If you’re a Cincinnati area homeowner in need of a new hot water heater, you have a very important decision to make: tankless water heater or a traditional water heater. Which is the best choice for your needs, wants, household and budget?

The differences between a tankless water heater and a traditional model – one with a tank – really set the two systems apart. To decide the best choice for your household, you need to know how the two options stack up when it comes to the factors most important to you.

Apollo Home’s plumbing professionals help Cincinnati homeowners compare water heating equipment to determine what’s best. The answer is different from one household to the next! Learn more about your options when you schedule an appointment with our team.

Which Is Best for a Small Space?

Size is a major difference between a tankless water heater and traditional tank model. When space is not limited, the choice can go either way. But if space restrictions exist, one choice requires far more real estate in the home than the other.

  • A traditional water heater stores hot water in its tank. The storage tanks are large and require several cubic feet of space to accommodate them. 
  • Tankless water heaters have a much smaller footprint, requiring little space for installation. With the ability to be installed on a wall, tankless water heaters can be installed in areas with no floor space available.

If you don’t want to lose space to a large tank water heater, or have no space to lose in the first place, a tankless water heater is the best choice for you.

Which Is Best for a Low Budget?

While costs vary between models, there are significant differences in price between tankless and traditional models.

  • On average, it costs around $900 to have a new tank water heater installed.
  • On average, it costs around $2,000 to have a new tankless water heater installed.

If budget is your primary concern, a traditional storage tank water heater is your more affordable option.

Which Is Best for a Large Household?

In large households, often multiple members need to use hot water at the same time.

  • Tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand. When multiple applications call for hot water simultaneously, these units may have a hard time keeping up, and not everyone may receive enough hot water.
  • Since conventional units store pre-heated water, a large volume of hot water is available to supply all applications at the same time. However, once it runs out, no one has hot water until the storage tank fills back up.

Since both options have challenges here, it’s tough to make a pick. A tank water heater needs to be large enough in capacity to supply all household demands. If you go tankless, you may need to install multiple units to ensure everyone has ample hot water when needed.

Which Is Best for Energy Efficiency?

The energy efficiency of a new water heater affects energy consumption and cost over the course of the unit’s service life. A more energy-efficient unit produces lower energy costs but comes with a higher price tag, while lower efficiency units are more affordable upfront yet cost more to operate. Keep this in mind when deciding between a tankless and traditional unit.

  • If your household uses 41 gallons of hot water or less each day, a tankless water heater delivers 24 to 34 percent greater energy efficiency than a tank model.
  • If your household uses about 86 gallons of hot water each day, tankless water heaters are about 8 to 14 percent more efficient than storage tank water heaters.

In most situations, a tankless water heater is more efficient than a tank water heater and generates lower operating costs.

Which Is Best for Longest Service Life?

While predicting the exact lifespan of water heating equipment isn’t possible, these systems do have an expected service life.

  • Traditional water heaters need to be replaced approximately every 10 to 15 years.
  • Tankless water heaters need to be replaced approximately every 20 to 30 years.

If you want to replace your water heater now and (hopefully) not worry about doing so again for a few decades, the winner is clear – a tankless water heater is best.

Expert Plumbing Advice, Equipment and Service from Apollo Home

Still can’t decide between a tankless water heater or a traditional storage water heater? We understand – it’s a big decision! Our licensed plumbers are available to examine your home and evaluate your household to help you determine which model is best. Either option you choose, we offer high-quality equipment paired with skilled service to ensure the integrity and longevity of your new water heater. Get help today – schedule an appointment with our team for water heater installation.