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Tank or Tankless? The Great Water Heater Conundrum!

Tankless-Water-HeaterOkay, so your old water heater finally gave up the ghost (or is close enough as to make no difference) and you find yourself in need of a new system. What do you go for? Well, there are actually a few different kinds of water heater types available on the market, some of which appeal to a wider group of homeowners than others.

The two that we’re going to focus on in this post, though, are the broadest categories. Let’s take a look at tank and tankless water heaters, the pros and cons of each, and which you might want to install in your home.

Tank Water Heaters

These are by far the most common water heater types across the country, mainly by virtue of tank water heater technology being developed first. Tank water heaters use a storage tank to keep a standing supply of hot water available at all times. The system never completely turns off, as it’s always making minor corrections to ensure that the water inside it stays at the correct temperature. This is certainly convenient, because it means that no matter when you need hot water it will be available for you. That convenience comes with a cost, though.

Tank water heaters tend to waste a fair amount of energy on an annual basis, because they’re constantly heating water that isn’t actually being used. Also, while it can take quite a lot of demand to completely exhaust a tank water heater’s supply, it can happen. If it does, you’ll have to wait a while for the system to replenish itself.

Tankless Water Heaters

As the name suggests, tankless water heaters are systems that don’t use storage tanks. Instead, the system makes use of a heat exchanger to heat water as it passes through the main body. This is similar to how boilers heat water. Tankless water heaters only stay on as long as they are needed, and remain in standby mode for the rest of the time. This means they’re more energy efficient than other water heaters, since they’re not operating at all times throughout the year. However, it also means that there is a slight delay between when the water heater activates and when hot water reaches the faucet.

Tankless water heaters are also more easily overwhelmed by demand than their storage tank counterparts, since they don’t have ready supplies of hot water to fall back on. This isn’t a problem in smaller households, but if you have four people at once trying to make use of a lot of hot water, you might run into some supply issues.

Ultimately, the kind of water heater you install is up to you. You should consult with a professional technician in-person first, though, as they can provide you with some good advice based on your specific needs.

Lutz Plumbing, Inc. offers comprehensive water heater installation services in Kansas City, MO. If you need a new water heater installed in your home, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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