Traditional Hot Water Tank, or Tankless?

Posted by Callahan Smith

After many years, you're finally looking to change out that old hot water tank... and you're a little behind on today's options. Not to worry, Pioneer's most experienced technicians weigh in what they believe to be your best bet. 

No matter what you pick, the most important thing is always that you are going with a reputable, licensed, and insured plumbing company for your installation. There have been many reported disasters from improper installations, mainly from improper knowledge regarding the T&P pressure release valve. Not all improper installations are disasters, but they are all guaranteed to wear on the life of your system. At Pioneer, we select only the most qualified journeyman technicians to perform heating and cooling installations, so you'll never have to worry about beginner mistakes. 

When choosing between a hot water tank style heater, or a hot water on demand system, there are 5 main decision making factors: 

1. Cost: 

Hot water tanks usually have a lower up-front cost. A new hot water tank, installed, will likely be about $3000. Whereas a tankless hot water tank is around $7000. 

2. Energy Consumption:

On average, customers with tankless water heaters save about 30% on energy consumption (and energy cost.) If you have a large household and are interested in consistent savings over the years, this may be something to consider. Also, tankless water heaters are generally more environmentally friendly, so that's something to feel good about!

3. Space:

Tankless water heaters can fit neatly into tight storage areas, leaving more space for those excess Christmas decorations. If you have limited space in your household, a tankless heater might offer you an improvement in this department. 

4. Lifespan:

Tankless water heater brands like Navien last on average, 25 years! Hot water tanks last usually about 10-12 years before breaking down beyond repair, and can be as low as 6 years. If you are looking to invest in longevity, a tankless water heater is a better option. 

5. Hot Water Supply:

Tankless water heaters are a hot water on demand system, circulating through the unit and heating instantly before being distributed to different zones. A hot water tank keeps water hot constantly, and has a limited amount at a time to distribute. If you have a large household, a tankless water heater will allow your whole family to take a shower without fighting over who's last! You simply won't run out of hot water. 

We've asked the experts at Pioneer, and they recommend a tankless hot water heater if you can afford the upfront costs. However, a high quality hot water tank, with a professional installation, will be a great secondary option.