02 Mar. 22

Best Chicago Hot Water Heaters: Tanked or Tankless

When you’re Chicago’s highest rated hot water heater plumber, the plumber residential customers across the Northwest Side flock to for honest pricing and the best recommendations, you’re going to field a lot of questions about which hot water heater is the right one for a specific customer’s needs – tanked or tankless. And at Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer, we’re perfectly fine with that because we’re committed to delivering whatever our Chicago plumbing customers are looking for – either expert plumbing service or information.

As most hot water heater installations take place in response to emergencies we’re not often able to give our customers a detailed glimpse into the benefits of tanked versus tankless models. In most cases, our Chicago hot water heater installation customers just go with the model they know or one close to it. But there’s more to it that should be considered so let’s look into it together.

Tanked vs. Tankless Debate: Comparison Criteria

The most important aspect of any hot water heater installation performed by the licensed and insured hot water heater plumbers from Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer is that it meets the needs of our customers. To do that, it has to meet criteria that we divine by speaking with our customers about how they use hot water around the house each day. Let’s look at a few more criteria that may help you decide between hot water heaters with a storage tanks and those without.

  • Water Usage
  • Upfront Costs
  • Long-Term Costs
  • Projected Lifespan
  • Installation Requirements

How Much Water Does Your Family Use Every Day?

Our first question to a residential plumbing customer interested in hot water heater installation is always, “how much hot water do you use daily?”. We ask this for a specific purpose and it plays a role in what make and model hot water heater fits your needs. See, a tankless hot water heater has to heat water when you need it. There’s no tank holding already heated water so if you find yourself using multiple showers or plumbing fixtures daily a storage tank may be better for you. They can hold between 30-60 gallons of hot water at any time, depending on the model, so you always have hot water when you need it.

Upfront Costs for Tanked vs. Tankless Hot Water Heaters

This comparison is pretty straightforward. Tankless hot water heaters are, on average, double the price of their tanked counterparts. You can find cheaper models of each hot water heater type but expecting to pay double is about right and will keep you from being upset when you see the price tag. Remember, as with anything you buy the more something costs can sometimes be directly equated to its quality but not always. That’s why it’s best to have an honest, reputable Chicago hot water heater plumber to help you – like Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer.

Long-Term Costs of Tanked vs. Tankless Hot Water Heaters

We’ve explained that in most cases the tankless hot water heater you’re thinking about getting for your Northwest Side home will cost you about double the price of a tanked model, that’s before you start to factor in the long-term costs of ownership. When viewed through that lens, tankless hot water heater models start to show their true value. Studies show that tankless hot water heaters – because they don’t have to be on all the time heating a tank – cost about $50 less to operate each year and that’s a conservative estimate. Multiply that by the years you own it and the costs favor the tankless model over the storage tank.

Projected Lifespan: Tanked vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Now we’re getting to where tankless hot water heaters truly separate themselves from tanked hot water heaters – longevity. Since tankless hot water heaters aren’t designed to hold water and interact with moisture on a continual basis they don’t wear out as fast. Most tankless hot water heaters have an expected lifespan of about 25-30 years. Traditional tanked hot water heaters usually last about 10-15 years so there’s a real difference in lifetime between the two. With about twice the average lifespan tankless models pay for themselves over time.

Key Factor: Tankless Water Heater Installation Requirements

One thing to keep in mind as you consider whether a tanked hot water or a tankless hot water heater is the right choice for your Northwest Side home – the requirements for installation. With a tanked hot water heater, you have to have room for the tank and with some of the larger capacity models that can be quite a bit of room. You may also have to consider that plumbers will charge additional fees if they cannot access the hot water heater installation area easily. It takes more time to do the work and that adds cost. Tankless models may require an electrician if your home’s power system isn’t capable of running the amps a tankless hot water heater uses. That can add cost too but tankless hot water heater installation will cost more in 99% of cases.

Still Unsure? Call Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer At (773) 633-6139!

We’ve thrown a lot of information at you and not all of it crystal clear. That’s simply due to the fact that without seeing your Northwest Side home, specifically the location of the tanked hot water heater or tankless hot water heater installation, and knowing your specific hot water usage we can only give generalities and averages. Give us a call at (773) 633-6139 to speak with one of our Chicago hot water heater plumbers and schedule an estimate visit when convenient for you!