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Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters for Framingham-Area Homeowners

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters for Framingham-Area Homeowners
Is your water heater dead or on it’s last leg? You’re not alone. About 27 million U.S. homeowners have a water heater that’s over 10 years old. That’s the typical life expectancy of a traditional tank water heater.

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While searching for a new water heater, you’ve come across tankless water heaters (also called on-demand water heaters). On-demand hot water sounds promising. But you’re wondering if it’s worth switching to.

Fear not! We’ll help you out.

In this article, we’ll compare tankless and tank water heaters on these important factors:

  • Price and installation costs
  • Energy efficiency (aka, how do they affect your energy bills)
  • Hot water provided
  • Life expectancy
  • Space requirements

Price and installation costs

On average, a tankless water heater will cost about 2 to 3 times as much as a tank water heater to purchase and install.

Winner: Tank water heaters

Energy efficiency

Tank: Traditional water heaters have to keep the water they store at a constant temperature. This causes your energy bill to go up as the weather gets colder. Considering that Massachusetts’ winters can get into the single digits, this isn’t a factor you can afford to ignore.

Tankless: Tankless water heaters don’t store water (they heat it on demand). So you don’t waste energy due to standby heat loss. A typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater, according to

Winner: Tankless water heaters

Hot water provided

Tank: Limited. The tank can only hold so much water. Once it’s gone, it has to refill and reheat more water.

Tankless: Endless. But the flow rate is limited (2-3 gallons of hot water per minute). So heavy multiple uses of hot water will stretch the tankless water heater to its limits.

Winner: Tankless water heaters if you don’t often use several hot water appliances at once. Tank water heaters if you do.

Life expectancy

Tank: 10-15 years

Tankless: 20+ years

Winner: Tankless water heaters

Space requirements

Tank: High. The larger the tank size, the more room you need.

Tankless: Low. Tankless water heaters can be installed almost anywhere—even under sinks!

Winner: Tankless water heaters

And the winner is…

While traditional water heaters are less expensive to install, tankless water heaters beat them out in just about every other category.

So which one is the ultimate winner?

The one that’s right for you.

Some Framingham-area homeowners can’t afford a tankless water heater because of the high initial cost. But if you can afford it, answer these questions

  • Do you run out of hot water often?
  • Do you wish you had more hot water on demand?
  • Do you want lower energy bills (especially during the harsh Minnesota winters)? If you answered yes to these then tankless is your best bet.

If you answered no to most of these, then you should replace your water heater with the traditional tank water heater.

You also need to keep in mind how long you’ll be at your home. Tankless water heaters can pay for themselves. But they need a lot of time to do that. So if you’re only going to be at your home for 10 years or less, consider getting a tank water heater instead.

Need help deciding? Contact us online for help and free estimates.

Nicholson Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing gladly serves the Framingham-area. Contact us online to learn more about our services.