Choosing the Right Water Heater for Your Home


We may take it for granted in our day-to-day, but hot water on-demand doesn’t just manifest out of thin air. That’s right, that water heater might be out of sight, but Griffin’s friendly Arroyo Grande plumbers are here to remind you that it should never be out of mind.

Choosing the right water heater for your home is awfully important, and here’s what you should keep in mind.

First, you should understand the main types of water heaters out there and how they operate.

Storage tank: This is the most common hot water system, where water is kept constantly heated in the tank. Hot water is drawn out of the top of the tank when you flip on a tap or hit the shower; meanwhile, cold water flows in the bottom to replace it.

Tankless: Think of these as on-demand water heaters, when water is only heated when you need it. A tankless water heater draws in cold water and heats it before delivering it to you.

Heat pump: Most homeowners think of heat pumps as being used to heat or cool your house, but they can also be an efficient way to generate hot water. A heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air, heats it to a higher temperature, and then sends it into a tank to heat the water.

Next, consider the pros and cons of each system.

Storage Tank

The most traditional water-heating system, the biggest pro of storage water heaters is their relatively low cost and wide availability in a variety of sizes.

Cons are that they waste 10%-15% of energy through radiant heat loss, run out of hot water during extended use, and a comparatively short life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.


The pros of going tankless are numerous. True to their namesake, these systems have no tank, so they take up little space and can be mounted inside or outside.

There’s little to no standby energy loss, so they use 20% to 30% less energy than storage tank models. They also last 20 years or more.

Cons of tankless water heaters are the water flow rate is limited by the size of the unit, and they can be expensive to install.

Heat Pump

A big plus in using these systems is their low operating cost because they can be two to three times more energy-efficient than storage tank models. They’re also a great all-in-one system; an air-source heat pump can combine heating and cooling for your home, along with water heating.

Cons are that they’re not great for colder climates because they use surrounding air, and they are expensive to install.

For more water-heater tips or to determine whether your system needs an upgrade, contact our friendly Arroyo Grande plumbers anytime at 805-934-1949.

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