Ottawa Water Heater Comparison

Hot Water Tanks vs Tankless Water Heaters

An advanced HVAC technician inspecting a hot water tank and furnace

Which Type of Water Heater Should I get?

Nobody likes having a hot shower suddenly going cold, high energy bills, or unforeseen maintenance and repair costs. That’s why choosing the right hot water heater is an important step for getting your home set up for your needs. While we might take it for granted, hot water is a vital part of a comfortable lifestyle. Your home needs hot water for washing dishes, washing clothes, bathing, cooking, cleaning, and so much more. That’s why you want to make sure you make sure that you choose wisely when getting a water heater for your home.

Making the right choice will ensure that you always have a steady supply of hot water, lower energy bills, and peace of mind. So – should you get a traditional water tank or a tankless water heater? Keep reading to find out which solution works best for you.

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How Water Heaters Work

Hot Water Tanks
Storage tanks heat and store water with a capacity depending on the size of the household you have and how much water you use. Water is heated two ways – either by a flame at the bottom of the tank which sends hot air through a chimney in the heater which transmits heat to the water or by an electric element. Storage tank heaters can use a variety of fuels, such as:

  • Natural Gas
  • Fuel Oil
  • Electricity
  • Propane

Tankless Water Heaters
As the name suggests, tankless water heaters do not store water in a tank. Tankless water heats water in your home using a water exchanger which quickly and reliably brings it up to temperature. Like water storage tanks, tankless water heaters can use a variety of fuels, such as :

  • Electricity
  • Propane
  • Natural Glass
a water heater undergoing maintenance
A woman adjusts the temperature of a water heater

Water Heater Sizes

Hot Water Tanks
Storage tanks can be 5 feet or taller, and about two feet wide. This might not be an issue if you have lots of room in your basement, but if you don’t it can be a tight fit elsewhere in your home. If you are upgrading to an older water storage tank for a newer one, it might take up more space due to added insulation to stay compliant with energy regulations.

Tankless Water Heaters
Due to the fact that they do not rely on a tank to store heated water, tankless water heaters are much smaller. They vary in size, but on average are on average about 2 feet tall and about a foot wide. Because tankless water heaters don’t take up so much space, they can be more discreetly placed in a number of places. Tankless water heaters are extremely popular in Europe where they are called combi-boilers. They are popular because they don’t take up valuable square footage and can be hung on the wall of a utility closet, the kitchen, in an airing cupboard, and many other places.

Furnace Installations

Check our most popular products

JohnWood Water Heaters

  • Industry leading brand.
  • Options from 30 to 120 Gallons.
  • Energy star models.
  • Excellent Warranties.

Bradford White Water Heaters

  • Wide range of water heaters from basic to multi-purpose combination tanks for radiant floors.
  • Option from 30 to 120 Gallons.
  • Various Energy Star rated models.
  • Excellent warranty coverage on all models.

Water Heater Prices

Hot Water Tanks
Hot water tanks are less expensive to buy up-front than tankless water heaters. The technologies used are more simple, and installation is a bit more straight-forward.

Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters cost a bit more up front, due to the more advanced technologies deployed in the units, and the fact that installation is a bit more of an involved process. The up-front price should not be the only thing taken into consideration when calculating the true cost of one water heater vs another. Efficiency levels, cost of maintenance, and longevity should also be factored into your calculation of which hot water heater is more affordable.

An Advanced HVAC technician works on a hot water heater
A woman enjoying an endless supply of hot water in the shower

Water Heater Efficiency Levels:

Hot Water Tanks
In recent years, hot water tanks have become increasingly efficient. This is due to improvements in design and manufacturing, as well as changing regulations with regards to energy efficiency. This means that hot water tanks have become better at heating water and keeping it warm. Even with improved efficiency, hot water tanks still have a fundamental efficiency problem – they store heated water which requires energy even with these improvements in efficiency and insulation.

Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters run more efficiently than conventional hot water heaters which use the same fuel type. This higher efficiency means that the operating costs are lower, which help to offset the increased up-front cost of upgrading to a tankless water system. Natural gas tankless water heaters are generally cheaper to run than electric water heaters, however this is due to the fact that natural gas is a cheaper energy source. Electric water heaters actually run more efficiently, though they are slightly more expensive to run due to the higher costs of electricity.


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tankless water heaters


  • Endless hot water.
  • Up to 96% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
  • Various models and sizes available.
  • Easy maintenance.
  • Once registered, receive 5 year limited warranty on parts and labour and 12 year limited warranty on the heat exchanger.

