Making the decision between a classic water heater with a storage tank and a tankless water heater is a decision you could face at some point. After all, water heaters are the unsung heroes for a reliable source of hot water. Because your plumbing fixtures and home appliances rely on this hot water, it’s always crucial to consider all your options carefully.

This handy guide from your local experts at Contra Costa Heating & AC lays out tank and tankless water heaters. You’ll learn more about the distinct elements in their design along with some pros/cons of each one. These valuable insights will give you everything you need to make an educated choice that meets your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve decided, keep us in mind for professional tank water heater installation.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters: The Reliable Choice

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


  • Lower Initial Costs: Tank water heaters generally have lower up-front installation costs, thanks to their straightforward design.
  • Streamlined Maintenance Needs: This simpler design also means less potential maintenance needs.


  • Continuous Energy Use: Tank water heaters have to keep water perpetually heated, which means extra cost if you’re not regularly using that water.
  • Bulky Size: The tank itself could become a problem in smaller spaces. If your home lacks a basement or utility closet, installation can be a bit trickier.

On-Demand Tankless Water Heaters: A More Modern Option

Now, let's check out tankless water heaters, an advanced alternative that’s relatively modern. Compared to tank models, tankless water heaters operate on-demand. They’re heating up water only when you ask for it, with powerful heating elements as the water flows through the system.


  • Greater Energy Savings: Tankless models can improve your plumbing’s energy efficiency since they’re not constantly running.
  • Surprisingly Durable: With proper maintenance from a trained technician, tankless water heaters can boast many years of service.


  • Larger Initial Investment: Initial installation costs are higher due to the more sophisticated design.
  • Higher Service Needs: Tankless models do best when provided more routine attention to keep their important parts functioning smoothly.
  • Retrofitting Challenges: Older homes aren’t always equipped for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can adapt your plumbing to accommodate one, but it could add further costs to your installation project.

Deciding on Your Ideal Water Heater: Every Home Has Unique Needs

For a majority of homeowners, we’d recommend the greater energy efficiency that tankless water heaters are capable of. But this also depends on factors such as how much hot water you need day to day. You’ll want to reflect on your specific hot water needs before you make your selection.

  1. Your Home’s Usual Hot Water Requirements: Gauge how much hot water your household uses on average. For instance, big families who enjoy sports or have pets will need significantly more hot water than if you live by yourself.
  2. Space for Installation: The dimensions of your home can impact how effectively a water heater operates. Check out potential installation locations and confirm with professionals if your model is capable of fitting where you want it go.
  3. The Area’s Average Temperatures Through the Year: Brutally cold winters mean much higher energy use that time of year. This is more noticeable with tankless models, which are most efficient when there won’t be any huge jumps in water usage.
  4. Utility Costs: Your community’s energy prices can render one option more attractive over the other.

Don’t forget, a trained professional like those at Contra Costa Heating & AC can help you in making a more educated decision. They understand which makes and models meet your specific needs before ensuring a smoother installation process.

Why Not Call Contra Costa Heating & AC?

If you're considering a switch to a tankless water heater in San Leandro, why not call Contra Costa Heating & AC for a complimentary quote? Our professional plumbing technicians can offer the peace of mind that you’ll always have the hot water you need. Call today at 510-343-9841.