The Difference Between Traditional and Tankless Water Heaters

Many water heater services in Cincinnati offer installation and maintenance of both tankless water heaters and conventional tank-based models. Both types have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your hot water requirements and your budget.

water heater

white boiler in the basement of a house
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Storage Tank Water Heaters

Conventional water heaters use a large tank, ranging from 20 to 120 gallons, in which water is constantly heated and stored until it is used. Having a ready supply of hot water has several advantages, but tank-based heaters also have serious disadvantages, including higher energy usage.

Pros

  • Lower Initial cost – Tank-based water heaters are relatively inexpensive.
  • Easy installation – Most homes are already designed for tank-based models, making installing a new storage tank heater easier than retrofitting for a tankless model.
  • Quick Delivery – Large tank ensures a good supply of hot water, delivered quickly.
  • Efficiency – New models are up to 96% efficient.

Cons

  • Shorter lifespan – They last about half as long as tankless models.
  • Higher energy usage – Constantly heating water increases your energy costs.
  • Finite supply – After the hot water runs out, it may take a while to replenish.
  • Bulky – Storage tank heaters require plenty of space to install.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters tend to be more efficient than tank-based models, but they also have significant drawbacks.

Pros

  • Energy efficient – Tankless heaters use up to 22% less energy than tank-based models.
  • Small size – Allows for flexible installations, such as mounting the heater closer to fixtures for better hot water delivery.
  • Extended lifespan – With minimal maintenance, tankless models can last over 20 years.
  • Consistent Heated Water – Unlimited hot water if installed and sized correctly.
  • Dual power sources – Available in both gas and electric versions.

Cons

  • Higher upfront costs – The purchase price of tankless models is often at least double that of conventional models, and installation costs are often higher.
  • Required Upgrades – Installation may require upgrades to your gas lines or electric service, and possibly a new vent system for gas models.

For more information about choosing a new water heater, or to schedule water heater services in Cincinnati or the surrounding areas, talk to our team at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We have been serving the Cincinnati area since 1910.