Do you know what are the advantages and disadvantages of the two most popular types of water heaters? I’m talking about tankless water heaters and convencional tank water heaters. If you’ve ever wondered if a tankless water heater is better than a tank water heater, this is the place where you’ll get your answer! Keep reading to learn more about it.

“If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one. - John Galsworthy

Tankless water heater


The technology for tankless water heaters is always evolving.
The technology for tankless water heaters is always evolving. Source: This Old House
  • Instant hot water: okay, maybe not instant, but still, it takes about 10 seconds, so you can basically consider it instant, right? Hot water will definitely come a lot quicker than with the conventional type of water heater.
  • Longer lifespan: while the tank water heater lasts about 10 to 15 years, the tankless version can work for 20 or more years (much like their warranties).
  • Lower month-to-month costs: the tankless heater only works when there’s a demand for hot water, which will save you about 25% on energy bills per year.
  • Electric and gas available: both options are available for tankless water heaters, you can choose to reroute your gas line or simply install an electric heater.
  • Ideal for small homes: typically, the tankless heater is really compact, about the size of a small suitcase, which means it takes less space than the tank heater system and it’ll be ideal for smaller homes.
  • Versatile: the tankless system is easy to install anywhere in the house, and it can even be installed outdoors!


The cons of a tankless water heater can be disappointing.
The cons of a tankless water heater can be disappointing. Source: Apartment Therapy
  • Inconsistent temperatures: this usually happens when there’s more than one water source running and requiring the heater to work for both at the same time, if you have a big house and a big family, the tankless system won’t be so efficient.
  • Higher initial cost: both getting the new system and installing it will come a higher price (and there’s no escaping it, only a professional will be able to perform the job).
  • Higher maintenance: you will need a professional to come by at least once a year to check your tankless water heater, especially to check if there’s no buildup around the heating elements.
  • Rerouting gas lines: since gas heaters are way more efficient for whole-house use (they don’t require as much energy as electric models), they will be more worth the installation, however, they will be more work since you will need to have the gas lines rerouted for this purpose.

Tank water heater


Tank heaters take up more space, but they are cheaper to install.
Tank heaters take up more space, but they are cheaper to install. Source: The Family Handyman
  • Initial lower cost: unlike the tankless heater, a tank system is much simpler to install and therefore a lot cheaper too.
  • Low-maintenance: the tank system is easier to maintain since it is simpler than tankless heaters.
  • Cheaper to maintain: since they’re simpler to operate, there are less costs with maintenance and repairs
  • Easy to replace: not only it is easy to replace, but it’s also inexpensive to get a new unit (at least a lot cheaper than getting a tankless heater).


These conventional tanks won't last as long as a tankless version.
These conventional tanks won’t last as long as a tankless version. Source: DIY Network
  • Higher utility bills: this happens because the tank will heat and reheat the water to pre-set temperature, it will require more energy to work and you’ll end up with higher bills by the end of the month - especially when the weather gets colder.
  • Not enough hot water: when using a tank water heater system, you might face issues of running out of hot water. Trust me when I say you don’t want to be the last one to get into the shower. If you have a big family, you’ll probably need to invest in a larger heater (although those will make your energy bills go even higher).
  • Shorter lifespan: tank systems only last about 10 years, 15 tops. Which compared to tankless heaters is a really short lifespan.
  • They take up a lot of space: unlike tankless heaters, they cannot go outside in any case and they need a lot of space inside the house to be properly installed. So if you have a small home, it won’t be the ideal pick for you.
  • Needs to be replaced more often: since they have a shorter lifespan than the tankless system, you’ll most likely need to replace them twice as much. So, even though they’re cheaper to buy and install, this factor may make it more worthwhile to get the tankless version at once.


As you can see, there are pros and cons for both types of heaters. Only you can decide the best option for your home, it will really depend on the house and needs you have so be sure to think carefully and don’t rush into the decision.

When you feel ready to make your decision, get a free quote for a water heater installation!

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