Trying to choose between a traditional water heater with a storage tank and a tankless water heater is a decision you could face at some point. After all, water heaters are the gold standard for a dependable source of hot water. And since your plumbing fixtures and home appliances rely on this hot water, it’s always important to consider all your options carefully.

This practical guide from the local experts at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling lays out tank and tankless water heaters. You’ll learn more about the distinct elements in their design along with some pros/cons of each type. These valuable insights will help you make an educated choice regarding your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve decided, feel free to contact our installers for expert tank water heater installation.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters: The Reliable Choice

Let's examine conventional storage tank water heaters first. That large storage tank is the standout feature here, ensuring you have a generous supply of water that’s constantly heated. The moment you need hot water, a tank water heater is ready to supply it.


  • Lower Initial Costs: Tank water heaters typically have smaller expenses for installation, thanks to their less complex design.
  • Simplified Upkeep: This simpler design also leads to less potential maintenance needs.


  • Nonstop Heating: Tank water heaters have to keep water perpetually heated, which equals wasted energy if you’re not regularly using that water.
  • Bulky Size: The tank itself could become a hurdle in smaller spaces. If your home doesn’t have a basement or utility closet, installation can be a bit trickier.

Tankless Water Heaters: Cutting-Edge Comfort

Now, let's check out tankless water heaters, an energy-efficient alternative that’s providing more flexibility to homeowners. Compared to tank models, tankless water heaters operate when needed. They’re heating up water only when needed, using powerful heating elements as the water comes through the system.


  • Greater Energy Savings: Tankless models boast much higher energy efficiency since they aren’t constantly running.
  • A Smart, Resilient Design: With regular maintenance from a certified expert, tankless water heaters can enjoy many years of service.


  • Larger Initial Investment: Initial installation costs are higher because of the more sophisticated design.
  • More Frequent Maintenance: Tankless models do best when provided more regular servicing to keep their key elements working efficiently.
  • Compatibility Issues with Old Plumbing: Older homes aren't always prepared for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can retrofit your plumbing to accommodate one, but it could add further costs to your installation project.

Deciding on Your Ideal Water Heater: Every Home Has Unique Needs

In general, we’d suggest the stronger energy efficiency that tankless water heaters can offer. But this may be dependent on aspects including how much hot water you use each day. You’ll want to reflect on your specific hot water needs before you make your choice.

  1. Typical Hot Water Use: Estimate how much hot water your household uses on average. For instance, larger families who enjoy sports or have pets will need significantly more hot water than if you live by yourself.
  2. Space for Installation: The dimensions of your home can impact how well a water heater operates. Review potential installation locations and consult with professionals if your model is the right fit.
  3. The Area’s Average Temperatures Through the Year: Harsh winters mean a water heater that works harder. This reduces the efficiency of tankless models, which are most efficient when there won’t be any large fluctuations in water usage.
  4. Fuel and Electricity Rates: Your local utility rates can make one option more appealing over the other.

Keep in mind, a trained professional like those at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can aid you in making a more informed decision. They understand which brands meet your specific needs before delivering a smoother installation process.

Get a Quote from Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

If you're thinking about a switch to a tankless water heater in Mechanicsville, why not call Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for a free quote? Our expert plumbing technicians can provide the peace of mind that you’ll always have all the hot water you need. Call today at 804-302-6657.