Traditional Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater (With Infographic)

The best type of water heater for you depends on several things. The amount of hot water that is used on a daily basis, the cost of producing the hot water, and the initial cost of the equipment with installation. Next, there are also environmental concerns and some potential health issues to consider. Furthermore, when deciding between a traditional water heater or tankless water heater the amount of available space can be an factor. Finally, how long you plan to remain in the home can determine your return on investment.

How much hot water

The volume of hot water that can be produced by a traditional water heater is limited by the size of the tank for that water heater. The need for more hot water can be met by purchasing a water heater with a larger capacity, but this may not be an option due to available space. Additionally, you should consider the size of your family, how much hot water may be needed at one time, and if you believe your family will grow.

A tankless water heater can deliver any amount of hot water that is needed when it is needed. The technology instantly converts cold water to hot water on demand. The size of a tankless water heater is smaller than the traditional system. This allows for it to be more conveniently located, and easier to access for maintenance. Additionally, there is never a lack of hot water with a tankless water heater.

Hot water cost and energy cost

The power supply for a traditional water heater or tankless water heater can be the same. The power supply for either is natural gas or electricity. Yet, the traditional system is constantly using power to maintain the temperature of the water. This design allows for a loss of heat through the metal tank that holds the hot water. The energy cost for running a traditional water heater is higher than that of a tankless water heater. This is because the tankless system only uses energy when it is called for. Tankless water heaters use 29% less energy over time than standard water heaters.

Initial investment

The cost for a traditional water heater or tankless water heater can differ greatly. The traditional water heater including installation is dependent on the size of the water heater and averages between $800 and $1200. A tankless water heater can cost between $2,500 and $4,500 for both the equipment and the installation which is a much higher initial investment.

The lifetime of a traditional water heater or tankless water heater should be considered as a part of the investment. Tankless water heaters last twice as long as traditional water heaters. Also, in some cases the cost of installation for a tankless water heater system can be occasionally offset. In some cases, existing power supplies and exhaust systems can be used. Furthermore, tankless systems usually take less maintenance, and can save between $80 and $120 per year in energy costs as compared to the traditional system.


The amount of time that a family plans to live in a home should be a consideration in the decision. Staying in a home for 20 years should produce a positive return on investment for a tankless water heater as opposed to buying at least two traditional water heaters. Additionally, the improvement in efficiency and energy costs can increase the sales value of a home with a tankless system.

Environment and health

There are health and environment concerns when choosing between a traditional water heater or tankless water heater. A tankless water heater is an enclosed system that does not produce any environmental contaminates. A traditional water heater produces some sludge that can be a health hazard to people who are allergic. Also, an old traditional water heater can be recycled, but may end up in a waste dump.


Traditional water heaters require regular maintenance to insure a long life and optimal operation. A tankless system requires less maintenance which lowers the operating costs of the unit.

In conclusion, tankless water heaters are becoming more popular due to the advantages over traditional water heaters. These advantages are found in energy consumption, convenience, durability, and return on investment. Things to consider in the battle of traditional water heater or tankless water heater are how much hot water your family will consume at one time, available budget, and how long you plan to stay in the home.

If you need a water heater installation or repair in Mount Dora Florida, Lake County, or the surrounding area, don’t hesitate to call Blue Sky Plumbing where there are NO EXCUSES only solutions!

Click the image to view the full size traditional water heater or tankless water heater infographic.