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Should I Invest in a Tankless or Traditional Water Heater?

December 14, 2020

Whether you choose a traditional water heater or a tankless water heater, it’s a costly investment for homeowners. Some features you should consider are the storage space, the home’s electric capacity, the heater’s durability and energy efficiency are factors that you should bear in mind. Here are some important comparisons that will assist you in choosing between these two types of water heaters for your Sunland Park, NM, home.

Understanding How They Work

A traditional water heater works by preheating several gallons of water and storing them in a tank to await usage. When you turn on the shower, laundry or taps, you utilize this heated water. As the water keeps flowing, the temperature keeps changing while the tank is refilling.

A tankless water heater heats the water on demand as it flows through it to the recipient. The temperatures remain consistent, and you can get as much hot water as you want.

Storage Space

A traditional water heater takes up a lot of space for installation and operation. If you don’t have a basement or utility room, getting the right space for this bulky tank can be challenging. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, take up less space; you can easily mount them on a wall, in the basement or a closet.

Home’s Electrical Capacity

Newer homes have the advantage of releasing at least 200 amps of electricity from the main circuit breaker. This power is necessary to support a unit capable of heating water for a family of four. However, if your house doesn’t support such amps, you’ll need an electrical upgrade to run a tankless water heater efficiently.

Check with an electrician to determine whether the wiring in your home can support the capacity of a tankless water heater. Since a tank storage system preheats water slowly and keeps it warm, you may not require such high amps to install one.


Purchasing a traditional water heater for first-time installation or replacement falls at a price range of $500-$600. Installation is basic too, and there isn’t much more spending required at this stage. Tankless water heater prices range from $500-$3,000, with an additional installation price that can go above $1,000.

These price differences depend on the amount of work put into ensuring that the system runs. Tankless water heaters that use gas or electricity require additional gas lines or boosting electricity to ensure they run effectively without tripping other electronics on your home. If you’re replacing a traditional water heater with a tankless one, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket because the process costs more.

Energy Efficiency

Tankless water heaters cost more to buy and install, but they use less energy than traditional water heaters. If you use 4 gallons or less of hot water daily, then with a tankless water heater, you can save 24% to 34% of your home’s energy.

Tank storage water heaters consume a lot of energy in heating and reheating water even when not necessary. The bills become higher in the colder months because the heater works harder to keep the water warm on standby.


Because they rarely fall prey to rust and are well protected from sediments using filters, tankless water heaters tend to last up to 20 years. Traditional water heaters can last 10-15 years, so you may need to replace them sooner than you would a tankless heater.

Water Flow and Temperature Maintenance Issues

Tankless water heaters tend to experience a drop in water pressure when you run outlets simultaneously in the house. Therefore, for a few moments, you will receive cold water if you’re taking a shower and flushing the toilet at the same time.

However, you can easily correct this by ensuring that the water pressure coming into your home is adequate. It’s important to note that tankless water heaters have a pressure limit. You should never go above it as it could damage your system.

The same temperature issues often come up with traditional heaters when hot water levels drop. You’ll have to wait a while for the tank to heat more water to get back to your desired temperatures.

More people are embracing the idea of upgrading from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater. The above factors will help you pick the best investment. Contact Scott Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for professional water heater installation, maintenance and repairs.

Image provided by iStock

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