• Conventional gas storage water heaters are now Energy Star rated.

    Conventional gas storage water heaters are now Energy Star rated.

Conventional Hot Water Storage Tanks

Pros:

Proven technology that builders and home owners know and trust. The straightforward system has been around for years and works well.

Low product cost and low installation cost. A basic 30-gallon electric tank can be purchased for less than $300. Installation is fairly simple.

Inexpensive replacement cost. If and when a water heater goes bad, the system can easily replaced with a similar unit for about $500 to $800.

Energy Star tanks are now available. As of this year, the Energy Star program certifies conventional high-efficiency gas water heaters, so it’s possible to save energy and money. Units must have an energy factor of .62.

Cons:

Conventional tanks are always on. No matter how energy efficient it is, a storage tank cycles on a regular basis to heat and reheat water at a preset temperature, using energy to heat the water whether a homeowner needs it or not.

Big and bulky. Most storage tanks take up precious real estate in a mechanical or laundry room, especially in smaller homes such as apartments, condos, or townhouses.

May be inadequate. Depending on the capacity and household hot water needs, a conventional storage tank may not be able to meet demand. “If not sized correctly for peak demand, tank water heaters will run out of hot water,” according to www.smarterhotwater.com. In addition, only about 70% of the hot water in a typical storage tank is available for use, says Aikens.

Less versatile installation. The unit needs a fairly large space for installation and cannot be located outside the home.

Less durable. The life expectancy of a conventional hot water tank is about 12 to 15 years.