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

This useful guide from your local experts at Northern Comfort Inc lays out tank and tankless water heaters. You’ll learn more about the unique aspects of their design as well as some advantages and disadvantages of each kind. These key details will help you make an educated choice regarding your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve figured it out, keep us in mind for expert tank water heater installation.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters: The Reliable Choice

Let's examine conventional storage tank water heaters first. That large storage tank is the key feature here, storing a generous supply of water that’s continually heated. The moment you need hot water, a tank water heater can deliver it.


  • Budget-Friendly Installation: Tank water heaters generally have smaller expenses for installation, thanks in part to a less complex design.
  • Easier Maintenance: An uncomplicated design also means fewer potential maintenance needs.


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

Tankless Water Heaters: Efficient and Innovative

Now, let's consider tankless water heaters, an innovative alternative that’s relatively modern. Unlike tank models, tankless water heaters operate when needed. They’re heating up water only when needed, with efficient heating elements as the water passes through the system.


  • Greater Energy Savings: Tankless models can improve your plumbing’s energy efficiency since they aren’t operating nonstop.
  • A Smart, Resilient Design: With routine maintenance from a certified expert, tankless water heaters can offer many years of service.


  • Larger Initial Investment: Initial installation costs are higher due to the more intricate design.
  • May Need More Upkeep: Tankless models may require more regular servicing to keep their vital components functioning smoothly.
  • Retrofitting Challenges: Older homes aren’t always equipped for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can modify your plumbing to accommodate one, but it could add further costs to your installation project.

Choosing the Right Water Heater: Tailored to Your Comfort

For a majority of homeowners, we’d suggest the stronger energy efficiency that tankless water heaters provide. But this may be dependent on aspects including how much hot water you go through every day. You’ll want to reflect on your specific hot water needs before you make your choice.

  1. Your Average Hot Water Consumption: Assess how much hot water your household uses on average. As an example, larger families who enjoy sports or have pets will need a lot more hot water than a single person living alone.
  2. Space for Installation: The dimensions of your home can affect how efficient a water heater operates. Review all possible installation locations and consult with professionals if your model is the right fit.
  3. Regional Climate: Harsh winters mean much higher energy use that time of year. This reduces the efficiency of tankless models, which are best suited when there won’t be any big spikes in water usage.
  4. Utility Costs: Your local energy prices can render one option more appealing over the other.

Don’t forget, seasoned installers like those at Northern Comfort Inc can assist you in making a more knowledgeable decision. They understand which units meet your specific needs before delivering a smoother installation process.

Get a Quote from Northern Comfort Inc

If you're considering a switch to a tankless water heater in Mankato, why not call Northern Comfort Inc for a free quote? Our expert plumbing technicians can provide the peace of mind that you’ll always have all the hot water you need. Call today at 507-387-6596.