Conventional Water Heater vs. Tankless | Bill Howe

Conventional Water Heater vs. Tankless


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When it comes time to replace your water heater, you may be exploring the installation of a tankless water heater or conventional water heater. Before installing a new unit, you need to take into account all of the water heater pros and cons and ensure you are picking one that will maximize efficiency and minimize energy costs. When deciding which is best for your property, also be sure to consider the cost of installation, location, water usage, and function. Continue reading for the breakdown of conventional water heaters vs. tankless water heaters to learn the pros and cons of each.

Conventional Water Heaters

Conventional water heaters are 5’ – 6’ units that take 1’ – 1.5’ square feet in space. Bill Howe Plumbing recommends both RUUD and Rheem for gas and electric water heaters, but has years of experience with other types of water heaters. Conventional water heaters work by heating water up conventional water heaters contain in a water tank that is typically between 20 and 80 gallons. With standard water heaters, the cost of the unit itself is significantly lower. A new conventional water heater is about half the price of a tankless unit. Because conventional water heaters are not as complicated as the tankless option, maintenance and repairs tend to be cheaper as well.

While conventional water heaters are traditionally more cost-efficient to install and maintain, there are quite a few drawbacks. Conventional water heaters tend to be less energy-efficient than tankless options which might result in heftier energy bills. Because of their size and need to heat/store water, this requires more energy to be used to heat the water being used. Conventional water heaters also take up more space than a tankless water heater. This can be a problem if your home has limited indoor space. these do take up viable space. Since water is heated and stored within your water heater, if more than 2 people are taking a shower, the last person taking a shower in your household may have a less than enjoyable experience with cold water. Finally, standard water heaters typically have a shorter lifetime than the tankless option. Even though you may save money with the installation and maintenance of a conventional water heater, you will end up having to replace it more often than a tankless option.

Conventional water heaters have become much more efficient than they have been in the past, thanks to increased insulation, but do have some long-term drawbacks. These water heaters are still a great option if you desire a more economical installation and maintenance costs, but the frequency of use should be taken into consideration when deciding if a conventional water heater is right for you and your property.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, or on-demand water heaters, are a newer technology when it comes to heating the water that is supplied to your home. Tankless water heaters work by using high-powered burners, employing gas or electricity, to quickly heat water that passes through the unit. Because of this, they are more energy-efficient than conventional water heaters, resulting in friendlier energy costs. Tankless units also deliver endless hot water. Another advantage of having a tankless system is its compact size. Unlike conventional water heaters, tankless options can be installed either inside or outside of your home. By not having to replace your water heater as often, you avoid the headache of having to replace a conventional unit.

Typically, tankless water heaters cost more than conventional water heaters with the initial cost and installation. This can be a drawback at first, but tankless water heaters last anywhere from 10 – 20 years longer than the conventional option. Transitioning from a conventional water heater to a tankless option will take more time and effort than just replacing your conventional water heater, but a Bill Howe plumber will complete the installation efficiently and effectively. Additionally, maintenance is suggested annually. Descaling your tankless water heater is key to keeping your unit in optimal shape.

Bill Howe Plumbing installs and maintains both Noritz and Rinnai tankless water heaters and Ruud conventional water heaters.

Consulting with a certified Bill Howe plumber before deciding on a conventional and tankless unit will help inform your decision while providing a clear idea about the overall water heater costs associated with each option. Call 1-800-BILL-HOWE to schedule an appointment for a free estimate.

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