Trying to choose between a classic water heater with a storage tank and a tankless water heater is something most homeowners face at some point. After all, water heaters are the gold standard for a reliable source of hot water. And since your plumbing fixtures and home appliances depend on this hot water, it’s always crucial to carefully compare your options.

This handy guide from the local experts at Air-Right Energy Design breaks down tank and tankless water heaters. You’ll learn more about the unique aspects of their design along with some benefits and drawbacks of each kind. These valuable insights will help you make an educated choice that meets your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve figured it out, feel free to contact our installers for expert tank water heater installation.

Storage Tank Water Heaters: A Time-Tested Favorite

Let's examine conventional storage tank water heaters first. That large storage tank is the standout feature here, ensuring you have an ample supply of water that’s continually heated. Whenever you need hot water, a tank water heater can deliver it.


  • More Affordable Setup: Tank water heaters typically have lower up-front installation costs, thanks to their less complex design.
  • Streamlined Maintenance Needs: This simpler design also means fewer potential maintenance needs.


  • Higher Energy Use: Tank water heaters have to keep water continuously heated, which equals wasted energy if you’re not frequently using that water.
  • Large Overall Size: The tank itself could become a problem in smaller spaces. If your home lacks a basement or utility closet, installation becomes a bit trickier.

Tankless Water Heaters: Efficient and Innovative

Now, let's consider tankless water heaters, an innovative alternative that’s providing more flexibility to homeowners. Compared to tank models, tankless water heaters operate on-demand. They’re heating only when needed, thanks to powerful heating elements as the water comes through the system.


  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Tankless models can improve your plumbing’s energy efficiency since they’re not constantly running.
  • Longer Life Span: With proper maintenance from a skilled professional, tankless water heaters can boast a longer life span.


  • Bigger Price Tag Up Front: Initial installation costs are higher as a result of the more intricate design.
  • More Frequent Maintenance: Tankless models may require more regular servicing to keep their key elements functioning smoothly.
  • Compatibility Issues with Old Plumbing: Older homes may not be ready for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can modify your plumbing to accommodate one, but it might complicate your installation project.

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

For most homes, we’d suggest going with the higher energy efficiency that tankless water heaters can offer. But this may be dependent on variables like how much hot water you use each day. You’ll want to reflect on your specific hot water needs before you make your selection.

  1. Your Average Hot Water Consumption: Gauge how much hot water your household goes through on average. As an example, large families who love the outdoors or have pets will need much more hot water than a single person living alone.
  2. How Much Space the Heater Itself Needs: The size of your home can influence how well a water heater operates. Review potential installation locations and consult with professionals if your model is capable of fitting where you want it go.
  3. Local Climate: Brutally cold winters mean much higher energy use that time of year. This is more noticeable with tankless models, which are most efficient when there won’t be any large fluctuations in water usage.
  4. Energy Prices: Your local utility rates can render one option more enticing over the other.

Keep in mind, a trained professional like those at Air-Right Energy Design can assist you in making a more informed decision. They understand which units meet your specific needs before delivering a smoother installation process.

Why Not Call Air-Right Energy Design?

If you're considering a switch to a tankless water heater in Manassas, why not call Air-Right Energy Design for a free quote? Our expert plumbing technicians can provide the peace of mind that you’ll always have the hot water you need. Call today at 703-260-1148.