Making the decision between a traditional water heater with a storage tank or a newer, tankless water heater is something you could face at some point. After all, water heaters are the cornerstone for a dependable source of hot water. And since your plumbing fixtures and home appliances rely on this hot water, it’s always crucial to carefully compare your options.

This practical guide from the local experts at Childress Heating & AC 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 type. These key details will give you everything you need to make an educated choice based on your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve figured it out, feel free to contact our installers for professional tank water heater installation.

Traditional Storage Tank Water Heaters: Tried and True

Let's take a closer look at conventional storage tank water heaters first. That ample storage tank is the central feature here, storing a generous supply of water that’s always heated. As soon as you need hot water, a tank water heater can deliver it.


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


  • Nonstop Heating: Tank water heaters must keep water continuously heated, which equals extra cost if you’re not constantly using that water.
  • Large Overall Size: The tank itself is sometimes a problem in cramped spaces. If the property is missing a basement or utility closet, installation can be a bit trickier.

Tankless Water Heaters: Cutting-Edge Comfort

Now, let's explore tankless water heaters, an advanced alternative that’s comparatively recent. Distinct from tank models, tankless water heaters operate only as required. They’re heating only when requested, thanks to robust heating elements as the water passes through the system.


  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Tankless models boast much higher energy efficiency since they aren’t constantly running.
  • A Smart, Resilient Design: With proper maintenance from a skilled professional, tankless water heaters can boast many years of service.


  • Bigger Price Tag Up Front: Initial installation costs are higher as a result of the more sophisticated design.
  • More Frequent Maintenance: Tankless models may require more periodic maintenance to keep their important parts in sync.
  • Retrofitting Challenges: Older homes aren't always prepared for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can adapt your plumbing to accommodate one, but it could add further costs to your installation project.

Picking Your Water Heater: Consider What Suits You Best

In general, we’d suggest going with the greater energy efficiency that tankless water heaters are capable of. But this is based 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 uses on average. For instance, big families who are active in sports or have pets will need much more hot water than if you live by yourself.
  2. How Much Space the Heater Itself Needs: The size of your home can affect how effectively a water heater operates. Consider potential installation locations and confirm with professionals if your model is an appropriate size.
  3. Regional Climate: Brutally cold winters mean your water heater will need more energy. This reduces the efficiency of tankless models, which are best suited when there won’t be any big spikes in water usage.
  4. Fuel and Electricity Rates: Your average utility rates can make one option more enticing over the other.

Keep in mind, a trained professional like those at Childress Heating & AC can assist you in making a more knowledgeable decision. They understand which units meet your specific needs before facilitating a smoother installation process.

Why Not Call Childress Heating & AC?

If you're considering a switch to a tankless water heater in Fredericksburg, why not call Childress Heating & AC for a free quote? Our professional plumbing technicians can provide the peace of mind that you’ll always have all the hot water you need. Call today at 540-675-4306.