When you’re evaluating tank-style and tankless water heating, there’s not one choice that’s perfect for every project. In Radiant & Hydronics, Arthur Smith, a residential product manager at A. O. Smith, offers the perspective from a manufacturer of both styles of water heater. “The initial cost of a tankless water heater is higher than a conventional tank unit, but tankless models typically last longer and reduce monthly energy bills, which helps offset the higher purchase price,” Smith writes. “The DOE notes while most tank water heaters typically last 10–15 years, most tankless units have a life expectancy of 20 years or more.”

Smith also addresses several myths about water heaters, including the ideas that venting and increasing gas supply are major inconveniences. The difficulty of venting, he says, all depends on the design of the home. “It’s true existing venting may not get used, but if the tankless unit is going in a room with an outside wall, venting is easy,” he writes. As to gas lines, he says, “If the tankless water heater is located close to the gas meter, upsizing is simple.” Builder Matt Risinger debunked some additional tankless water heating myths in the Build with Propane labs—check out the video here.

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