Water Heater Maintenance and Durability

Hot Water Tanks
Hot water tanks require regular annual maintenance. While some people get away with not maintaining their hot water heater tanks, neglecting your hot water tank will reduce its lifespan, negatively impact its efficiency, and make it less safe. You can expect your hot water tanks to last between 8 to 12 years.

Tankless Water Heaters
Like hot water heaters, tankless water heaters also require regular annual maintenance. All mechanical devices and equipment need regular maintenance for optimal longevity and efficiency and a tankless water heater is no different. Neglecting to get your tankless water heater maintained will result in a more significant dropoff in efficiency compared to tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance, making them much more durable and long lasting compared to hot water tanks.

An Advanced HVAC technician installing a tankless water heater
A hot water tank and water heater

Which Water Heater Should I get?

Hot Water Tanks
The decision of which water heater to get depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Traditional hot water tanks are more affordable up front, and have slightly less maintenance demands.

A hot water tank is likely the better choice if:

  • You have a tight budget, and every penny up front counts
  • You are generally home all day, and will be using water as it is heated – around the clock
  • There are only a few people people living in your home
  • You have enough space in your basement to store a hot water tank
  • You don’t plan on staying in your home long-term

Tankless water heaters have much lower energy costs, have no limits on how much hot water you can use, and many qualify for government rebates. They also take up less space in your home, are much less likely to flood, and have a lifespan that is twice as long as hot water tanks.

A tankless water heater is probably the better choice for you if:

  • You are not home all day
  • Saving space is important
  • You have a lot of people in your home
  • Preserving resources and the environment is important to you.

If you are still unsure about which kind of hot water heater to get, contact the experts at Advanced HVAC today. We will help you make the right choice for your home!


What our Ottawa Clients say about Advanced HVAC

Micheline Collin

"Had an excellent experience with Advance HVAC. Alexandre wore protective gear while servicing the furnace and AC. Respected social distancing protocol. Very professional. The price I was quoted Online was what I paid. I would recommend them in a heart beat! Excellent service!!"

Jessica McIntyre

"Had an excellent experience with Advance HVAC, we looked at a few different companies and decided on this one. They were super responsive, friendly, and courteous. They wore protective gear while installing our unit, and respected social distancing protocol. Very professional. We would recommend them in a heart beat! Excellent service!!"

Eliza Bateman

"Efficient, quick and thorough work by our technician, who also explained everything to us, and gave us some helpful tips for keeping our furnace running well for a few more years. Cost also v. reasonable! Definitely would recommend the furnace maintenance service."

David Tesarowski

"Our furnace stopped working at the folks at Advanced arrived as soon as they could and provided a thorough review of the issue and made prompt recommendations. They even dropped off a few space heaters to help us through this tough time!"

Jocelyne P

"Alexandre is very professional and thorough. Cleaned and checked the furnace and gas FP. He addressed all my concerns. I feel good knowing that this equipment is in good working order. It’s comforting to know I can look forward to a warm and comfy fall and winter."

Phil N

"Have used the 3rd year in row for HVAC installation and maintenance and they are always reliable and good quality. Service technician Matt was very friendly and took the time to talk me through a few questions I had as well about technical expansion ideas I had. Highly recommended!"

Gayl McKinley

"Very pleased with the professionalism and thoroughness of the entire process. From calling for an appointment right through the actual maintenance procedure everything was smooth. Matt was courteous with my questions and wore a mask the entire time. I will continue to use Advanced HVAC for all my future needs."

Marlene Sadler

"My home is warm again! I called late in the afternoon and Matt arrived the next morning. He was knowledgeable, professional, serviced & repaired my furnace. As an added bonus he educated me on a couple of technical aspects for the unit. Advanced HVAC is definitely who I’m calling for future HVAC requirements. Thank you!"

Gabriel Bisson

"Received a fair price for a new 1.5 ton AC unit. The workers showed up on time and were able to install in an afternoon. We are happy with the service and quality of work."

Cassandra Bernard

“Advanced HVAC did a fantastic job on our AC replacement, going above and beyond the contract to make sure the work was done well. The techs were friendly and very professional, and they did a great job keeping our home clean throughout the installation. Would definitely hire Advanced HVAC again.”

Trevor Burton

“I had Advanced HVAC perform my annual furnace maintenance and their service was outstanding. The technician (Andrew) arrived on time and was very courteous and professional. He explained in detail all of the maintenance he performed and happily answered all of my questions. Highly recommended.”

Advanced HVAC in Ottawa

With 100+ years of combined experience, Advanced HVAC provides fast and efficient 24-hour emergency HVAC service in Ottawa, 365 days a year. A friendly & highly competent Advanced HVAC technician is always ready to assist you.


65-5450 Canotek Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1J 9G5

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