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No one wants to wake up on a cold winter morning to find out that there’s suddenly no hot water in your home or freak out at your monthly bill to see how much money you’ve been spending on energy costs. It’s a necessity to have a water heater for your home that you can rely on year round while not costing you an arm and leg to maintain it. With all the water heater options that are out there though, which one is right for you and your needs? Keep on reading to find out!

All Water Heaters Are Not Created Equal

While Thomas Jefferson said that “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, that’s definitely not the case with water heaters. There are two types of hot water systems that you’re going to want to take a look at—traditional water heaters and tankless water heaters. Let’s take a look at what makes these two units different.

Traditional Water Heater

A traditional water heater is what you’ll see in the basement of most homes. With this unit, water is stored in an insulated storage tank and it is constantly being heated. By using electricity or gas, hot water is taken from the top of the tank when a faucet is turned on. Afterwards, cold water flows into the bottom of the tank to replace the hot water that was just drawn. Unfortunately, you’ll end up waiting anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for the hot water to be replenished into the storage tank once you’ve exhausted its supply. This can be a common occurrence in your home if you find that someone in your family is taking too long of a shower.

Tankless Water Heater

Imagine having hot water whenever you want without ever worrying about it running out. That’s essentially what a tankless water heater is. They’re also known as on demand water heaters because they only provide you with hot water when you need it, unlike a traditional system. Hot water is no longer stored anywhere with a tankless system, nor is it being constantly heated. You can also avoid the costs in standby power loads that you will get with a traditional system. This results in greater energy savings for your home. Just like a traditional water heater, a tankless water heater can be heated with electricity or gas.

Assess Your Needs

Unfortunately, there is no “rule of thumb” that you can easily use to figure out which type of water heater will be best for your home and your needs. There are various factors that you’ll have to consider such as the number of bathrooms and occupants that live in your home. If you are looking for an immediate replacement for your water heater and you don’t plan on staying in the same home for a very long time, a traditional system may make more sense. Conversely, you may want to consider a tankless system if you find that you’re always running out of hot water and racking up energy costs each month.

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