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  • Writer's pictureMildren Plumbing

Comparing the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Standard Gas Tank Water Heater and a Gas Tankless Water Heater in the Flathead Valley

Updated: May 15

Repairing a Gas Tank Water Heater
Tank vs. Tankless Gas Water Heaters

Tank Gas Water Heater

Tankless Gas Water Heater

Upfront Cost

Lower upfront cost (average at Mildren Plumbing: $1800-$2500)

Higher (average at Mildren Plumbing: $5000-$6000)



More complex

Stable Water Temperature


Can fluctuate as demand exceeds capacity to heat. Some have bursts of cool water during high-demand use

Delivery to Multiple Fixtures at Once


Yes, but struggles to deliver consistent temps during high hot water demand simultaneously

Hot Water Capacity

Limited to the size of the tank

Continuous hot water

Water Softener

Not required, recommended on well water to limit the sediment buildup inside the tank



Easy (3-4 hours)

Moderate (1-2 days)


Flushing once a year is recommended

Regular flushing and descaling, filter changes


Larger - takes valuable floor space, closet or utility space

Minimal- takes wall space in a mechanical, utility or closet space

Energy Efficiency

Standby heating is lost when not in use, impacts energy bill, especially in a low water use home

Only heat on demand, eliminating the standby heat loss and resulting in lower energy consumption and bills


In stock easily

In stock with 1-2 days


15-20 years, depending on hardness of water

12-15 years with proper maintenance




Comparing gas water heater types is important when creating new builds or when remodeling your home. The benefits and drawbacks of each may play a different priority for you and your unique needs.

The standard gas tank heater has been common in homes for years; it has consistent performance and a lower upfront cost. However, gas tank water heaters do require more energy to keep water hot at all times, and take up more space.

Tankless gas water heaters save space and only heat on demand, thus saving energy costs. In the Flathead Valley, it needs to be installed in an area that is insulated and well protected from freezing temperatures in the winter. Tankless gas water heaters are a good consideration if you have high hot water demand and the higher up front cost is not a concern to you.

The primary difference between a gas tank water heater and a gas tankless water heater depends on your hot water demand needs, your space saving needs, your long term energy efficiency goals and the upfront costs.

Call us today to discuss the right solution for your home.



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