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Water Heater or Tankless?

When choosing between a traditional water heater or tankless heater it’s important to consider the distinct benefits and downfalls of both types of water tanks and find the one that’s best for your home.

By taking a glance over at your home’s monthly utility bill you can easily see that your water heater can account for up to a third of your home’s energy usage. This is quite a significant percentage, which makes choosing the right water heater for your home a very important choice for your family’s comfort and your wallet. Switching to tankless water heaters has been on the rise within recent years due to their energy saving capabilities. Before making an impulsive choice let’s consider the option of both a traditional water heater or tankless heater and take a look at their similarities and differences.

How these systems work

The traditional water heater is one that you’re most likely familiar with and have had in your home at some point in time. These water heater systems store water in large tanks that use either natural gas, electricity, or propane to heat the water. With a traditional water heater, when you turn on the tap, water that has already been heated in the tank will exit the tank and make its way to the faucet. These traditional systems have capacities between 40 to 60 gallons of water and are suitable for multiple simultaneous users.

On the contrary, gas powered tankless water heater systems require no storage tank and heat the water on demand using high-powered burners. These systems turn on when the user open the tap and then the heating cycle begins as the water quickly reaches the user’s desired temperature. This system means that no energy will be wasted on heating water that is not being and that you will have an unlimited supply of hot water. When choosing between a traditional water heater and a tankless unit you should consider how much water your home uses and if you find yourself ever running out of hot water with your home’s current unit.

Which system is most energy efficient?

It should now be evident that the major difference between these two heating systems is the process in which they heat the water. Their varying heating processes are what make for their difference in energy efficiency. Is it more efficient to heat the water on demand? Or is the traditional gradual heating method the most energy efficient? The answer to this question greatly depends on circumstance.

Tankless water heaters run at approximately 199,00 BTU in order to heat water on demand. A regular water heater runs at anywhere between 50,000 to 60,000 BTU. This information would have you under the assumption that regular water heaters are vastly more energy efficient than their tankless counterpart, but this isn’t always the case.

Tankless units have a greater energy efficiency level than regular water heaters. Their energy efficiency level ranges from 80-97%. Their high energy efficiency level means that less energy is being wasted in the heating process and that the vast majority of the power is being allocated towards actually heating the water itself. On average tankless water heaters are 22% more energy efficient than traditional water heaters. This information means that although tankless units run at a higher BTU, it heats water far less frequently and wastes less energy when doing so.

What else to consider

Besides the way the operate and their energy savings, there are a number of other considerations you may have when making the choice between a traditional water heater or tankless. These two heating systems vary in cost, appearance, and the consistency of the hot water temperature.

If you’re worried about the cost associated with purchasing or renting a new water heater then the traditional water heater might be what’s best for you as it requires a lower upfront or monthly cost. The installation for a tankless water heater is different than that of a traditional tank as they require upgraded gas pipes and a close proximity to electrical outlets that are used for the system’s electronics and fan.

What is oftentimes the deciding factor when choosing between a traditional water heater or tankless option is the amount of space that each unit occupies. Tankless water heaters require vastly less space than a traditional heater and can be easily installed in smaller places or can be hung up on a wall. This means that you’ll have more open space in your home and less of it occupied by machinery.

A slight inconvenience that comes with having a tankless water heater is the brief surges of cold water that happen when you turn on the tap which are a result of some cold water that still occupies the pipes as the unit heats the water. The majority of tankless water heaters have measures in place to reduce the amount of these cold water sprouts that you experience, so they should not be a frequent or greatly problematic experience.


If you have any further questions, are having trouble choosing between a traditional water heater or tankless unit, or have any other HVAC concerns, DeMark Home Ontario is more than willing to help solve your problem. We offer a simple, hassle-free rental service for both traditional and tankless water heaters, Our experts will provide you with quick and efficient water heater service and replacement performed by our highly experienced and trained technicians. Call us at 647-847-2998 or fill out online request form and we will be happy to assist you with your request.

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