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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

What Type of Water Heater Is Right for My Home?


When you start exploring the different types of water heaters that are on the market, the options can seem overwhelming. There are heat pump water heaters, electric-powered or gas-powered water heaters, solar water heaters, and even tankless water heaters.

When considering what type to get, it’s easier to start with just two options in mind–a tank or tankless system. Storage tank model water heaters are what you’re most likely used to seeing in the average home, and may even be what you currently have. They come in different sizes based on capacity, and constantly store water which they heat up using elements inside the system. Tankless systems, however, are “on-demand” systems. We’ll explain what that means below. Read on to learn more!

Types of Water Heaters

As we mentioned above, there are actually many different types of water heaters. But tank or tankless water heaters can each run on electricity or gas, and either can be solar. A heat pump water heater is a tank system, with generally higher energy efficiency than a standard water heater.

We are happy to go over all of this in more detail as you’re exploring your installation options. We want to make sure your home and your needs are appropriately matched with the right system! In the meantime, read on to learn the pros and cons of the two main types of water heaters: tank, or tankless.

Pros for Each Type of Water Heater

Tank Water Heaters

Tank water heaters come in various sizes depending on your capacity needs. A large family who does a lot of laundry and has household members who take daily showers, for example, is going to need a larger storage tank than a couple without kids in a small home.

The benefit of the various size options is that it allows for versatility. Another benefit is that today’s model of tank water heaters are much more efficient than those of even just a decade ago, again, with options like solar power and heat pump power!

Tankless Water Heaters

Referred to as “on-demand” water heaters, as we mentioned above, these water heaters don’t activate and heat up water until there’s a demand for it from a hot water tap or appliance within your home. What does this mean? Well, tankless systems are highly efficient.

You never need to worry about standby energy loss and these systems even require less maintenance than their storage tank counterparts.

Cons for Each Type of Water Heater

Tank Water Heaters

You just saw the term “standby energy loss,” but what is that? It’s when your hot water tank doesn’t get all the way used up through the day, so the heating elements have to come back on to reheat the same batch of water that’s been sitting in the tank for hours. As you might imagine, this is really inefficient and it means you’re paying more to heat your water than you should have to.

Tank water heaters do also typically require more maintenance than tankless systems. They have to be “flushed” at least once a year to prevent damage from hard water mineral buildup and scaling.

Tankless Water Heaters

While tankless systems are highly efficient, they can be overwhelmed. If you’re running two appliances at the same time, for example, like your dishwasher and your clothes washing machine, and someone is taking a shower, it’s not going to be able to effectively keep all that water warm. A potential solution is to have a second tankless system installed.

The other factor that some homeowners consider a con to the tankless system is that it’s costlier to install. However, the money you save in energy costs can more than make up for this.

No matter what water heater type you decide on–and we can help you make an educated decision for your specific home–there are going to be pros and cons. The best thing you can do is research, and choose what best fits your household.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment for water heater installation in Cedar Rapids, IA, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online.

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