Hot Water Ottawa

Tankless vs Heat Pump Water Heaters: Which Is Better?

Tankless Vs Hybrid Water Heater in Ottawa

Are you planning to install a new water heater in your Ottawa home? You may wonder what type of water heater will give you the best performance at the lowest installation and energy cost.

When you research tankless vs heat pump water heaters, you’ll see that each type has its pros and cons. Read on as our team at Hot Water Ottawa explains the difference between tankless and heat pump water heaters.

Rinnai Tankless RU Model

What Are Tankless Water Heaters?

Unlike traditional tank heaters that heat ‌and store hot water, tankless water heaters only heat ‌as much water as you need.

As you turn on a washing machine, faucet, or any other plumbing fixture that uses hot water, the sensors in a tankless water heater send a message to the unit’s internal computer, which activates the burner. The heater’s burner instantly starts heating up water. The hot water flow continues while the fixture works. If you want instant hot water, there are tankless water heaters with recirculating pumps that can help.

Tankless water heaters are compact, convenient, and highly energy efficient. Although they require a higher upfront cost compared to tank heaters, the tankless water heater investment will pay off in lower energy bills over the heater’s lifetime. Tankless water heaters also have a longer average lifespan than conventional hot water tanks.

What Are Heat Pump Water Heaters?

Heat pump water heaters include a storage tank for hot water, just like electric standard tank water heaters. However, heat pump heaters work in a completely different way.

A traditional heater, whether gas or electric, generates heat. A heat pump heater (also known as a hybrid water heater) moves heat from its environment and channels it into the water in the storage tank.

However, at times of high demand for hot water (for example, when you run several plumbing fixtures at once) the heat pump water heater will supplement its heat pump effect with electricity. These heaters are electric only, with no gas option.

Heat pump water heaters need a ventilated space. A small closet won’t work well because the heat pump will quickly suck out the warm air from the enclosed space, and then the heater will need to use more energy to heat up cold air. A heat pump water heater also requires regular maintenance to keep air filters clean.

Tankless or Heat Pump Water Heaters?

Tankless water heaters and heat pump water heaters have comparable installation and operating costs. So, which one should you choose? It depends on several factors.

Energy Efficiency

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are highly energy-efficient because they heat water on demand. There is no standby heat loss since water is not stored in a tank. This efficiency can save energy (and save money) over time, especially in homes with varying hot water needs.

Heat Pump Water Heater

The best heat pump water heaters are also known for their energy efficiency. Instead of generating heat directly, they move heat from the air or ground to heat the water. While they may not be as instantaneous as tankless heaters, their efficiency can be higher than traditional tank-style heaters.


Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters generally have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional tank-style heaters. However, the energy savings over time can offset the initial investment. The cost-effectiveness depends on factors such as household hot water usage, energy prices, and the specific model chosen.

Heat Pump Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters may have a higher upfront cost than tank-style heaters but are typically more affordable than tankless units. Their energy efficiency can result in lower operating costs, contributing to cost-effectiveness over the lifespan of the appliance.

Space Requirements

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are space-efficient and compact. They can be wall-mounted and take up less space than traditional tank-style heaters. This makes them suitable for homes with limited space.

Heat Pump Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters are larger than tankless units and may require more space. They operate similarly to a central air conditioning unit and need clearance for air circulation. Homeowners should consider available space in their utility area when choosing a heat pump water heater.


Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters generally have a longer lifespan compared to traditional tank-style heaters. They can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

Heat Pump Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters also have a relatively long lifespan, often comparable to tankless units. With regular maintenance, they can provide reliable hot water for 10-15 years.


Both tankless and heat pump water heaters may be eligible for rebates. In Ontario, the Canada Greener Homes Grant provides financial incentives for energy-efficient home upgrades, including water heaters.

Most importantly, choose a quality model that you can expect to perform well for many years. Check out our guide on shopping for the best water heaters.

What Homeowners In Ontario Should Consider

Climate Considerations

Ontario experiences a range of temperatures, from cold winters to warm summers. Both tankless and heat pump water heaters can perform well in this climate, but homeowners should consider the specific demands of the seasons.

Tankless water heaters are efficient in providing instant hot water, while heat pump water heaters may be affected by lower ambient temperatures. However, advancements in heat pump technology have improved their performance in colder climates.

Installation and Maintenance in Ontario

Professional installation is crucial for both tankless and heat pump hot water heaters. Tankless units may require modifications to the gas line or electrical system, depending on the type. Heat pump water heaters need proper ventilation and should be installed in a location with sufficient air circulation.

Maintenance is essential for both systems. Tankless units may need periodic descaling to remove mineral deposits, while heat pump water heaters require filter cleaning and occasional refrigerant checks.

Homeowners in Ontario should schedule regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance of their hot water heaters, especially before the onset of winter.

Hot Water Ottawa: Your Local Water Heater Experts

If you’re vacillating between tankless vs heat pump water heaters, we can help you choose the best model for your home, lifestyle, and budget. Our water heater experts of Hot Water Ottawa supply top-quality, best tankless water heaters and heat pump water heaters by premium brands.

To request a water heater installation quote, call us at 613-729-5052 or fill out our online form.

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