Conventional storage tank water heaters are commonly found in most homes. Their components are an insulated tank, typically holding 30-50 gallons of water, to heat and store the water until it’s needed. A pipe emerges from the top to deliver hot water to its destination, kitchen, bathroom, or other sinks.
Typically, these storage-tank water heaters that use either natural gas or electricity for their fuel. Natural gas storage-tank water heaters use almost 50 percent less energy, costing less to operate, than the electric variety. However, they cost a bit more than electric models. They also feature a temperature and pressure-release valve that opens when either temperature or pressure exceeds preset levels.
On-demand, or tankless, water heaters that use less than 41 gallons or less of hot water each day, enjoy between 24 and 34 percent more energy efficiency than storage tank water heaters. If you use lots of hot water daily (around 86 gallons), you might enjoy energy efficiency of an additional 8 to 14 percent.
A tankless water heater will cost you more than a traditional storage tank water heater, but, tankless varieties las longer than conventional water heater models which translates to a 20+-year useful life, as compared to storage tank types which last only 10 to 15 years before self-destructing, possibly flooding your basement or home, depending on their location If you want to “hit a home run,” install a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet. Why? You may receive energy savings of 27 to 50 percent if you put on-demand water heaters at all hot water outlets in your home.