Essential buying guide for water heater in Malaysia

Water heaters are a necessity in every home. There is one thing that we all need, but not many people give a lot of thought to. The average lifespan for a water heater is around 10-12 years! But before you buy one, it’s important to know what you’re looking for because there are some significant differences between different types. In this article, we’ll break down all the basics so you’ll know what to look for when buying one.

Different Types of Hot Water Heaters

There are three main types of water heaters.  The only difference between them is how they heat water, and all types of water heaters can heat either hot water or both hot and cold water.

On-demand Type

These are also known as “tankless” or “instantaneous water heaters”. They have one main difference from conventional tank-type water heaters: they don’t store any water at all. This means that when a hot water faucet is turned on, the heater immediately heats up cold water and pumps it out. On-demand units are very common in new homes because they’re cheaper to install than conventional tank heaters (no tanks). Still, you’ll only see them in large houses with multiple bathrooms where conventional tanks don’t fit or have enough capacity outside of new construction.

Conventional Tank Type

These are the most common type of water heater and also tend to be the cheapest ones to replace. There are two main parts: the tank and an electric heating element on top that keeps it heated indefinitely.

The tank holds a certain amount of “fresh” (just boiled) water at all times for immediate use, while another part of the tank stores dirty (older, cooled down) water until it gets flushed out. When you turn your sink faucet on or run a bathtub, the cold water first goes into the tank, where it’s pushed down and heated up by the stored dirty water. When hot water is needed, a pump takes it out of the tank and distributes it throughout your plumbing system.  

How to Choose the Right Type of water heater for Your Home

Let us explain to you first what each type is and why choosing one over the other is important.

On-Demand Type

The on-demand type of water heater is a newer technology, and it has become quite popular over the last 10 years or so. It heats the water as you need instead of heating it all at once as tank-type models do. You can also save money using one because they heat up the water when needed, thus preventing waste.

Made of metal, plastic or glass, they are manufactured to withstand a range of operating pressures. Tank-type water heaters have been around for decades and are still in use today, but not as much as they used to be because the on-demand type has proven so popular.

Tank Type

The tank-type type is the most common type of water heater used in homes today. They are made of steel and are resistant to corrosion from the chemicals used to soften the water.

They hold large amounts of hot water but, because they heat up all the water at once, it can be a bit wasteful and potentially more expensive than other types. A tank-type needs larger vent pipes than an on-demand type.

They are less expensive and slightly easier to maintain. If you already have large vent pipes and a tankless water heater just won’t work for your home, then you may want to consider getting one of these types instead.

They are cheaper in the long run because they can last up to 10 or more years, while an on-demand type lasts anywhere from 4 to 7 years.

So, this concludes our discussion of the two different types of water heaters. Remember that they are both good and come with their unique advantages. It will ultimately be up to you to decide which one is right for your home but feel confident in the fact that you now know necessary to make an educated choice!

More tips on how to choose the right water heater

How Long Do They Last, on Average?

The average lifespan of a traditional tank water heater is around 10-15 years. At the same time, a tankless heater lasts 4-7 years! Again, the duration may highly depend on the brand, model & usage.

The Cost Difference Between Tankless and Traditional Tank Heaters

There are two main types of water heaters, traditional tank and tankless. Traditional tank water heaters have been around much longer than their counterparts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better. The most significant difference is how long they last; a traditional tank heater lasts about 10-15 years while a tankless heater lasts 4-7! The average replacement cost for a conventional tank heater is RM1,200 – RM2,000, whereas the average replacement cost for a tankless water heater is RM 200 – RM 800.  

When Should You Replace a Water Heater?

Typically, it’s wise to invest in a new water heater if you’ve had your current one for 10-15 years. However, some people get much more life out of theirs, and they might be able to squeeze 5-7 more years out of them. Of course, an old water heater will cost you a lot less money than a newer one that is larger. Even if yours works just fine now, there may be hidden damage inside that can cause future problems as well as leaks and higher utility bills.

What Are the Important Features To Look At A Water Heater?

There are some significant features to look for when buying a water heater. These can vary depending on the size of your family, but there are some that you should consider no matter what:

  • Instantaneous hot water supply – If you have a full house or more than just two people, this is an absolute must. You don’t want to be waiting hours after you run the water for it to heat up! Look for high efficiency – This will save money and energy in the long run.
  • Durability – Durable materials usually mean a longer lifespan and better longevity.  
  • Temperature settings – Depending on your natural gas line’s capability, choose a heater with adjustable temperature settings
  • A good warranty – It’s always nice to know that if something goes wrong, you will not be stuck paying for it.
  • Budget – As mentioned before, the size of your family and home will determine just how much you’ll need to spend on a water heater. These can range anywhere from RM300-RM2000+, so make sure you’re ready for that! Don’t forget about installation costs either!


Buying a water heater can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. We’ve broken down all the basics of how each type works and why one may work better than another depending on your home’s needs. After reading this article, we hope that you will feel more confident in choosing the right water heater for your family!

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