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Between the tankless water heater vs. with tank: what to choose?

When it is time to rent or buy a new house or make reforms to the current one, you can be overwhelmed by the amount of decisions to be made. What type of soil should you choose? What is more important to have in your kitchen, more space or better finishes? This also touches the hot water and we help you choose: tankless water heater vs. with tank In this sense, a water heater can impact your life more than you think. You probably know what it is like to be in the middle of a shower, your hair full of champagne and suddenly, the water comes out suddenly. If you have a large family or several roommates living under one roof, you will even have to schedule the showers. The heater also intervenes in the gas or electricity bill and even its storage and decoration options.

Because tankless water heaters, such as the Heatworks Model 3, are known to be efficient and small in terms of size, many think that tankless is always better. But, in some cases it is not the best option, and a tank water heater is more prudent, especially when there are devices such as Sunnovation Aquanta that can make your heater run more efficiently. Check out our guide of tank versus tankless water heaters to learn everything you need to know.


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Price with installation: The cost of installing a water tank heater varies widely depending on the type, size and characteristics of your home. Home Depot specifies that they can cost between $ 952 dollars and $ 2,098 dollars (the average cost being $ 1,308 dollars). This price estimate includes the cost of a basic tank water heater, installation, materials, disposal of the old unit and permits.

Installation: Tank water heaters are relatively easy to install and commissioning usually only takes a few hours. They are usually installed indoors, as they cannot tolerate adverse weather conditions. Generally discrete places such as cabinets or garages are chosen to install them. However, especially in older homes, you may find a tank water heater in the kitchen. Tanks are usually electric, natural gas and propane. Gas models will continue to function during a power outage.

Useful life: between 10 and 15 years.

How they work: Tank water heaters generally contain between 75.7 and 303 liters of hot water (around 48.9 degrees Celsius) in a storage tank. They are quite large and require some space inside your home. The drawback is that if you manage to exhaust what is in the tank you should wait until the water heater produces more hot water.

According to Home Depot, the table below can help you determine the size of the tank water heater you will need for your home.

Household size Tank size
1-2 26-36 gallons

98.4-136.2 liters

2-4 36-46 gallons

136.2-159 liters

3-5 46-56 gallons

174.1-212 liters

5 or more 56 or more gallons

212 liters or more


  • Lower initial cost
  • Easy installation
  • Tested system
  • In an emergency, you have a supply of fresh water in the tank.
  • You can install a water heater with an electric tank without making major changes to your home's electrical system or buy expensive additional equipment


  • Waste of energy from the "reserve loss". That is, the energy that is wasted by keeping a tank full of hot water at all times.
  • A shorter life
  • If the heater does not work properly, there may be leaks.
  • If the tank goes, you have to wait for hot water.

Who should buy a tank water heater: If your budget or urgency prevents you from having a tankless system, a tank heater may be the best solution. If your house is only powered by electricity, you should carefully consider whether it is really worth choosing a tankless one. The average domestic capacity is around 200 amps, which may not be enough to support a tankless electric heater. If you have gas, you should take into account the costs of ventilation systems and additional gas lines. According to, a tankless water heater will probably save you (at most) $ 1,800 over the life of the system. If the additional costs of installing a tankless system exceed your potential savings, you should consider a tank system or a high efficiency tank system.

The data in the table below from compares energy savings and costs in different types of water heaters.

Water heater type Energy saving vs. minimum standards Expected energy savings during the useful life of the equipment
High efficiency tank systems 10-20% Up to $ 500
Without tank (gas or electric) 45-60% Up to $ 1,800
Heat pump 65% (compared to electrical resistance) Up to $ 900
Solar with electric backup 70-90% Up to $ 2,200


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Price with installation: It will vary considerably depending on the type, brand and if you are installing a new heater or replacing an old one. According to Home Depot, it costs between $ 2,044 dollars and $ 5,898 dollars (average of $ 2,979 dollars) including the heater, installation, materials, permits and removal of the previous heater.

Installation: Tankless water heaters are smaller, so they require less space in your home. You can even install a tankless unit outdoors. Installation may be more difficult as you may need to update your home's electrical system to be compatible with the unit or you may need to install a dedicated gas line to your heater.

Useful life: 20 years or more