Tankless vs Tank Hot Water Heater: What Are the Differences?

Did you know that the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water daily at home? Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors.

If you are in the market for a hot water heater, you have plenty of choices. The two most common types are tankless vs tank hot water heater. They both serve the same function, which is providing hot water.

You may not be sure of the differences between them. The following guide will help you understand both tankless vs tank water heaters. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, so you’ll never run out of hot water. They’re also more energy-efficient than tank water heaters, which means you’ll save money on your energy bills. It eliminates the standby losses associated with holding hot water in a tank.

The tankless hot water heater also takes up less space than tank heaters. It has a capacity of 30-60 gallons. Tankless water heaters are available in both electric and gas models.

What Is a Tank Water Heater?

The tank water heater has a storage tank that holds water that has been heated. Tank hot water heater stores heated water in a tank, and they use a burner to heat the water. The burner is usually located at the bottom of the tank. This tank hot water heater benefits the consumer and it is cheaper to install, but it is less efficient.

What Are the Differences Between Tankless vs Tank Hot Water Heater?

If you are looking for a new hot water heater, you may be wondering if a tankless or tank model is right for your home. Here are some key differences to help you decide.

Less Expensive in the Long Run

Tankless hot water heaters are less expensive than tank hot water heaters. This is because tankless hot water heaters only heat water when you need it, while tank hot water heaters keep a reserve of hot water on hand at all times. Tankless hot water heaters are also more energy efficient because they only use energy to heat water when you need it, while tank hot water heaters use energy to keep a reserve of hot water hot all the time.

On-Demand Hot Water

A tankless hot water heater is a more efficient option than a tank hot water heater. With the best tankless hot water heater, water is heated on demand and only when you need it. This means that you’ll never run out of hot water and waste energy heating water that you’re not using.

Endless Hot Water

Tank water heaters that use energy to keep a reserve of hot water ready. Tankless hot water heaters have an endless supply of hot water because they heat water only when needed.

Compact Design

One of the differences between tankless and tank hot water heaters is that tankless water heaters do not have storage tanks. This means that they are more compact and can store in small spaces.


A tankless water heater will cost you more upfront than a tank water heater. But, a tankless water heater will last longer and be more energy efficient, so you will save money in the long run.

There is no set price for tankless hot water heaters. The cost will vary depending on the model, efficiency, and brand you select. Tank hot water heaters, on the other hand, have a set price. For example, a tank hot water heater will cost around $820-$1290.

Installation Process

When deciding which type of hot water heater is right for you, consider the initial cost, operating costs, and installation process. The installation process for a tankless hot water heater is more complicated than for a tank hot water heater.

You will need to hire a professional to install a tankless hot water heater. Tank hot water heaters are easier to install, so you may be able to do it yourself.


Tankless heaters are much easier to care for than tank heaters. Tankless heaters have fewer parts and components, so fewer things can go wrong. Tank heaters, have many parts and components, and need regular maintenance and upkeep.

Tankless water heaters generally need more maintenance than tank heaters, as the former must descale to prevent mineral buildup and corrosion. Additionally, the seals and heating elements in tankless water heaters are subject to more wear and tear and lead to a water heater repair.


While both tankless and tank hot water heaters have their benefits, some key differences between the two could make one more efficient than the other for your home.

For instance, tankless water heaters don’t have the standby losses associated with storing hot water in a tank, so they are more energy-efficient. They also have a longer lifespan than tank water heaters.

But, tankless water heaters can have a higher initial cost and may not be able to keep up with the demand for hot water in a large home. Tank hot water heaters are less expensive upfront and can better handle the hot water needs of a family.

Life Expectancy

Tankless hot water heaters typically have a longer life expectancy than tank hot water heaters. The average lifespan of a tankless water heater is 20 years, while the average lifespan of a tank water heater is only 10 years.

This is due to the fact that tankless hot water heaters do not have to work as hard to heat water, and they do not have to store hot water, which can cause wear and tear.


Choose the Best Tank Water Heater

If you’re trying to decide between a tankless vs tank hot water heater, it’s vital to know the differences between the two. You need to check how they both work, the pros and cons of each water heater, how much you will spend, the installation process, how you maintain both, the efficiency, and the life expectancy.

Consider your needs and budget in choosing the best tank water heater. If you’re unsure which is perfect for you, ask a professional for help.

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