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Tankless Water Heaters vs. Traditional Water Heaters — Which is Better?

Topics: Tankless Water Heater

When the time comes to get a new hot water heater, you may be left with a decision — do you go with a tankless water heater or a traditional model?

Both tankless vs. traditional has pros and cons. Let’s break them down.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heater, provides hot water only as its needed. As the name suggests, the water isn’t stored in a tank — in fact, there’s no tank at all. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, where either a gas burner or electric element heats the water.


  • Near-constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for the storage tank to fill up.
  • More energy efficient. If you go tankless, you could see anywhere from 30% to 70% savings.
  • Smaller space footprint. Due to not having a tank, this unit can take up less room in your home.
  • Less chance of flooding or leaking.
  • A longer working lifespan.


  • Limit to flow rate. Most tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 7.6 to 15.2 litres per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters are typically higher flowing than electric ones.
  • Sometimes they can have trouble doing two things simultaneously — for example, having a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time. The solution may be to install more than one water heater, which can be costly.
  • The cost of operating the pilot light can vary and if it’s constantly burning, they can waste energy.
  • Higher up-front installation cost.

Traditional Hot Water Heaters

A traditional hot water tank is still a good option for many homeowners. It can often come with a lower purchase cost and most homes are already set up for a tank, so you won’t need to change the gas line location or gauge.


  • Less up-front installation costs.
  • Less demanding maintenance.
  • Many modern models are becoming more energy efficient.
  • Higher flow rate and ability to simultaneously heat multiple sources (i.e. shower and dishwasher at the same time).


  • Takes up more space.
  • While modern models are more energy efficient, they’re still not quite as environmentally friendly as a tankless model.
  • Can “run out” of hot water and takes longer to refill.
  • More prone to leaking or flooding.
  • Shorter lifespan.

If you’re thinking of making the switch from traditional to tankless water heater, consult a professional. Our comfort consultants at HomeBridge Canada can help you make the decision. We offer our services across Barrie, Orillia, Innisfil, Midland, Coldwater, Bradford, Horseshoe Valley, Alliston, and more.

Contact us today: call 1-866-876-9986 or visit www.homebridgecanada.com.