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It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater: Which is Better, Tankless or Traditional?


If you’re searching for a new water heater you’ll want to keep in mind that each type of unit has its own benefits and negatives.

The pros and cons of a tankless and traditional water heater will help you to make your decision on which one will be best for you. Here is everything that you need to know about traditional and tankless water heaters.

Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heaters: Key Differences

Both traditional and tankless water heaters have different processes for heating your water that may have an impact on your water temperature and needs. Understanding how each of these units produces hot water can help you make a decision on which will be best for your home.

Tankless water heaters come without a water storage tank and heat up water as you use it. They do this by using your home’s power supply whether that be electricity or propane/gas. Since this process only heats the water you’re using this will be an “on-demand” process.

Traditional water heaters preheat 30-50 gallons of water that are stored in the water storage tank. Once all the hot water has been used, it will start pre-heating the next 30-50 gallons and repeat the cycle over and over again.

Pros and Cons of Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heaters

Knowing the pros and cons of each type of water heater will help you make a better decision on what will be best for your home’s needs. Below we will let you know the benefits and negatives of each of these water heaters.


Tankless Water Heaters


  • Saves Space.Since a tankless water heater does not have a large storage tank, it can save a lot of space in your home. This is why they are perfect for smaller areas.
  • Efficient Energy Usage. Because the water heater only heats the amount of water that you’re using it saves a lot of energy. If you only use up to 41 gallons of water, these kinds of water heaters are 24%-34% more energy efficient than traditional water heaters.
  • More Hot Water. Your hot won’t run out while you’re using it because the water heater will be heating the water that you’re currently using.
  • Money Saving. As you now know, these units are energy efficient. That means that you’ll save more money on your energy bill. Especially if you live in a high energy-cost area.


  • Power Dependent.Whether your home is powered by gas or electricity, these types of water heaters require electricity to function. This can be a problem if you live in an area that has a lot of power outages as you won’t be able to have hot water.
  • Unit & Upfront Cost. The cost of the unit itself tends to be higher than traditional water heaters. Also with the installation cost your upfront fees will be more expensive. Gas and propane units typically cost $1,000 to $1,500 while electrical units cost $500 to $1,500. While you may feel these costs are too high, because they help you save money on your energy bill this will equal out after a couple of years.
  • Limited Usage.Running more than one water appliance at a time may cause your hot water to fluctuate in temperature. This is because only a certain amount of water can be heated at a time. If you want to avoid this issue, you can get a secondary hot water unit or cut back on how much water is being used.

Traditional Water Heaters


  • Installation Cost.Every home is built with the plumbing needed for these kinds of water heaters. This can help decrease the installation cost by about half when compared to a tankless water heater.
  • Easy Replacement.Since these are the more common water heaters present in residential areas plumbers will be able to find parts and replace them much easier.
  • Increased Hot Water Flow.Since the water has been preheated before you begin using it, you will notice that your hot water does not run cold. This can be beneficial if you’re running more than one appliance at the same time.


  • Take Up A Lot of Space.Because these water heaters have a large water storage tank they take up much more space than a tankless water heater. They also will need to be placed in a room or closet or under a covered port so these are not the best for small areas.
  • Short Lifespan. Traditional water heaters have a lifespan of about 10-15 years before they will need to be replaced.
  • Cost More Energy.Since your water will constantly be preheated to the pre-set thermostat setting your unit will not stop heating up the water costing more energy.

Now that you’ve learned how each water heater functions, you will be able to make the best decision for your home’s water heater. Keep these pros and cons in mind when you begin your search for a new one.

The HELP team can help advise you further on which type of water heater will be best for you and provide you with a fast installation. Give us a call today for a consultation!


Posted in: Heating

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