Thank Your Plumbers — For Real!

Thank Your Plumbers — For Real!

The Differences Between A Tankless Water Heater And Conventional Storage Water Heater (Gas And Electric)

by Bill Turner

Homeowners have a large decision to make when purchasing a water heater: classic storage tank models or new tankless units. Learn more about how the two types of water heaters compare to help you determine the right choice for your home.

Storage Tank Vs. On-Demand

Traditional water heaters heat and store hot water in an insulated water tank. Hot water travels to the desired fixtures until the tank becomes empty. At this point, the unit will refill and heat the tank. During this time, you will not have hot water. 

New tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand instead of heating the water in advance. In order to heat the water on demand, tankless water heaters use a heat exchanger to quickly transfer heat to the water before sending it to the desired fixtures. This process allows tankless water heaters to produce endless hot water without having to wait for the water to reheat. 

Energy Efficiency 

Even insulated water storage tanks experience standby heat loss over time. The unit then requires more energy to reheat the water to the programmed temperature. Tankless water heaters offer higher energy efficiency rates since they don't need to worry about standby heat loss. 

The most energy-efficient tankless water heaters are electric water heaters. Condensing gas tankless water heaters also offer high efficiency ratings. Non-condensing gas units offer mediocre efficiency ratings. 


Tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of 20+ years, while storage tank water heaters last 10-15 years. Both types of water heaters require preventative maintenance every year to ensure they achieve optimal longevity. 


Tankless water heaters cost significantly more than the average storage tank water heater. 

According to Forbes, the average storage water heater costs $200 - $1100, while a tankless model will cost $300-$2500. 

On top of the cost of the unit, you will need to pay for installation. The average storage-tank water heater installation costs an average of $1500, while installation for a tankless water heater can cost as much as $3000.


Since a tankless unit doesn't require a storage tank, they come in space-saving sizes. You will have more placement options for installation. Gas tankless water heaters will still need proper ventilation, so consider ventilation when picking a location for the unit.

There are some significant differences in storage water heaters compared to tankless water heaters. If your budget allows you to make the upgrade, you'll get to experience the benefits for yourself.


About Me

Thank Your Plumbers — For Real!

When you have a plumber come work on your home, we hope you thank them. Really, you should be thanking any contractor who works on your home, but we are a little partial to plumbers and happen to think they deserve a little more recognition. After all, the stuff inside the pipes they work on doesn't usually smell very good. And even though they wear gloves, they have to get pretty close to it! If you would like to learn a little more about plumbers, then we invite you to read this blog. After learning the basics, you'll really want to thank your plumbers!