Flushing Through: Which Water Heater is Right for You?
Water heaters are a large, long-term investment with many options to consider. Water heaters are selected based on factors such as cost, efficiency, and building occupancy size. There is debate as to whether conventional tank water heaters or tankless water heaters are a better investment, but it is up to every building owner to decide which type is ideal for their needs.
There are 2 main types of water heaters: tank and tankless. Tank water heaters rely on gas or electric fuel to heat and store water as it enters the bottom of the tank through a tube. As the water heats, it rises and is dispensed to pipes to send hot water to plumbing fixtures and appliances when turned on.
Tank water heaters can last up to 10-15 years and offer benefits such as low initial cost, low cost to maintain and repair, and they are able to hold a large storage of hot water. A disadvantage of tank water heaters is they have to constantly reheat water as it fills the tank when the hot water has been used up. They also occupy more space in a building than a tankless water heater.
Tankless water heaters use electricity or gas to heat burners which warm the water as it enters the unit. The water then runs through a heat exchanger to provide on-demand hot water to your appliances. Unlike storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters don't store water and only heat water when it is needed, which allows for energy savings. Tankless water heaters offer the benefits of on-demand hot water, less occupied building space, and they can save money on your utility bills.
Tankless water heaters are a large investment and can cost up to 4 times the cost of a storage tank water heater. Since they don't store water, tankless water heaters can fail to keep up with hot water demand when multiple appliances are being used at once. Tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of 20+ years based on water conditions. However, their upfront initial cost and ability to overload easily can make them a less favorable option than conventional water heaters.
Both tank and tankless water heaters have benefits, but it is up to every building owner to decide which one will best suit the needs of their building.
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