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Traditional VS. Tankless Water Heater: What’s the Difference?

tankless water heater

If it’s time to decide on a new water heater for your home, then you have a lot to consider. Water heaters come in many different sizes, styles and use various power sources. Aside from these traits, you also need to consider your family size, your water demands and your budget.

When it comes to choosing a water heater, use this guide from the trusted Louisiana technicians at Southern Air to help you decide on the best water heater for your home!

What is a Water Heater?

Before you decide on a water heater, it helps to understand why you need one in the first place.

Simply put, a water heater is what allows us to experience warm or hot water at any point throughout the day. We depend on water heaters every time we shower, wash our faces and whenever we wash our dishes.

In fact, according to Energy Star, they’re the second-largest energy use in homes, right behind heating and cooling. Water heaters provide us comfort on a daily basis, making them a vital part of our lives.

How Does a Water Heater Work?

In essence, a water heater converts energy to heat and transfers that heat to water. It’s connected to a cold water supply pipe and has a system of pipes that supply heated water to faucets and appliances in a home or business.

Types of Water Heaters

There are two main types of water heaters: traditional, tank-style water heaters and tankless water heaters. Both have their own pros and cons, so make sure to weigh each carefully before making a decision.

Traditional Water Heaters

The traditional tank-style water heater is the most common type of water heater. In fact, according to Energy Star, tank-style water heaters make up around 97 percent of the market.

Typically found in the utility area of your home, this heater is shaped like a large cylinder and keeps your water at a constant temperature. These heaters can also hold from 20 to 80 gallons of water, which is why they’re also referred to as “storage” water heaters. Tank water heaters are usually fueled by either one of the following:

  • Natural Gas
  • Heating oil
  • Propane
  • Electricity
  • Solar Energy

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless heaters, also known as instant water heaters, differ from tank-style heaters in that they’re installed inside your walls. Also, they don’t hold water like a tank-style heater, making them much smaller and compact.

Tankless heaters work by instantly heating water that’s passed through the tank. Similar to a furnace, the only water that’s heated is the water that’s been called for anywhere within your house. For this reason, tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, providing hot water only as needed.

Similar to tank-style heaters, tankless heaters are fueled by either propane, gas or electricity. But since these heaters work on demand, they don’t produce as much energy loss as storage water heaters, which can significantly reduce your energy bill.

Costs

Initially, tankless water heaters are more costly than the standard tank-style heater. However, as mentioned, by using significantly less energy, tankless heaters recover their upfront costs in the long run. Not only that, but because tankless heaters use newer, improved technology, they’ll last you longer and require fewer repairs down the line.

If these factors weren’t enough to convince you to switch to a tankless heater, here are a few more benefits to consider:

  • Unlimited hot water
  • More space in the utility area
  • Increased home market value

Contact ​​Southern Air!

While there are a lot of options and choices out there, a water heating system that’s perfect for your home exists. We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of what kind of investment you’re making and how it might affect your household in the long run. When it’s time for a new water heater installation in your home, contact Southern Air today!

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