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Tankless Water Heaters vs. Tank: Which is More Energy Efficient?

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Because your water heater can last a decade (or longer), it’s important to keep energy efficiency in mind when you’re planning for water heater replacement. That’s because the average American family spends more than $2,000 each year on energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR®. About 13% of that bill, or around $260, goes toward water heating.

There are two types of water heaters, tankless and tank. Let’s review the differences between the two so you can make the best decision for your home and budget.

Tankless Water Heaters

As the name suggests, a tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank. It heats water on demand, which makes it much more energy efficient than a tank water heater that constantly heats large quantities of water.

The style of on-demand water heater we install is a tankless gas water heater.  If you install a certified gas model, ENERGY STAR says it can save you up to 9 percent on energy costs when compared to a conventional gas tankless water heater.

5 Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

Here are a few more benefits to installing one:

  1. Endless hot water. Tank water heaters often store anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons, or more, depending on the size you have. But once that water is used up, you’ll have to wait for the tank to refill and heat. With a tankless water heater, you will enjoy continuous hot water since it heats on demand.
  2. Saves space. Tankless water heaters are small and can be wall-mounted in a variety of locations, including in a closet. This leaves you more space than a tank water heater would normally occupy in your basement, utility closet or garage.
  3. Lasts longer. With proper maintenance, a tankless water heater can last around 10-15 years. That could be twice the life expectancy of a tank type water heater.
  4. Lesser chance of catastrophic leaks. At the end of its life span, a tank water heater can leak or even split, creating a big and expensive mess. Because tankless water heaters don’t store water, you won’t have to worry about a leaky tank.
  5. Greater savings. If you choose an ENERGY STAR-certified gas tankless water heater instead of a conventional gas tank water heater, ENERGY STAR says a family of four could save $95 per year or $1,800 over its lifetime on gas bills.

Tank Water Heaters

Tank water heaters are the most common water heaters. They’re available as an electric water heater or gas water heater, so you can choose the fuel source that makes the most sense for your home.

These water heaters come in multiple sizes to meet your household’s needs. Some of the most common sizes are:

  • 40-gallon water heater
  • 50-gallon water heater

Smaller tanks are available, but a household of four is better served by a 40- to 50-gallon tank. Not sure what’s best for you? Our plumbers at Aspinwall Plumbing can help you make the smartest decision for your situation and then provide expert water heater installation.

3 Benefits of a Tank Water Heater

Here are a few additional perks of having one installed:

  1. More budget friendly. Tank water heaters have a lower installation cost than tankless styles.
  2. Easier installation process. Whether you choose a gas or electric water heater, neither will require a gas line or electrical changes like a tankless water heater might.
  3. No minimum flow rate. This refers to how much water you need heated at once. If your household doesn’t use a lot of water, you might not be able to activate a tankless model. This isn’t an issue with tank water heaters since they don’t have a flow rate.

Tankless Water Heaters vs. Tank: Which Should I Choose?

The biggest difference between tankless and tank water heaters is the cost, life span and energy efficiency.

Tankless water heaters:

  • Are typically more expensive
  • Last longer
  • Are more energy efficient
  • Don’t need as much space
  • More flexibility for installation location
  • Are less likely to have a catastrophic leak
  • May require changes to your gas line or electrical system

Tank water heaters:

  • Are less expensive
  • Have a shorter life span
  • Are less energy efficient (but are available in ENERGY STAR models)
  • Usually don’t require gas or electrical upgrades
  • Require more installation space

Trust Us for Expert Water Heater Installation in Quincy, MA

When it’s time for a new water heater, choose the family-owned company homeowners in the South Shore have trusted for more than 50 years.

Aspinwall Plumbing provides fast and affordable water heater installation in Quincy, MA, and surrounding areas. We proudly install Navien tankless water heaters, which are known for their quality, dependability and energy efficiency.

We offer financing for qualified customers and back our installation 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Give us a call at (617) 539-7672 to request your free estimate today!

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