Considerations When Choosing Between A Tankless And Reservoir Water Heater
If your old hot water heater finally died, you may be thinking about switching to a tankless model. However, a reservoir heater is still a better choice for many households. Here are some points to consider when comparing the two types of water heaters.
The Capacity Of Your Electrical System
If you live in an older house, you may still have a 100 amp electrical panel. That won't provide enough capacity for a tankless water heater. Homes built in the last few decades often have 200 amp panels put in when they are constructed. If you have the larger panel, then your electrical system might be ready for a tankless heater. However, if you need to upgrade from a 100 amp to a 200 amp panel, be prepared to spend quite a bit of money. The money spent to get your electrical system ready for a tankless heater could offset the benefits of increased energy efficiency and convenience. Hot water reservoirs on the other hand, have been running for decades on 100 amp systems, so they are a better choice for many homes.
The Availability Of Hot Water
Both types of water heaters provide hot water when you need it until they are taxed. A reservoir system runs out of hot water when you use more than is stored in the tank. When it comes to a tankless heater, the temperature of the water depends on the flow rate. As long as only one outlet of water is being used, such as a single person taking a shower, there will be plenty of hot water on demand. When two or more outlets are used simultaneously, such as running the washer and dishwasher while you shower, it affects the flow rate of water through the plumbing system, so water may not be as hot as you'd like at one of the outlets.
The Improved Efficiency Of Reservoir Heaters
If you haven't bought a new hot water heater in many years, you'll be glad to know the new models are much more energy efficient. Heater designs are constantly being improved and updated, which has resulted in tanks with improved energy efficiency. If your goal is to save money on your power bill after you get a new heater, you may be able to achieve that nearly as well with a tank system as you could with a tankless model.
The key to optimal performance of the water heater you choose is to buy the correct size for your household. In addition, take into account your lifestyle choices. If you run a couple of loads of laundry each day along with a load or two of dishes, your demands for hot water will be higher than someone who takes clothes to a laundromat to be washed. Having a hot water heater that matches the capacity you need ensures you have a steady supply of hot water whenever you turn on the tap. Talk to a contractor, like HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, about your options when it comes to type of heater to buy, the necessary electrical upgrades, and the size you need for your family, so you'll be happy with your new water heater for years to come.