Water heaters are something that many people don’t consider when it comes to energy efficiency and replacement cost. For most, it’s the big cylindrical thing in your basement that you forget about until it fails or the thing you shake your fist at when the shower turns cold. While this post can’t help much with the latter (sorry to all the parents out there who get the last shower of the day), we might be able to recommend a way of not having your water heater be the monstrosity lurking in your basement.

The answer is simple—go tankless! A tankless water heater can offer HUGE savings. However, they may not be for everyone.

Let’s take a look at the differences.

A traditional water heater is what’s found in most homes. They preheat anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons of water and are used for any daily activity in your home that requires hot water. Pretty simple. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, uses a heat source—often times electricity—to warm up water on demand, as opposed to storing it full time.

Traditional water heaters usually cost less up front. Sometimes even half that of a tankless heater. Because the process of heating is a little more simple compared to tankless, there is also less that can go wrong with a traditional water heater. They can be easier to install since gas lines are usually already in place. But, they have a shorter life span and let’s face it, they can be huge eye sores.

With a tankless heater you’re going to spend less money over time (up to around 34% more energy efficient!), they don’t take up a lot of space, last around 10-15 years longer than a traditional heater, and can provide hot water on demand. The downside, is that they do cost roughly 10-20% more to install.

So is it worth it? Absolutely. Energy.gov has stated that a tankless heater will save you roughly $100 each year. You multiply that by 20 years, plus what it would cost to install a new traditional heater, you’re saving more than a pocket full of change. However, there are still energy efficient options for traditional water heaters, and they are still very common.

Either way, when it’s time to replace your water heater, we might know someone to call.