Choosing Between Traditional Water Heaters and Tankless Water Heaters

Ben Franklin Plumbing Van
Ben Franklin Plumbing Van
Licensed • Insured
water heater service phoenix

The two main types of water heaters are tankless water heaters and traditional water heaters. The latter is also referred to as storage tank water heaters. Tankless water heaters or demand-type heaters are powered by gas or electricity and heat water only when it’s required. They use high-powered burners to heat water which then goes through heat exchangers and supplies it to your home without a storage tank.


The cost of installing traditional water heaters is lower than that of a tankless heater. Depending on the model of a tankless water heater you install, you can spend from $2800 to $4500. The installation cost can increase if you are replacing a conventional water tank heater.

The cost of operating a storage water heater is higher than that of an on-demand water heater. Conventional water heaters have to reheat the water whenever you need to use it, increasing your utility bills. During the colder months, the heaters will have to work harder to heat the water, thereby increasing utility bills.


Tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional water heaters. Gas modes are less expensive to operate than electric models due to the lower cost of natural gas. Electric models run more efficiently than gas models, but they are expensive to run due to the higher electricity cost.

Tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient than traditional heaters in households that consume 41 or fewer gallons of hot water daily. A home that uses an average of 86 gallons of water daily can be 8% to 14% more energy efficient. If you install a tankless water heater at every hot water outlet, you can save up energy to 27% to 50%.


In terms of service life, tankless water heaters have longer useful lives than conventional water heater tanks. They can last up to 30 years, depending on usage. However, some factors can reduce the lifespan of the tank, such as hard water. Additionally, tankless water heaters do not take up space in your home compared to conventional water heaters.

The choice of water heater you purchase will depend on your budget, water usage, and lifestyle. Tankless water heaters have higher energy savings, and if you factor in the cost, you will end up with considerable savings in the long run.