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What is the Difference Between Storage & Tankless Water Heaters?

Posted on: March 27, 2017

If you are ready to invest in a new water heater, the first decision you’ll need to make is whether you want a tankless or storage model. If you’ve never considered the differences, you should take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each before you make your choice. This will allow you to make a wise decision that will best meet the needs of your Maryland or DC home.

How Storage Water Heaters Work

Storage water heaters hold water inside a large tank. Traditionally, most homes have a storage water heater. What made it a popular choice? It’s effective, easy to use, and easy to install.

However, these models do have some drawbacks. Whenever someone showers, does laundry, or washes the dishes, the preheated water stored in the tank is used. Because water is heated and then stored in the tank, these systems use a significant amount of energy. Storage water heaters constantly lose heat through the tank walls. Even though the tank is insulated, the difference in temperature across that insulated wall is large, making heat loss substantial.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

A tankless water heater does not store heated water. Instead, cold water travels through the unit where electric elements or a gas burner heats it quickly. With this unit, you will have an almost constant supply of hot water, without needing to store it. This is a highly efficient way to heat the water in your home, because no heat energy is lost while the water is stored.

However, like storage water heaters, tankless ones have their drawbacks. One of the first drawbacks is that the output of these types of units can limit the amount of hot water you can access at one time. Second, these systems sometimes require additional wiring and plumbing to install in a home that has a storage heater. The extra wiring makes them a bit costlier to install.

How Do You Choose the Right Type of Unit?

Which type of water heater is right for you? The answer depends on your unique needs and goals. Both types of water heaters have advantages and drawbacks that need to be considered.

If you need help determining which type of water heater is best for your Maryland or Washington, D.C., home, contact the plumbing experts at James A. Wheat & Sons for help. Our experienced team will help you weigh your options and choose the right water heater for you.

To have a tankless or storage water heater installed in your home, contact our team online or by phone at 240-399-5051 today!