Are you ready to replace your old water heater, but not sure what you want to replace it with? You're likely deciding between a storage water heater or a tankless water heater. Here are some things that will help you decide between these two options.
Storage Water Heaters
A storage hot water heater is going to take in cold water at the bottom of the tank and heat the water that goes to the top. The water is then taken from the top of the tank so that it can flow throughout your home to all of the hot water faucets. These types of tanks are given a first-hour rating, which lets you know how many gallons of hot water can be produced from the tank within the first hour of using it. This is because a hot water tank will disperse hot water slower than it can create it. If you use too much hot water all at once, the water will eventually become cold.
The main benefit of a storage water heater is that it is going to be much more affordable than more advanced models. It can be great if you are on a budget and completely happy with your old storage tank, or plan on moving soon and won't be in the home for much longer.
Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless hot water heater is going to heat water on demand. It does this by using a gas or electric heat source that will heat the water on demand as it flows through heated coils. A tankless water heater is able to keep up with the demand of water constantly flowing out of a faucet, which makes it great for large families.
The downside of tankless hot water heaters is that they do have a flow rate, which is the amount of hot water they can produce at one time. This means that you have unlimited hot water, but there is a limit to how much hot water the water heater can produce at once. For example, if you have a low-end tankless water heater, your family may struggle to have enough hot water if three people are showering at once. You can always get a more powerful tankless water heater with a higher flow rate, but it will cost more money upfront.
Work with a plumber in your area for tips on deciding on a water heater, or for more information about the difference between a storage water heater and a tankless water heater.