If there is any one appliance in your home that you’re likely to take a little for granted, we’re going to say it’s your water heater. Even though this is probably the most often used plumbing appliance in your home, let alone home comfort system, you probably don’t think a whole lot about it, unless something goes wrong, right?
And when something does go wrong with your water heater, the next question is, “Is it time to make an upgrade?”
The short and simple–even though it’s not always simple–answer to this question is if your water heater needs a repair and it’s a couple decades old and showing signs of corrosion, is yes, it’s probably time to make an upgrade.
We’ll assume for sake of brevity that you’ve already decided to replace your water heater. So the next question is, do you stick with a conventional storage tank water heater, or is a tankless water heater right for your home? Read on as we help you explore your options!
What to Know about Tank Water Heaters
Traditional storage tank water heaters are the most commonly found water heaters in people’s homes. One reason for this is because they’re usually pretty inexpensive to install, and when properly sized can do their job very effectively and efficiently.
What makes a storage tank water heater a storage tank water heater is as the name implies… a tank! This tank is available in different sizes, as we just alluded to. Once a tank water heater’s supply runs out, there is a delay in time as it heats up a new batch. So if you have a larger tank, you can use hot water for longer without it needing to refill. This is ideal if you have a large family who uses a lot of water at a time.
There is a drawback to the tank water heater, however. If any hot water goes unused, it cools off. Therefore you lose energy due to standby heat loss. So, let’s say that you install a tank that is too large for your home’s needs, or you bought your home and the water heater it came with isn’t really sized for your family. You’ll end up paying for electricity that you’re not benefiting from.
What to Know about the Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heater systems are an alternative to the storage tank model, and they’re becoming increasingly popular. As the name implies, they do not require a storage tank.
Instead, they are a small system that gets mounted up on a wall, which can be interior or exterior. This unit has heat exchangers in it, and when you turn on a hot water tap in your home, the heat exchangers turn on and as water flows over them, it heats up.
This is very efficient, as there is never standby heat loss with this “on-demand” water heater.
It’s important to note, however, that tankless systems can be overwhelmed, i.e. if you’re trying to run too many plumbing appliances at once. For this reason, homeowners sometimes get two tankless systems.
We’re happy to discuss your options with you!