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Tankless Water Heater vs. Traditional Designs: Which Is for You?

Hot water coming out of a faucet

Should you choose a tankless water heater or a traditional, tank model when it’s time to replace your home’s water heater?

Tankless designs use cutting-edge technology to deliver a virtually limitless supply of hot water on-demand. Whether this technology is right for your home depends on several factors, including your hot water usage patterns, your budget and your interest in reducing your energy consumption and power bills.

tankless water heater

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Sometimes called on-demand heaters, tankless designs are available in both electric and gas models. Just like traditional tank models, gas provides for faster heating than electricity.

Tankless models use essentially the same techniques for heating water but, instead of storing it in a tank, they wait until you have demand to get to work, heating and immediately distributing the water directly through to wherever you need it. This involves drawing in cold water and passing it over heating elements, then directing it out to the desired location.

How Do Tankless Designs Differ from Traditional Water Heaters?

Traditional models heat and store some quantity (typically 40 to 50 gallons) of water in a large tank, keeping the entire tank hot and waiting for when you or your appliances need it. Although these designs are less expensive to install, they are not especially energy efficient.

Tank designs are typically centralized, with one or more tanks serving the entire home, but they take up a lot of space and, once you deplete the tank, it takes some time to replenish before you’ll get hot water again.

Tankless models provide a virtually limitless supply of hot water and they take up very little space. They heat only when necessary and, consequently, require less energy. They also last longer than traditional models in most cases. They can be centralized or installed in various locations in the home for point-of-use.

Which Type of Water Heater Is for You?

If you choose a tankless design, you will have a higher upfront cost for installation, but you’ll enjoy added convenience and energy savings for the life of the heater. If you maintain it properly, it will last longer than a traditional design. You can expect a traditional water heater to last about 10-15 years, while a tankless model can last at least 20 years.

If your family places a high level of demand on your water heater on a regular basis, you may want to consider adding more than one tankless heater.

The experienced plumbers of Black Diamond Experts can help you make the best decision for your water heater replacement project, based on your needs and budget. We have locations in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Orem, allowing us to serve customers throughout northern Utah and along the Wasatch Front.

Contact us today to learn more about installing tankless water heaters at your Utah home.

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