For many years it was just about taken for granted that if you owned a home you owned some type of water heater that had a storage reservoir as a part of it. This was true regardless of the type of heating system that you had in your home. These days all that is changing because now there is such a thing as tankless water heaters which really supply an abundance of conveniences to those that own them. Now there is a debate among homeowners as to which of these types of water heaters is the ideal one to have. Here is a comparison of tankless vs hot water tanks.
First of all it must be noted that not just anybody can go out and purchase a tankless water heater and have it installed at their home. These water heaters require a specific type of system that they must be installed on in order to work. They can only be installed on forced air furnaces that burn natural gas, liquid propane or oil. This is because these are the only types of fuel that burn hot enough to instantly heat water up to the 120 degree temperature that most sources say is the ideal standard temperature for hot water out of the tap in a home.
Ok now on with the comparison of tankless vs hot water tanks:
Water Heaters with Tanks
These are oldies but goodies and a large majority of them use electricity as their heat source. Cold water passes over a heating element slowly to get warmed up and then this hot water is stored in the tank until called on for use. They typically hold about 40 gallons of water and this does get replenished as used but it happens very slowly. These will typically last about 10 years with proper maintenance and are fairly inexpensive to get replaced.
Tankless Water Heaters
These units have to be compatible with the type of forced air furnace you have in your house. Their initial cost to install is much higher than a water heater with a tank. The best thing about them is that you get an unlimited supply of hot water with them unlike water heaters with tanks that sometimes leave the last family members to get up taking cold showers. They also are very economical to run because they heat water extremely efficiently and they do not have to constantly reheat stored water like conventional water heaters with tanks do. They do require periodic maintenance to keep them in proper working order but they should last well over 15 years if that is done.
Of course the most important thing is that you have access to hot water in your home in the first place and both of these systems do a nice job at that. As far as the question of tankless vs hot water tanks goes a lot of that comes down to personal preference. You have to weigh out convenience, price, cost of the heat source and the other factors discussed in order to make a sound buying decision on which one to purchase.