On-Demand Water Heater vs Heat Tank

“Aaaaahhhhh water…”, just the sound of it flowing or streaming down can soothe the mind, and the feeling of it running over your skin can wash one’s worries or stresses away.

Some like the “shock” effect of cold water on their skin, while others appreciate lukewarm, warm, or even hot water — whether it’s for soothing tired muscles after a workout, washing dishes thoroughly, or doing the laundry rigorously.

Homes and business establishments often have to choose between the on-demand water heater or the tank water heater.

To help you choose, we’ve listed their pros and cons.

On-Demand Water Heater

On-demand water heater is also known as the tankless water heater, demand-type water heater, or instantaneous water heater. It is called such because it provides hot water on demand. They can be powered by either electricity or a gas burner.

How does it work?

When the tap is turned on with the setting on “hot,” cold water goes through a pipe into the on-demand water heater unit, where electricity or gasoline heats it up. Et voila! You instantly get to enjoy hot water without delay, without the wait.

The pros

  • They can be more energy-efficient than tank water heaters by up to 34%
  • They have a life expectancy of more than 20 years, with replaceable parts
  • They can avoid the standby heat loss associated with tank water heaters

The cons

  • In a large establishment or household, one on-demand water heater may not be able to efficiently meet the demands of, say, a hot shower and a hot dishwasher running at the same time. In some instances, it is advisable to install separate on-demand water heater units per use or per area.
  • On-demand water heaters usually cost more than tank water heaters, but this cost is offset by its low energy usage and super long life span

Storage Tank Water Heater

The heat tank is regarded as the traditional water heater, which is said to be preferred by homeowners because of their water storage capabilities. In the case of water service disruption, this tank (some households have more than one) can store 50 to 100 gallons of water at a time.

How does it work?

When the hot water tap is turned on, the tank releases hot water into pipes that lead to hot water taps and appliances. Cold water enters the tank at the bottom, through pipes, and the water is then heated either by natural gas or electricity.

The pros

  • Heat tank purchase and installation is cheaper than that of tankless heaters
  • It stores large amounts of water which may be useful in emergencies
  • Its repair is usually more affordable than repairs on tankless heaters

The cons

  • Higher electricity bills because it heats and reheats water even without demand
  • If the water supply has run out, you have to wait for it to refill and heat, which could take up to two hours
  • Parts may have to be replaced every 6 years, and the lifespan could only go as high as 15 years

So which type of water heater works for you?

The one that provides instant hot water only when you need it — saving energy and thus reducing your carbon footprint — that can last two decades with you? Or the one that can store water that continually heats and reheats (Think of your energy bill during winter!), and that will make you wait two hours when hot water runs out?

The choice is yours.