Tankless vs. Tank-Style Water Heaters - A Few Pointers

In today’s day and age, one of the most important fixtures in a home is a smoothly-functioning water heater. Once a water heater needs to be replaced, many people want to reevaluate their options to see if there might be a better fit for their family. This conversation occasionally will lead to the topic of a tankless water heater. Before making a decision on a big purchase like this, we want our customers to be as informed as possible.

The main difference between a tank-style water heater and a tankless water heater is the amount of gas that it uses to heat your water. Tanks come in various sizes, typically 40, 50, or 75 gallons, varying in size based on the size of your home and the amount of hot water you need. These traditional style water heaters will ignite periodically throughout the day to keep the water in the tank at a specified temperature ready for your use.

The difference with a tankless water heater is that it will not ignite until you begin to use the hot water, creating "on-demand" hot water. This means that while you are away from home, you are not using excess gas to keep your water hot; it only comes on as you need it. The misconception with tankless heaters and “on-demand" hot water is that the water will come out of your faucet immediately as hot as you want it. In order to achieve that, you will need to install a circulating loop in your home to reduce the distance the hot water has to travel. These circulating loops can be installed in just about any home with either a tank or a tankless water heater. Depending on the size of your home, you may already have that loop installed; typically a house near or greater than about 2,700 square feet will be constructed with that circulating loop.

While tankless water heaters have become far more affordable over the years, the upfront costs are still higher than your standard tank-style water heater. Although initially more expensive, tankless water heaters can help you save on your gas bill and will also provide you with unlimited hot water. Tankless heaters also typically will come with a much longer warranty than your standard tank water heater. Tank water heater manufacturers will usually provide you with approximately a 6-year warranty, while some models of tankless water heaters can have up to 20-year warranties!

Because an argument can be made for both options, it is really up to the home owner's preference and what they find value in. If you have any additional questions, never hesitate to contact us and we can help guide you to the best decision for you and your family!

Basic Advantages:

Tankless Water Heater:

  • “On-Demand” hot water

  • Unlimited hot water

  • Potentially reduced gas bills

  • Typically longer warranties

Tank Water Heater:

  • Initially more economic

  • Less maintenance

Hot Water Circulating Loop:

  • Hot water faster – can be utilized on both types of water heaters

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Santa Margarita Plumbing, Heating & Air is pleased to serve the communities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Robinson Ranch, Foothill Ranch and Rancho Cielo.