Making the decision between a classic water heater with a storage tank or a newer, tankless water heater is a decision 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 consider all your options carefully.

This practical guide from your local experts at Bishop’s HVAC breaks down tank and tankless water heaters. You’ll learn more about the differences in their design in addition to some advantages and disadvantages of each type. These valuable insights will ensure you can make an educated choice that meets your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve made your decision, feel free to contact our installers for expert tank water heater installation.

Storage Tank Water Heaters: A Time-Tested Favorite

Let's get to know conventional storage tank water heaters first. That ample storage tank is the central feature here, holding onto an ample supply of water that’s always heated. The moment you need hot water, a tank water heater is ready to supply it.


  • More Affordable Setup: Tank water heaters typically have lower up-front installation costs, thanks in part to a less complex design.
  • Easier Maintenance: An uncomplicated design also means less potential maintenance needs.


  • Higher Energy Use: Tank water heaters must keep water perpetually heated, which means wasted energy if you’re not constantly using that water.
  • Large Overall Size: The tank itself is sometimes a hurdle in tight quarters. If the property doesn’t have a basement or utility closet, installation is a bit trickier.

On-Demand Tankless Water Heaters: A More Modern Option

Now, let's explore tankless water heaters, an innovative alternative that’s providing more flexibility to homeowners. Distinct from tank models, tankless water heaters operate when needed. They’re generating hot water only when needed, thanks to powerful heating elements as the water flows through the system.


  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Tankless models boast much higher energy efficiency since they’re not always on.
  • A Smart, Resilient Design: With proper maintenance from a trained technician, tankless water heaters can offer many years of service.


  • Bigger Price Tag Up Front: Initial installation costs are higher due to the more sophisticated design.
  • More Frequent Maintenance: Tankless models may require more periodic maintenance to keep their important parts working efficiently.
  • Compatibility Issues with Old Plumbing: Older homes may not be ready for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can adapt your plumbing to accommodate one, but it might complicate your installation project.

Picking Your Water Heater: Consider What Suits You Best

For most homes, we’d suggest the higher energy efficiency that tankless water heaters can offer. But this also depends on variables like how much hot water you need day to day. You’ll want to have a basic idea of how much water is needed to meet your specific hot water needs before you make your selection.

  1. Typical Hot Water Use: Estimate how much hot water your household goes through on average. As an example, larger families who love the outdoors or have pets usually need a lot more hot water than a single person living alone.
  2. How Much Space the Heater Itself Needs: The dimensions of your home can influence how effectively a water heater operates. Check out all possible installation locations and confirm with professionals if your model is the right fit.
  3. Local Climate: Long winters mean much higher energy use that time of year. This is more noticeable with tankless models, which are better in situations when there won’t be any huge jumps in water usage.
  4. Fuel and Electricity Rates: Your local utility rates can make one option more enticing over the other.

Don’t forget, seasoned installers like those at Bishop’s HVAC can help you in making a more knowledgeable decision. They understand which makes and models meet your specific needs before delivering a smoother installation process.

Get a Quote from Bishop’s HVAC

If you're considering a switch to a tankless water heater in Elk Grove, why not call Bishop’s HVAC 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 916-591-6889.