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Tank vs. Tankless water heaters which is better

Whether you need to replace an old water heater or need to purchase a new one, there are several options to consider. One option gaining popularity is tankless water heaters due to their energy efficiency and ability to provide hot water when needed. However, while they offer benefits, they do require more money upfront.

When determining whether or not you should invest in a tankless water heater, you should consider the long-term and short-term costs of the different types of water heaters available. Do the energy savings over the lifetime of the water heater compare to the initial cost?

How Much Does a Water Heater Cost?

Tankless water heaters usually cost between three and five times as much as a regular water heater for the initial purchase - usually ranging from $1000 to $3000 on average, including installation. However, they can reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 percent, by only heating water when it’s needed rather than keeping a tank of hot water constantly heated. For a tankless water heater to be worth the investment, the homeowner must be able to recover at least this much during the lifetime of the water heater.

A standard water heater (40 - 50-gallon tank) usually costs between $800 - $1000.


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How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

The average tankless water heater will last for 20 years or more, particularly when they are purchased from reputable manufacturers. Conventional water heaters will usually need to be replaced every 6 to 12 years.

The average lifespan of a standard water heater is around 12 years.


How Much Does It Cost to Install a Water Heater?

When installing a tankless water heater, it’s important to understand that not all homes are prepped to support them. If that’s the case, you must also consider the costs associated with upgrading your home to meet the needs of your new tankless water heater. For example, according to Angie’s List, simply rewiring your home for your new water heater can tack on an additional $5000 to your installation costs.

The installation costs for a standard 40 - 50-gallon water heater is usually between $800 - $1600.


Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Whether you are considering replacing your old water heater or purchasing a brand new system, it’s important to weigh the good with the bad. Both types of water heaters have pros and cons but understanding what they are will help you make the best decision for your household.

Tank

The pros:

Tank vs. Tankless water heaters infographic

The cons:


Tankless

Pros

Cons

If you have questions about installation costs and preparation prior to selecting a water heater for your home, feel free to call some of your local electricians and plumbing companies to see if they can provide you an estimate. Doing so will give you a better idea of what you are going to spend.


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Things to You Need to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater

Although tankless water heaters are increasing in popularity due to their “heat-on-demand” capabilities and energy efficiency, tank water heaters also offer benefits and shouldn’t be dismissed.

Before you take the plunge, here are some other factors you will want to consider.


Gas vs. Electric: Which is Better?

When it comes to water heaters, there are two options: gas and electric. Both work well and are efficient. The only difference is how the water is heated. As one would expect, an electric water heater is more energy efficient than a gas-fired water heater but doesn’t necessarily equate to cost savings.


What are the average costs of gas vs. electric water heaters?

Electric water heaters are slightly higher in price, averaging around $300 to $3000. On the other hand, a gas-fired water heater costs on average around $250 to $1500.


How energy efficient is an electric water heater?

When it comes to energy efficiency, electric water heaters are roughly 20 - 30% more efficient than gas-fired water heaters, providing 90% efficiency. Gas water heaters average around 60 - 70 % energy efficiency.


Other pros and cons of gas and electric water heaters

While both types of water heaters have an average lifespan of approximately 12 years, gas-fired water heaters provide a higher recovery rate of about 50 gallons per hour when compared to electric water heaters that offer 14 gallons per hour.

What does that mean for your household?

If you’re single or have a small household, an electric water heater would provide benefits since your demand is low. However, if you have a larger household, you may want to consider a gas-fired water heater since it can provide a quicker recovery rate. It will give you the hot water you need quicker.


Choosing the Right Company to Install Your Water Heater

When it comes to installing your water heater, make sure you work with a reputable, licensed and insured plumbing company with experience in water heater installation. Hiring a plumbing company that also offers electrical services can also offer benefits should you need to upgrade your home.

Ask them if they offer maintenance and repair services should you need them in the future and what you should expect the day of your installation. Contacting them prior to purchasing your water heater to get estimates could also make the installation process easier for you in the long run.

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