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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Comparing Tank and Tankless Water Heaters

tankless-water-heater-small-on-wallWe offer a range of models of water heaters in Burton, MI for our customers. There are two broad options: the conventional and familiar storage tank water heater, and the less common tankless water heater. Both types have benefits and drawbacks, and there is no automatic “right” answer for which is better for your home. You’ll need our water heater experts to help you discover whether a tank or tankless water heater fits your household’s needs and your short-and-long-term budget plans. To get you started, we’ll provide a basic rundown of the strengths and weaknesses and these water heaters.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

Often referred to awkwardly as tank water heaters, these are the water heaters most people know. A large tank stores water kept heated for use whenever there’s demand in a home. 


  • Storage tank water heaters are flexible and can work for almost any home. There’s rarely any need to make changes to the current plumbing to accommodate a new one.
  • They’re among the most affordable types of water heaters on the market, which is often important for homeowners on a tight budget. 
  • When properly sized and installed, a storage tank water heater shouldn’t encounter trouble providing enough hot water for a household.


  • Because they store water in a tank until there’s demand for it, storage tank water heaters suffer from standby heat loss. This requires them to regularly use energy even when no one is using hot water in a house.
  • They have shorter service lives, lasting from 10 to 12 years on average.
  • Even with a fantastic installation, storage tank water heaters can run out of their hot water supply and leave people without hot water until the system can heat up enough of a supply.

Tankless Water Heaters

These water heaters do not store any water, but instead heat water whenever a tap in the house turns on requesting hot water. 


  • Tankless water heaters use significantly less energy than storage tank water heaters because they don’t suffer from standby energy loss. They only run when there’s demand for hot water.
  • Because they don’t store hot water, there’s no limited supply that can run out. A tankless water heater can effectively deliver “unlimited hot water” to a household.
  • The lower amount of stress on tankless systems means they can last longer than storage tank units, often running for 20 years.
  • Without a tank, a tankless water heater takes up much less space.


  • The initial price tag for tankless water heaters is higher than for storage tank water heaters. Although the energy savings can offset this over time, the installation cost may not be worth it for some homes.
  • Installing a tankless water heater sometimes requires making updates to gas lines and piping. They also require a filtration system to allow them to operate properly.
  • In homes where multiple hot water taps are on at the same time, a tankless water heater can be overwhelmed and start to lose energy efficiency.

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the surrounding areas. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice.

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