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How Much Does a Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater Cost?

Author: Brian Eckert

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater Prices

A tankless water heater is also known as an “on-demand” water heater. That helps explain how it operates. What a tankless water heater does is provide a method of heating water that doesn’t involve storing hot water like its tank counterpart. The reasoning behind this type of water heater is it can save money by not having hot water that sits in a tank for a long period of time. Hot water sitting in a tank loses it heat in time and needs to be reheated, constantly ready should someone decide to take a shower, run the dishwasher, or do some laundry in the washing machine. This wastes energy.

Tankless water heater costs vs. Tank water heater costs

Tankless water heaters can save you money in the long run but there are limitations to them as well that may keep you from choosing to buy one. They can provide roughly 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute. This can be taxing on larger sized households that use a lot of water. Should you want to run the shower and the dishwasher at the same time, you will be in trouble. A tankless water heater will supply sufficient hot water for a 1 to 2 person household. After that, you may need a second unit. It is possible to connect two units. However, it will cost double the price to buy two tankless units vs. buying one tank unit.

Tankless water heaters have an advantage over tank units. Tankless water heaters can last 20+ years. Tank water heaters only last 10 to 12 years, on average. Therefore, cost to purchase a tankless unit will equal out to toughly half the cost annually if you calculate it out over the life of the heater.

Tankless water heaters can offer 25% to 35% savings on energy each year. The average savings computes to $50 annually. That can be a lot if you combine it with the fact that tankless units can last twice as long as tank units. Together, the savings can total $100 per year if you count the savings on energy and the costs savings of having a tankless unit lasting twice as long. At $1,000 for the average unit, lasting 20 years vs. 10 years will save $50 a year. $50 plus $50 is $100 a year in savings.

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