Water heaters are something that we don’t necessarily think about until they stop working. They’re also a part of the plumbing world that has undergone several great changes throughout recent years. The old 20 to 50-gallon water heater that required at least 20 minutes to product lukewarm water has been replaced with a smaller, more efficient model that is completely tankless. Let’s take a look at the differences between large tank style water heaters and tankless water heaters. Energy Efficiency The problem with big tanks is that they had to continually switch on and off to keep the water hot. The water within the storage tank cools down over time and must be reheated. Tankless water heaters, also called on-demand water heaters, heat the water as it is going through the pipes instead of in a holding tank. This makes them 27% to 50% more energy efficient than the big tank counterparts. Water Heater Life Expectancy The life expectancy of the traditional tank style water heater is roughly 10 to 15 years. Heating elements may need to be replaced at least once or twice during that timeframe. The life expectancy of a tankless water heater is more than 20 years. The Initial Cost Factor When on demand water heaters were introduced to the market they were at least twice as expensive as a tank model water heater. Today, however, they have come down in price and are very comparable to their much larger counterparts. The Size Factor On demand water heaters are much smaller than tank-style water heaters. Tanks require quite a bit of space and are generally stored under the home, in the basement, or in a closet away from view. Tankless units can be mounted near the shower or on the opposite side of the shower just to keep them out of view. The Costs over Time The average cost to operate a 50-gallon tank water heater is roughly $190 per year. The average yearly cost to operate a gas powered tankless water heater is roughly $170 per year. So we understand if you don’t want to base your decision on cost alone. A $20 difference per year isn’t going to make or break the bank at this point. Never Run Out of Hot Water This is the biggest advantage of a tankless water heater. You will never run out of hot water unless the unit malfunctions. A 50-gallon tank of hot water may last through four or five showers, but that fifth person may be rinsing off in cold water. Avoid finishing your shower in cold water by being the first to shower or purchasing and installing an on-demand tankless water heater. We’ve been installing tankless water heaters for homeowners in the LA are for several years. The space saving design is what most Los Angeles area homeowners appreciate the most about these units. Give us a call at 310-644-9757 to discuss your options regarding tankless water heaters or to schedule a consultation.