Your hot water heater helps make life more convenient by heating the water you need for bathing and household chores. What if you had the option of replacing a standard hot water heater with something more compact and convenient? Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity with homeowners in Frederick, MD. Let’s explore the reasons why.

Tanked Water Heaters

Most homeowners are accustomed to the traditional storage-based water tank. They’re used in roughly 90% of American households. Powered by electricity, gas, or propane, a tanked water heater holds between 40 and 120 gallons of water. When someone turns on a hot water faucet, hot water is discharged through a pipe. The tank is then filled with fresh, cold water, so hot water quickly becomes available again.

This process is known as standby heat loss and refers to the heat lost when the water heater is not in use. As a tank water heater grows older, standby losses increase your household’s energy costs. As water is continuously heated, you’re paying for hot water you don’t necessarily use.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless or on-demand water heaters only produce hot water when you need it. Like tanked water heaters, they use one of the three common fuel sources to heat water at an average of 2 to 5 gallons per minute.

Instead of storing water in a tank, tankless models heat water using a high-powered heat exchanger to quickly bring the water that passes through the unit to a high temperature. Hot water is sent directly to your kitchen or bathroom sinks and showers. This process eliminates the standby energy loss that is typical with a storage tank system.

One of the features of whole-house tankless units popular with homeowners is that they can fit into a tight space and save you space. Sizes vary, but the average unit stands about 2 feet tall and is just a little over a foot wide. If you have a small utility closet or minimal square footage in your basement, this may be a very convenient option for your household setup.

Comparing Tank Water Heaters vs. Tankless Water Heaters

If you’re shopping for a new water heater, keep in mind that both have their advantages and disadvantages. Tanked water heaters take up more space and waste more energy. However, tankless water heating systems have a higher purchase and installation cost. More than one unit may be needed for larger homes.

Purchase Prices and Installation Costs

The capacity you need for your home’s hot water is often the determining factor for the price range. As far as price alone, a tanked water heater will usually be cheaper than a tankless water heater system. In addition to capacity, warranty, brand, dimensions, and energy source will also affect the price.

The upfront price of a tankless model is higher than that of a storage tank model. Expect to pay between $525 and $1,150, depending on the size and type of tankless system you select. Tanked water heaters cost as little as $300 but may cost as much as $2,000 if you need something very large. The installation costs may vary as well. For example, a tankless system may require a setup that you currently don’t have in place. This could raise the initial cost of your installation process.

A tankless water heater that runs on electricity is a little less expensive than a gas model. That’s mainly because the installation cost is cheaper. Expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 for installation. However, one drawback of electric tankless water heaters is slower heating times and higher utility costs.

Propane or natural gas-powered tankless water heaters cost between $1,000 and $1,500 to install. You can tap into an existing natural gas line if one is available. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase your propane. Gas-powered tankless heaters may waste energy by burning a standing pilot light to heat water for an increased output of hot water. You can overcome this downside by choosing one with an intermittent ignition device instead of a pilot light.

Point-of-use models are another option. They heat water for a single sink, shower, or tub and come with minimal expense. The most expensive ones are solar-powered and can cost thousands of dollars.


Both types of water heaters can perform the job of heating water for you to bathe, wash dishes, and do laundry. However, you can choose the one that is better for your home by figuring out how much hot water your home needs and how much money you’re willing to spend.

A tanked water heater shouldn’t run out of water if you choose one with a storage tank with an adequate capacity. This is one point where a tank-based water heater outperforms a tankless one. If you frequently wash dishes and do laundry at the same time, it may be a struggle for the tankless model to meet the demand. You can overcome this flaw by installing more than one tankless model or by installing a point-of-use model where you need it.

A knowledgeable professional at a plumbing services company can perform the calculations needed to help you determine the water heater that is the right size for your home.

Energy Efficiency

Homeowners are attracted to tankless water heaters as an alternative to tanked models for their energy efficiency. One of the biggest factors is the standby heat loss characteristic of a tanked water heater. The new insulated models can reduce this heat loss, but one of these tanked models will take up more space.

Tankless models are designed to heat water on-demand, so they save energy by only heating the amount of water for one shower or one load of dishes at a time. Although the upfront costs of tankless water heaters are higher, the tankless water heater’s energy-saving benefits must be considered.


If you’re replacing your water heater or planning one for a new construction home, you’ll want to consider the lifespan of your investment. The purchase and installation costs of tankless heaters are higher. However, they will need less maintenance over the years and can have a lifespan of up to 20 years.

In contrast, tanked water heaters have a lower price and installation cost but may need replacing in 10 to 15 years. When combined with significant energy savings, lifespan makes a tankless water heater a more economical choice. Additionally, a tankless model will be more discreet and won’t take up space in your closet or basement.

Are you ready to replace your old storage tank water heater with a new tankless model? The professionals at Markool Heating & Cooling in Frederick can upgrade your home with a new tankless water heater. We would be happy to replace your current hot water tank as well. Our team of technicians are all certified and highly trained, so you get excellent results every time. We can also take care of all your heating and air conditioning needs, including installation, maintenance, and repair. Give Markool Heating & Cooling a call today.

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