Automatic water heater in the bathroom

Are Tankless or Traditional Heaters More Efficient?

When it comes time to select a new water heater for your home, you may be wondering whether a tankless or traditional water heater is better for you. The short answer is that it depends on your water usage.


The basic fact is that both gas and electric tankless water heaters are more efficient than a traditional water heater. A tankless water heater only heats water when it is needed. A traditional water heater regularly has to run to reheat the water even if you don’t need it at that time. They also take longer to heat the larger amount of water that they store and struggle when it is cold. Tankless water heaters also last twice the time of a traditional water heater. A tankless water heater can last for 20+ years if you keep up with maintenance.

However, tankless water heaters are more expensive upfront. They typically work best for families that use less than 40 gallons of hot water. If your home already has a tank water heater, you will also have to spend a bit more for a plumber to change the lines to set up your tankless heater. Since many of our homes here in Redding, CA, already use a traditional water heater, you will need to pay to reroute the lines. Tankless heaters can typically only heat a few gallons of water a minute, which means if multiple people are showering or you are doing the laundry, someone will run out of hot water.

Which Is Best for You?

The first factor to consider is your hot water usage and when it is used. If you only have one person or appliance needing hot water at a time, a tankless heater may be better. If you have a small home or the only place you could fit a traditional water heater will get cold, tankless may be better. Tankless heaters are small and can be installed outside. Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters will function even during our winter here in Redding.

If you have multiple people showering at once or use a lot of hot water, a traditional water heater may be better. You will pay less upfront but will have to replace it more often. Your utility bills will also be higher. You need the space for the water tank itself as well. If you need over 80 gallons in a day, multiple tankless heaters installed at the point the water is used can be more efficient.

Installing Your Water Heater

If you still need help deciding, it is time to call a professional plumber. Our professional plumbers can learn your needs and help you decide what type of water heater is best. At Steve Beaton Plumbing, we are experts at installing both traditional and tankless water heaters. Contact us today and enjoy the right water heater for you.