What Are The Differences Between Storage And Tankless Water Heaters?

These are the two main types of water heater available to the general public today. There are hybrid options which take features from both types, but for the purposes of this article we will stick to talking about these two original types of heater. There are some notable differences and you should take these into account when you’re deciding on which type is right for your home.

Storage Water Heaters and Heat Loss

Most water heaters in the US use the storage method of heating water. The water is held in a large tank. These are less efficient than tankless water heaters because heat can make its way out through the walls of the heater. You can use insulation to reduce this heat loss, but it will never reach 100 percent efficiency.

Tankless Water Heaters and Heat Loss

These water heaters are more efficient because they don’t keep the water in a tank. Instead, water flows through pipes as and when it’s called for. This prevents all that heat loss which you get with storage water heaters. There’s still some heat loss from the pipes, though, when it’s in use.

It’s a cheaper option for you, if we take your monthly bills into account, because you waste less energy heating the water. The less heat lost the less energy you have to put in to keep the water warm.

The Heating Elements

Storage water heaters tend to have smaller heating elements. Most of the water is stored so you don’t need to have all the various pipes and contraptions to bring the water into your home. You also don’t need a large amount of gas or electricity to heat the water during the winter months. In short, the storage water heater has a small burner which is about the size of the one on a gas range.

Tankless water heaters need larger burners. It needs a larger gas line because the tankless heater might have to bring in water for multiple tasks at the same time. Obviously, the heating elements will be larger because it doesn’t have its own storage unit. This can make the installation costs slightly more expensive.

Flow Rates

The low rates vary significantly. The tankless water heater’s flow rate will have about 0.5 to 0.6 gallons per minute. If you need a lower flow rate the system simply won’t respond. If you have a low-flow plumbing utensil like a faucet you can run into quite a few problems. There are newer storage heaters which are addressing this concern, though.

What about Maintenance?

Maintenance is a major concern for anyone looking to invest in a water heater. Experts have reported major hard water buildups of debris with hard water when it comes to tankless water heaters. The added maintenance costs probably make the storage water heater a better option. It has a higher flow rate and it can kick in at lower flow rate levels. The costs, overall, are lower after taking things like maintenance into account.

This article is authored by Andrew Pitt, a freelance writer. He shares home improvement and home décor tips through his articles. He says you can visit the website of Watts Heating and Cooling, a leading HVAC contractor in the Portland, OR area for any kind of help on home appliances.

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