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Hotel guests expect hot water and fast. So, what are the best water heaters for hotels? Let’s break it down.

What are Your Options?

Commercial water heaters come in three basic types, tank storage, hybrid, tankless (point of use).

  1. Tank-storage water heaters are the most popular in businesses and homes, featuring a tank that holds water to be heated.
  2. Hybrid models (aka heat pump water heater) combines a traditional water heater and a tankless system.
  3. Tankless water heater (aka point-of-use) deliver hot water quickly and on-demand to faucets and appliances far from the hotel’s main water heater.

What about Boilers?

While many people use the term “boiler” for any big water heating apparatus, a boiler is not a water heater, nor vice-versa. A water heater does what the name implies. It heats the water.

A boiler, however, does more than heat water. It boils the water and turns it into steam. It’s then used in various ways, including central heating through radiant heating, water heating, carpet cleaning, cooking, cleaning, and sanitation.

Tank-Storage and Tankless Water Heating Systems

The vast majority of hotels use conventional natural gas tank-storage water heaters. The tank-storage water heater holds water in a large, insulated storage tank until it’s needed.


  • Less expensive to install than tankless systems
  • It can be more cost-effective to repair and maintain


  • Consumes more energy resulting in higher operating costs
  • Its size. Since tank-storage heaters are larger than the tankless, it requires more space.
  • Tanks require a thermostatic mixing valve
  • Shorter lifespan (approx. 10 years)
  • Limited storage capacity, which makes meeting high demand difficult

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heating systems are closely packed, wall-hung systems without the bulky storage tank. It instantly delivers heated water to a tap or appliance requiring hot water. Other terms for this type of water heater are instantaneous or on-demand water heater.


  • Uses less energy since it only heats water when the fixture demands
  • It’s compact
  • Effectively prevents the risk of Legionella disease
  • Extended lifespan (20 years)
  • Meets peak demand and reduces carbon footprint
  • Doesn’t require a thermostatic mixing valve


  • Larger versions required for supplying an entire hotel cost more than tank-storage water heaters
  • Requires professional installation

Now that we’ve broken down some of the pros and cons of each, here are some other things to consider when choosing the best water heating system for your hotel.

What Are the Best Water Heaters for Hotels?

Ultimately, the conclusion for the best water heater for hotels comes down to individual circumstances and choices. Important factors to consider when deciding between a boiler or commercial water heaters are:

  • What is the climate?
  • How much storage room do you have?
  • How many people will use the hot water supply?
  • Do you require on-demand access to hot water?

As a hotel owner, water heating systems can be a costly investment that you’ll deal with for the water heater’s lifespan. You’ll want to be sure to consider the cost, efficiency, and longevity of your new commercial water heater.

Need a new commercial water heater for your hotel, facility, or business? Wallingford Sales has top brands at the lowest prices. SHOP NOW! 866.977.2537