Whether you are choosing a water heater for a new home or replacing a failed unit in your current home, the question often comes of which water heater is the best fit for your house – Demand (Storage) or a Tankless Water Heater. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t as easy as you might think. When making the decision, there are several factors to consider to find the best option which promises energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Consider These Water Heater Facts
In case you didn’t realize, there is a direct correlation between your water heater and your utility bill. In fact, your water heater is likely among the most expensive to operate appliance in your home (cooling and heating cost more), accounting for approximately 25 percent of your annual energy expenses. The latest technology provides greater efficiency and minimizes cost, but even so there are lots of options when its time to purchase a water heater. If your water heater is older, 10 years or more, you are probably paying more in energy costs than you have to and a new energy efficient model would save you money on a monthly basis. Still, you need to consider more than operating costs, such as purchase price and installation fees when purchasing a new water heater to ensure you getting the best value over the long term. Let’s take some time to compare Demand versus Tankless Water Heaters and understand both their advantages and disadvantages.
Demand (Storage) Water Heaters
Demand or Storage Tank Water Heaters are the traditional water heaters and the most commonly used among homeowners. Familiar to homeowners as well as installers and repairmen, demand water heaters provide a reliable technology popular for decades. The classic water heaters can be fueled by electricity, oil, natural gas, or propane. Demand water heaters heat/reheat the water stored in its insulated tank (20 to 80 gallons for residential units) and dispenses hot water on request as cold water refills the tank and the heating/reheating process begins again.
Since demand water heaters are continually heating or reheating the water inside, they aren’t the most efficient appliance, essentially using energy when not actually in use. Of course, the latest storage tank water heaters feature greater insulation, less energy wasted, and some are even Energy Star rated. Installation of these units average near the cost of the actual unit, but should you decide to change energy sources for your water heater, the cost rises. As far as performance, demand water heaters can run out of hot water, though only temporarily, so when purchasing a new one, you’ll want to be sure you select the proper size for your household.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters may seem like a new appliance in the United States, but point-of-use tankless water heaters have been around for quite some time, popular in both Europe and Asia. In the states, whole-home tankless water heaters have recently become popular, and as homeowner demand increases, manufacturers are meeting the demand.
Tankless water heaters are small than the traditional storage tank water heaters, and can easily be wall-mounted. These units heat water on demand, in a second, rather than heating/reheating constantly as demand units do. In terms of efficiency, tankless water heaters are 30 percent more efficient than storage tank heaters – but they cost more, double or even triple the cost of a demand water heater. Installation of tankless water heaters is also more costly (at least double, maybe more) because modifications are required in existing homes. In terms of performance, tankless water heaters deliver limitless hot water, though during peak usage the rate of flow can slow considerably.
Choosing the Best Water Heater for Your Home
When making your decision, you’ll want to consider how much water your family uses, which delivers the greatest energy efficiency, what the most cost-effective solution is for your home, and which provides the best value. The professionals at Flamingo Plumbing and Backflow can guide you through all these factors and see that you get the best value for your home and family. Call today!