Water Heater Replacement: Do I Choose a Tank or Tankless Unit?

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Homeowners have never had so many options when it comes to choosing and using a water heater. Not too long ago the only decision to make was whether or not to use an electric or natural gas tank water heater; these days the field of options is much wider. The biggest dilemma our experts see with homeowners is making the decision between a tank unit and a tankless unit. The plumbing experts at Bell Plumbing and Heating can help you navigate this issue so that you choose a system that works best for your home in Denver, CO.

Tank Units

We all know what tank units look like, and for the most part, how they operate. New regulations that went into effect this past April require manufacturers to better insulate tank units to reduce standby heat loss, as well as equip all gas and propane units with electronic igniters to reduce energy loss.

Why choose a tank unit? First, they are obviously very familiar to most homeowners, so there is already an established comfort level. Second, they do come in a wide variety of sizes, including commercial sizes. Third, they are typically less expensive to install than tankless units.

Tankless Systems

Tankless systems use either electricity or natural gas for power. These systems heat water on-demand, so they use a heat exchanger to heat water when a hot water tap opens. The lack of a tank, plus the use of energy only when hot water is needed makes these systems very energy efficient. They also have a longer lifespan, averaging about 20 years versus a tank unit, which typically lasts 10-13 years. They can be more expensive to install initially, and this is something you’ll have to consider when making your decision.

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