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Which is better tankless or hybrid water heater?

water heater

Water softeners work on the principle of ion exchange, where sodium ions that make the water soft replace calcium and magnesium ions that normally cause hardness. There are several types of water softeners out there for you to choose from. The common ones are salt-free softeners, salt-based softeners, and portable softeners. However, the challenge is that you incur recurring weekly costs, and some are limited.

Boiling is another alternative for softening hard water because it precipitates the magnesium and calcium ions out of the water. Fairbanks has a water hardness of 142 PPM, making it the city with the hardest water in Alaska. Hot water could save you a lot of water softening problems. The challenge is knowing the right hot water heater for your home. This article will give a comparison between a tankless water heater and a heat pump water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are dependable since they provide a constant water supply. When you turn it on, cold water moves from a pipe into the tankless heater unit, where a gas burner or electricity heats it. They can provide 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute. Since the average US family needs up to 138 gallons per day or 60 gallons per person per day, the tankless water heater can easily meet the hot water needs of most homes. Moreover, they occupy a small space in your house, so you don’t have to worry about fitting them into the house.


  • Space saving
  • Lasts longer
  • reduces water wastage.
  • Energy efficient


  • More expensive
  • involves costly annual maintenance.
  • No adequate hot water for a large family.
  • No reserve during power outflow

Hybrid Water Heater

Hybrid water heaters are usually referred to as heat pump water heaters because of their ability to pull heat from the environment rather than depend on gas and electricity. This should not mean they primarily depend on heat from the surrounding air. When the temperature isn’t warm enough, they depend on the backup resistance heater to heat water.

A hybrid water heater draws heat from the surrounding air into the evaporator coil, then uses it to heat the water to the required temperature. The heated water then flows from the tank into your home appliances, such as the dishwasher and shower.


  • Energy efficient
  • environmentally friendly
  • It comes with rebates and incentives.


  • It involves high upfront costs.
  • Irritating background noise

Differences Between the Tankless Water Heater and Heat Pump Water Heater

Are tankless hot water heaters different from storage tank water heaters? Yes, and here’s how they differ.

Source of Energy

The tankless water system depends on either gas or electricity to heat the water. So you have to choose what is more convenient for you. If you have both, recommends gas-fueled tankless water heaters since they produce higher flow rates than electric models. However, if you have a large family, you might need to install more than one tankless water heater. These multiple installations may end up costing you more in terms of energy costs.

On the other hand, the hybrid water heater is very energy efficient since it uses heat from the surrounding air to heat the water. It may depend on electricity, but most of the time, you will not have to spend money on gas or electricity to operate it. That is one of the major reasons why environmental groups like NRDC and RMI love them.

Installation Costs

The hybrid hot water heater is more expensive to install than the tankless hot water heater. Their installation costs depend on how long technicians take to install them and the incentives you qualify for. The technicians will first need to remove old water heaters and install the pump, which normally lasts six hours. The cost may range from $600 to $800, not factoring in the supplies you need to set it up. Though the hybrid water heaters have high upfront costs, you can recover this money fast through energy savings.

On the other hand, the upfront costs of tankless water heaters are relatively low, with a gas-powered tankless water heater having a slightly higher upfront fee compared to the electric model.

Operating Costs

Most people might complain about the upfront costs involved in installing heat pump water heaters before considering how cheap they are to maintain throughout the year. The fact that they give hot water from the surrounding air makes them cheaper to operate than tankless water heaters.

Tankless water heater operation costs are higher if you use electricity for heating.


Tank capacity is one of the key factors you want to consider before deciding on the best tank for your family. While you can use the tankless water heater to do multiple tasks simultaneously, you may damage the heater.

Let’s take a scenario where you are coming from a family marathon, and everyone is rushing into their showers to freshen up. You must take turns showering if you have a tankless water heater with a low GPM (gallons per minute). In contrast, the hybrid water heater will supply enough water for several back-to-back showers.

Looking For Water Softening Solutions in Fairbanks, AK? Call Prospector Plumbing & Heating

The ideal water that will suit your family will depend on where you live and what you use it for. Fairbanks is the coldest city in the US, so tankless heaters will serve you better than hybrid ones. With only two hot months in a year, the hybrid hot water heaters will not be good because they rely on the environment to produce hot water.

If you are concerned about energy efficiency, go for the gas water heater instead of the electric tankless water heater. If this sounds complicated, do not feel the pressure of trying to figure this all out on your own. Call the plumbing and heating experts at (907) 322-5763 for a free estimate.