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Tankless Water Heaters: What’s the Difference?

September 30, 2022

Is it time to start the replacement process for your water heater? You may be considering switching from a storage tank water heater to a tankless water heater system. But what’s the difference? Let us help you make the right decision on which water heater to choose.

What is a tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater is a water heater that doesn’t need a storage tank to heat water throughout your home. They use gas or electric coils to instantaneously heat water as needed by the home. They’re often referred to as on-demand water heaters.

Tankless water heaters save space from the lack of a water tank, but they also save water and heat in the long run. If you care for them properly, they can often last years longer than standard storage water heaters and reduce costs over time. Ensure your water heater is always properly maintained with a maintenance plan.

Tankless vs. Classic Storage Water Heater

Storage Water Heater Strengths: Storage water heaters are the most common type of household water heaters in Chandler, Gilbert, and surrounding Phoenix areas. These are more cost friendly when it comes to installation and services. The water in the tanks is constantly being heated to provide hot water for the home. This can be better suited for larger household sizes that use multiple hot water functions at the same time.

Tankless Water Heater Strengths: However, in warmer climates, storage tank water heaters are not as energy or cost-efficient as tankless water heaters. A shorter lifespan compared to tankless water heater systems requires more frequent replacement.

Tankless water heaters are an increasingly popular alternative to storage tank water heaters. Despite tankless water heaters’ short time on the market, many homeowners are choosing them because they save space and money on plumbing and heating costs. Tankless water heaters increase water efficiency by 25–35% for average water usage.

Large or Small Home: Because of their technology, tankless water heaters are more expensive to install. Also, they’re not as reliable for high usage of hot water compared to storage water heaters. Larger households may need two tankless water heater systems. However, if your system is properly taken care of and serviced, tankless water heaters can last longer than storage water tanks, and they don’t need to be replaced as often.

Gas or Electric: All water heaters either use electricity or gas heating sources to heat the water. Gas water heaters can be less efficient than electric systems, but their monthly cost can be lower. It also matters if your home doesn’t already have gas, which can require extra work to install the water heater. Water heater installations can vary based on the heat source you decide on, and in some cases, they can require permits.

Which water heater to choose for your home

Consider these factors when picking the right water heater for your Arizona home:

It can be overwhelming to find a water heater as a new homeowner or replace an old one. If you’re having trouble deciding on a water heater system, turn to the experts at Patrick Riley for recommendations!

Patrick Riley's HVAC technicians are prepared to advise homeowners on water heater installation, plumbing, and heating services in Gilbert, Chandler, and surrounding Phoenix areas. With Patrick Riley, you can trust our professionals to guide you through the process! Schedule an appointment with us online.

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By Ty Lindsay

Ty Lindsay is the Director of Field Operations at Patrick Riley | Isley’s and a 15-year veteran of the plumbing and HVAC trades. In 2010, Ty earned his Journeyman’s plumbing license. He became a Master Plumber five years later and earned his Journeyman HVAC technician’s license that same year. Ty’s breadth of knowledge in plumbing and HVAC includes both residential and commercial work. He’s been a loyal member of the Patrick Riley | Isley’s team since 2016.