Tankless Water Heaters vs. Traditional Water Heaters

As a heating contractor in Chicago, naturally, we field a lot of questions about water heaters. And one of the more common questions we get relates to the difference between tankless water heaters versus traditional water heaters. Since our technicians are well-versed and experienced working with both types of water heaters, we can help break this topic down better than just about anyone.

And it’s an important topic to understand, given the differences in quality, maintenance requirements, and cost. Other than the roof over your head, you might say your water heater is the most important component of your house. So let’s clear up any confusion about the comparison of tankless versus traditional water heaters.

Tankless and Traditional Water Heaters

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the most notable difference between these two types of heaters is that one has a tank and the other doesn’t. This obvious fact is important for not-so-obvious reasons. For one, because tankless water heaters don’t use tanks, they must use an alternative method to heat your water. The mechanism they use is called a heating element, which is a component that heats up your water whenever, but only when, you turn on the hot water in your sink, shower, or dishwasher.

By using this mechanism, tankless water heaters can operate on-demand, giving them a level of efficiency that traditional water heaters generally can’t match.

Tankless: More Space and Lower Operating Costs

A tankless water heater is generally about the size of a briefcase, and it mounts on your wall. Practically speaking, it takes up zero square footage whereas a tankless water heater needs at least a few cubic feet of storage. Also, tankless water heaters generally result in lower utility bills than traditional water heaters since traditional heaters must always have a burning pilot light.

Traditional: Less Upfront Investment

Traditional water heaters cost less upfront than a tankless heater, but ask any heating contractor in Chicago, and you’ll learn that the operating costs more than make up for the additional upfront cost. Not only do they last a long time, but tankless water heaters are also more likely to be protected by a stronger warranty, which means you have less risk of needing to pay for costly repairs.

Need help choosing between tankless and traditional? Ask a heating contractor in Chicago at Deljo Heating and Cooling!