Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters

Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters

Many older properties house tank water heaters in the basement, garage, crawlspace, or loft. 

While tank water heaters are still very effective, there are now more efficient and cost-effective counterpart- tankless water heaters. 

In this article, we will look at each unit’s pros and cons which we hope will help you to determine the best option for your property. 


The average tank water heater’s storage tank has a capacity of 30 to 60 gallons. These storage tanks can be around 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. They use electricity, propane, or fuel oil to heat the tank water continuously. 

This water heating method is great, because it means you always have hot water available when you need it- unless someone else has used it all already, in which case you will have to wait for more water to be heated. However- this also means you often have hot water available when you don’t need it, which could be considered wasteful, and is not necessary.

A tankless water heater is a system that rapidly heats your water as you need it. It does this by using a heat exchanger powered by electricity, propane, or natural gas. The advantage of using this system is the energy saved by not storing heated water, as well as the space saved where there would otherwise be a tank.


Tank water heaters are more likely to need replacing. Luckily, replacing a tank is a relatively simple plumbing job. Some people opt to install the tank themselves, but a certified plumber is always recommended. The newer tanks are more efficient than older models with regards to meeting energy standards. 

Tankless units are more costly to install and a little more complicated to initially operate. However, they are far smaller than tanks and can fit in unobtrusive locations. 

Professionals such as the Sierra Madre water heater company can help you to avoid any complications in installation, as the tankless water heater will need to be vented and connected to an appropriate gas supply. This process can be frustrating for those that are not experienced.


In general, there is not a large difference between the performance of the two units, especially when they are gas-powered. The tank water heater is able to deliver a consistent water temperature of 120 degrees F on a steady supply. 

Although tanks are less energy-efficient than tankless units, they are reliable performers. The larger the tanks, the more hot water that will be readily available to you and your household. 

Tankless water heaters can also deliver a consistent supply of heated water at 120 degrees F, but there is some variation between performance on different fuels. 

Gas powered tankless units are indistinguishable from tank water heaters when it comes to supply, but electrical models may fall short of peak water temperatures.

Consult a Professional

While tankless water heaters are more efficient than tanks and can save you money on energy bills, they are more expensive to buy and install. Thus, it could take up to 15 years before you see a return on your investment. 

Tankless water heaters can also be expensive, as they require routine maintenance to keep them functioning optimally. The region’s water temperature may also play a role in how efficiently your tankless unit performs; colder regions may not reach optimal water temperatures in colder months.

If you are unsure whether a tankless water heater is right, consult a professional specializing in water heater devices and technology. They will be able to assess your individual circumstances and suggest the best option.