Tank type

Comparing the efficiency of a tankless, or on demand water heater, to a tank type water heater is like comparing a smart car to a sedan—there are no standards by which the comparison can be made. Therefore, what you choose to install in your home depends on your personal preference and household needs.

On demand bypasses the heating process with hot water pouring straight from the spigot when turned on. Whereas a hot water tank needs to heat the water before delivery and the delivery will take time. With on demand delivery, the flow rate and water temperature needs to be monitored, which can lead to changes in water temp and pressure. Though on demand is substantially more efficient, more usage planning is required; meaning two showers and the dishwasher cannot be running at the same time.

If your household requires more flexibility, a hot water tank is a better option. Waiting for hot water to be delivered through the spigot may take time, however, you can wash a load of clothes and also have enough hot water for a simultaneous shower.

Indirect water heaters require more space but are comparable in efficiency with on demand water heaters. The main furnace, or boiler, heats the fluid circulating through the heat exchange in the storage tank. The way indirect water heaters work is through an integrated or combined water and space heating system that uses the main furnace or boiler in your home to heat the water. The boiler heats the water that’s circulated through the exchange in the storage tank, which then delivers immediate hot water to an open spigot.