Tankless Water Heaters vs Tanked Water Heaters - The Basics
A water heater is an essential appliance in most homes, providing hot water for various household tasks such as showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry. There are two main types of water heaters: storage tank and tankless, each with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
Storage tank water heaters are the most common type of water heater, and they work by storing hot water in a tank for later use. The water in the tank is heated and maintained at a constant temperature by a heating element. The heating element is typically powered by electricity or natural gas, and it is controlled by a thermostat located near the heating element. The thermostat regulates the temperature of the water in the tank, and it is set to the desired temperature by the homeowner.
When hot water is needed, it is drawn from the top of the tank through an outlet valve and distributed to the desired location. As hot water is used, cold water enters the tank through an inlet valve, and the heating cycle starts again. The heating element heats the water until it reaches the desired temperature, and then the thermostat maintains the temperature of the water in the tank.
The size of the storage tank water heater is determined by the household's hot water demand and usage patterns. A larger tank can store more hot water, allowing for more frequent use without running out of hot water. However, a larger tank also requires more energy to heat and maintain the temperature of the water, resulting in higher energy bills.
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, work differently from storage tank water heaters. Instead of storing hot water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat water on demand as it flows through the unit. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water is drawn into the unit and heated by a heating element. The heated water is then distributed to the tap, providing hot water whenever it is needed.
Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than storage tank water heaters because they only heat water when it is needed, rather than continuously heating and maintaining the temperature of water in a tank. However, tankless water heaters have a limited flow rate, meaning that they can only supply a certain amount of hot water at one time. This means that multiple hot water taps cannot be used simultaneously, making them less suitable for larger households with high hot water demands.
In conclusion, a water heater is an essential appliance that provides hot water for various household tasks. Storage tank water heaters are the most common type and work by storing hot water in a tank for later use, while tankless water heaters heat water on demand as it flows through the unit. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best option for a household depends on its hot water demand and usage patterns.