Tank vs Tankless Water Heaters: What's Best for the Denver Area?

September 20, 2018

In the market for a new water heater? Not sure if you should choose a tank or a tankless unit?

We’ll help you make that decision.

Our professional recommendation for the Denver area is “it depends”:

  • If your household typically uses 2 or more hot water appliances at the same time, go with a tank water heater.
  • If your household rarely uses more than one hot water appliance at a time, consider a tankless water heater.

We’ll explain our answers below.

Need a professional’s opinion on whether a tank or tankless water heater is best for your Denver home?

Your decision comes down to how you use hot water

Use a lot of hot water at one time? Go with a tank

If you use a lot of hot water at one time, steer clear of tankless water heaters.

Why? Well, tankless water heaters heat your water as you need it, which means these units can only supply a certain amount of hot water at any given time.

For example, let’s say that in your home it’s typical for someone to shower while your dishwasher is running. A tankless water heater would struggle to heat the amount of water that your household needs during this time.

A quick rule of thumb is that if you need to use more than 6 GPM (gallons per minute?) at any one time, you’re probably better off with a traditional tank water heater.

To be clear, tankless units can provide much higher GPMs but the water might not be as hot as you’d like.

One alternative to consider….

If you use a lot of hot water at a time and are still interested in the energy savings of a tankless water heater, you should consider pairing several “POU” tankless units with your whole-home tankless unit.

POU (point-of-use) tankless units are dedicated to a single hot water appliance (i.e. the shower). Thsi means, it heats water specifically for one appliance so that you can use much more hot water at a time without sacrificing comfort.

Ask a professional whether point-of-use tankless water heaters would work well for your needs.

Don’t use more than 1 hot water appliance at a time? Consider tankless

If you don’t typically use large draws of hot water, you can still consider a tankless water heater.

Tankless water heaters only heat water as its needed, which means you can save a lot on monthly energy bills with a tankless unit.

You see, tank water heaters have to keep a large amount of water hot and ready 24/7. And this means it’s constantly sucking up energy to heat water.

But if you don’t need that much hot water at one time (tank units carry up to 60 gallons), what’s the point of spending so much money to keep water hot that you won’t use?

Plus, if you have access to natural gas, you can save even more. Gas tankless units are much more efficient than electric tankless and can heat water a lot faster.

Related: Are Gas Tankless Water Heaters Worth It in Cold Climates Like Denver?

Need help deciding? Ask your Denver plumber

Still not sure if you should go tank or tankless? We can help. Our licensed plumbers can inspect your home and hot water usage and then determine which water heater would best fit your needs.

All at no cost to you.

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