HVAC Resources & Frequently Asked Questions

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Tank vs Tankless Water Heaters

With all the things to consider, and all of the statistics being thrown around, it’s no wonder why this topic has turned into such a heated debate. You’ve probably worked up a sweat yourself, deciding which to choose. As you probably already know, there is no simple answer to the hot water question, but here is the lowdown on both…

What Is It, and How Does It Work?

Tank System – It consists of an insulated tank, that acts as the storage and heating system for the water. Cold water is supplied to the tank through a pipe and is heated according to a set temperature. The heated water is then stored in that very tank, as it waits to be used. Once the hot water is expended, for instance, when you have the shower running for a long time, the tank must fill up and heat the water again, before it can be provided to you.

Tankless System – The tankless system does not heat up stored water, waiting to be used. Rather, it senses the flow of water, and heats it up as it passes through hot coils. For instance, when a shower or sink knob is turned, it instantly begins the heating process, and supplies an endless flow of hot water.

How Energy Efficient Is It?

Tank System – Takes a great deal of energy to operate. As hot water is heated and stored constantly, energy consumption is high. Cold water is supplied in the tank as soon as hot water is drawn off. So, the tank is always full with hot water, even if it is not required, which results in lots of wasted energy.

Tankless System – Does not have to constantly heat stored water, and in turn, uses 10-20% less energy than its conventional counterpart. As a result, the tankless system reduces water heating bills by about 10-20%, as well.

Where Did the Hot Water Go?

Tank System – As the amount of hot water available in a tank system depends on the size of the tank, hot water may run out sooner than you’d like it to.

Tankless System – Supplies a virtually infinite amount of how water.

What Does it Use For Fuel?

Tank System – Commonly electric, natural gas and liquid propane. Gas and liquid propane heaters are more energy efficient, than electric models.

Tankless System – Gas or electric.

Does Size Matter?

Tank System – A smaller size tank might not be sufficient to provide enough hot water, while an extra large one may result in energy wastage. So, depending on your hot water requirement and family size, the correct size tank should be installed.

Tankless System – Generally, tankless water heaters tend to be the size of an average suitcase, or smaller. Many times, they can be installed underneath the sink or even attached to the wall in the shower. A tankless heater can free up a great deal of space.

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