Which Is Better — A Tankless Or Heat Pump Hot Water Heater?

Hot water on demand isn’t a luxury – it’s a commodity. If you’re purchasing a new hot water heater, or upgrading an existing one, you may be wondering if a heat pump or tankless hot water heater is the better option. Below, we compare the pros and cons of both and help you connect with a qualified hot water heater technician.

Tankless Or Heat Pump Hot Water Heater

Pros & Cons Of A Tankless Hot Water Heater

A tankless hot water heater, also called an on-demand or instant hot water heater, is designed to provide endless hot water whenever you need it. Instead of heating water inside of a tank that has to refill once it’s been depleted, a tankless water heater will heat water as it flows through the appliance and into the pipes that run throughout your home. 


  • You’ll never run out of hot water
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • More energy efficient than a traditional tank-style water heater 


  • May not provide hot water as quickly as you expect
  • High cost to install
  • Lower cost units often provide hot water to only one faucet at a time  
  • May have a shorter life expectancy
  • Cannot be installed in certain places, like under air conditioning lines or water pipes
  • May need to be flushed more frequently than a tank-style water heater to prevent the buildup of sediment

Pros & Cons Of A Heat Pump Hot Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters are similar to an electric tank-style water heater in a few categories – namely, both use electricity to warm submerged heating elements and store hot water in a tank for later use. The primary difference is in how the heat is produced.

Instead of generating heat, a heat pump moves it from one place to another. This lowers the overall cost of heating your water and offers cleaner, more energy-efficient operation.


  • Costs less to operate
  • Has an extended life span
  • More efficient than electric, natural gas, and tankless hot water heaters
  • Moves heat from one place to another instead of generating heat
  • Produces cool, dry air like an air conditioner that can lower cooling costs in the summer


  • Higher cost to install
  • May result in higher heating costs in the winter if the water heater is located inside your home

How To Choose 

With so many different options available on the market, deciding between different types of water heaters can seem intimidating. Here are some tips to help you choose:

  • Consider how many people are in your house and how much hot water you use every day
  • Think about your project budget and how much capital you have to cover the cost of installation
  • Look at where in your home the water heater can be installed – if you don’t have a basement or other non or semi-air conditioned room, a tankless heater may be the better option
  • Consider the size of tank you’ll need if you choose a heat pump hot water heater and if you have enough available space for it
  • Evaluate how important things like energy efficiency and environmental impact are to your purchase

Questions To Ask Your Technician

Before you make a final decision, here are some questions you can ask your technician:

  • What’s the price difference between a tankless and a heat pump hot water heater?
  • How long does each style of water heater take to install?
  • Which provides the cleanest heat and ongoing energy efficiency?
  • How much will it cost to heat my water every month?
  • What kind of warranty do you offer for each kind of water heater?
  • How large does a tank-style hot water heater need to be to accommodate my family?
  • What kind of maintenance is needed and how much does it cost?  
  • How do I clean and care for each type of water heater in between maintenance appointments?
  • What are the most common problems with each kind of water heater?
  • How easy is it to adjust the temperature settings of each heater?

Need Hot Water? Contact N.E.T.R., Inc. Now

At N.E.T.R., Inc., our experienced technicians can help you decide what type of water heater you need will install, maintain, and repair your unit. We know how important it is for you to have the hot water you need, when you need it. Contact us today at (781) 933-6387 to speak with one of our team members for answers to your questions about water heater installation or to schedule a good time for our technicians to come to your location and give you a customized quote.