For decades, water heaters have consisted of 30-50 gallon behemoths sitting in your basement or closet. They’re usually an afterthought until one springs a leak or you run out of hot water. There is a growing trend that has people switching to tankless heaters. They take up less space and hot water is delivered on demand, which usually leads to improved energy efficiency. But for some, a tankless heater is actually not the best solution for your home. Read on to learn the pros and cons of both tank and tankless water heaters.

What’s the main difference between tank and tankless water heaters?

A traditional heater can be found in most homes today. It usually holds approximately 30-50 gallons of preheated water. Tankless heaters use a heat source (gas or electricity) to heat water on-demand. Meaning, it doesn’t kick on until you take a shower or use your sink. 


Tankless Image Source: Grainger.com

Traditional Heater
Pros & Cons


  • Less cost to install (potentially half as much as tankless)
  • Cheaper to maintain and repair
  • Easier to install on existing systems


  • Takes up a large amount of space
  • Inefficient compared to tankless — higher monthly cost
  • Failures can lead to water damage
  • Shorter lifespan

Tankless Water Heater
Pros & Cons


  • Costs less to run (up to 34% more energy efficient)
  • Takes up much less space than a traditional tank
  • Longer lifespan (10–15 years longer than traditional with regular maintenance)
  • Unlimited hot water supply


  • Higher cost to install
  • Energy cost savings can be offset by changing water habits
  • Often require additional hardware (like a water softener)
  • Takes longer for water to heat up (unless a recirculation system is installed)

The Bottom Line

There is not one simple answer to whether or not you should go tankless. Sometimes it might take a conversation about your needs to see if it’s worth it. Should you have any questions about which water heater is best for you, give us a call and we can help you decide which choice is best for you. We also repair existing systems so remember..save time, call Prime! 


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