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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Water Heater Designs

When you’re in the market for a new water heater, you’ll have several different design options to choose from. Each offers advantages and disadvantages. The best option for you will depend on your home, your needs, and your budget.

To help you narrow down the options and hone in on the best new water heater for your Chicago home, here’s a useful comparison guide, highlighting the pros and cons of some of the most popular water heater designs.

Storage-Tank Water Heaters

Storage Tank Water Heater

These conventional systems are the most popular type of water heaters in Chicago homes. They come with water storage tanks and can operate off of electricity, natural gas, propane, or fuel oil.

Advantages of Storage Water Heaters

  • They’re available in a wide range of sizes, with tank options usually ranging from 20 to 80 gallons.
  • They’re typically inexpensive to purchase and install.
  • They have an average energy factor (EF) rating of 0.67.

Disadvantages of Storage Water Heaters

  • Tank sizes have increased with the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) standards; so, these systems tend to require more space.
  • They offer a limited supply of hot water when used for extended periods.
  • They can waste up to 15% of energy through radiant heat loss.
  • They typically have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.

Think a tank storage water heater is right for your home? Call ABC today at 888-868-6667 or reach out online to schedule service!

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heater


Also known as instantaneous or demand-type water heaters, tankless water heaters do not have storage tanks. They use electric elements or gas burners to heat water whenever a hot water tap is turned on.

Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

  • They consume 20% to 30% less energy than storage tank models.
  • They meet NAECA standards while taking up minimal space and without increasing installation costs.
  • They can be mounted on a wall.
  • They produce minimal standby energy waste.
  • They provide a virtually endless supply of hot water.
  • They have an average life expectancy of 20 or more years.
  • They have an average EF rating of 0.75.

Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters

  • The hot water flow rate is limited by the size of the unit.
  • Typically, tankless systems can be more complicated and expensive to install.

Water Heater Replacement, Repair & Maintenance Services in & Around the Chicago Area

Do you need some expert advice about your best options for a new water heater? Is it time to schedule any type of plumbing service in or around Chicago?

If so, call 888-868-6667 or contact ABC Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric online today!

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