sister company, Hawaii Drain Pros. Contact us today!