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Performance Plumbing Blog

Tips for Finding the Right Water Heater

tank-water-heater-in-corner-of-garageWater heaters are one of those things that many homeowners take for granted, even though it’s something that’s used every single day—could you imagine showering without hot water?

When it comes time to replace this system or install one in a newly constructed home, you want to make sure you’re getting one that matches your household’s specific needs, and isn’t going to cost more than necessary to run, right?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make in this case, then, is whether to go with a traditional storage-tank water heater or do something different and go tankless. But what’s the difference? And is one better than the other? Read on to learn more about both systems. 

Tank Water Heaters

Tank water heaters are the most commonly found type of water heater in homes today. They do the job required of them at a relatively low cost. The most distinguishing feature about them, of course, is that they store water in a tank. These tanks are available in a variety of sizes, by the gallon.

The reason there are multiple sizes available is because households have varying needs and a different number of people. Once a tank water heater’s supply runs out, there’s a delay in time as it heats up a new batch. So if the tank is too small for your family’s needs, you could be waiting for quite a while.

On the other hand, it’s possible to have a tank that’s too big. What happens, in this case, is that any hot water that goes unused will suffer from standby heat loss–therefore wasting energy. Buying a tank water heater that’s too big for your needs can be just as detrimental to your wallet as buying one that’s too small.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless systems are an alternative to their storage tank counterparts, and they function in a much different way. As the name implies, they don’t use a storage tank. Rather, these systems create hot water through electrical resistance. The hot water only comes on when you need it.

This makes tankless systems the more efficient option, in the long run. Since you don’t have to worry about standby heat loss, you don’t have to worry about wasted energy. Additionally, they last about 5-10 years longer than your average storage tank water heater.

One thing to keep in mind is, although these are on-demand systems, they can be overwhelmed, if too much demand is put on them at the same time–meaning if multiple plumbing appliances need hot water at once.

One benefit of both types of water heater system is they’re available in either electric or gas-powered. Most homeowners still with natural gas since it’s more affordable to use from month to month.

But electric is always an option if your home doesn’t have access to a natural gas line, or if you’d like the added safety of going electric instead of using gas. Gas-powered water heaters are not dangerous, but there’s always a risk with gas, no matter what.

For reliable water heater services in St. Louis, MO, contact Performance Plumbing today! 

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