The weather in Singapore can pretty much be summed up in two words: “hot” and “humid”. While it’s hard to walk down the streets without feeling like a rotisserie chicken revolving under a heat lamp, that doesn’t mean we’d all rather be icy cold. Case in point: unexpected cold showers in the morning, when all you want to do is crawl back into bed instead of heading to work.
That’s why reliable water heaters are essential. But heaters are big-ticket purchases, and you’ll need to do your own research first to understand your options. Water heaters boil down to 2 main types, storage and instant. Here’s the complete lowdown on storage vs instant water heaters.
Instant water heater: Pros & Cons
Image credit: The Hemsley Bath Shoppe
One of the biggest benefits of an instant water heater is that it heats water up instantly once it passes through the system – it’s literally in the name.
Kimberly, who has a EuroAce instant heater at home, says, “You’ll never have to wait for your water to heat up, and even if you accidentally leave it on, it doesn’t cost you extra money”.
Instant water heaters are known to be energy-saving and efficient as it only heats up water when it’s in use – i.e. when the water is flowing – and it does so quickly. In fact, because it more or less promises a constant heated water supply, you need not worry about multiple people showering at once or spouses who take extra-long showers as the hot water won’t run out.
Image credit: Ariston Water Heater Philippines
Price-wise, instant water heaters are around $100 cheaper than storage heaters. Installation is also easier – as instant water heaters come in a singular unit, you don’t need to build extra piping beyond the bathroom, thus saving you lots of hacking and wiring work.
And if you wish to buy a new unit, you’ll be glad to know that instant water heaters are easily replaceable, making maintenance more convenient.
While its efficiency and convenience are strong points, there are, of course, some flaws in instant water heaters.
House-proud millennials who want to have a lookbook-worthy home should note that instant water heaters can be unsightly and rudimentary-looking. Simply put, they’re not aesthetic.
Image credit: Lazada
However, there are still standouts in the market. For instance, Viessman’s Vitowell Easy Instant Heater is compact and has a clean design, which will make your shower look neater and less “I bought it on sale at Courts”.
Not to shortchange the efficiency of instant water heaters, but they’re affected by weather conditions. As such, when the weather is too cold, the water will be less heated.
And since it prioritises efficiency, Kim noted that the “water pressure may sometimes be lower as compared to a storage heater”, and that the flow may fluctuate more drastically than desired.
Who should get an instant water heater?
If you’re considering getting an instant water heater, you may want to start by asking yourself these questions:
- Are you currently renting your space, or do you own it but don’t intend for it to live in it for more than 5 years?
- Do you have many family members or housemates sharing a roof with you?
If you answered yes to both questions, an instant water heater is ideal as it’s lighter on your wallet and allows you to save up for future renovations. It also accommodates other occupants at home who may shower at the same time.
Storage water heater: Pros & Cons
Image credit: Shopee
Storage heaters, on the other hand, come with an insulated storage tank. Instead of heating water on-demand, heated water is kept in the tank until you need to use it. Due to this, you can expect consistent water temperatures, come rain or shine, and water pressure.
To get the most out of her Grohe rain shower, Jess bought a Joven storage heater from Hoe Kee. Storage heaters typically give you higher water pressure – think K-drama leads dramatically crying in the pouring rain – than what you’d get with an instant water heater
Image credit: Hansgrohe
Another thing to love about storage heaters is that they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than instant water heaters. Vivien highlights that “once you have it installed, your bathroom will look way more ‘high SES’ than before.”
We’ve mentioned that storage water heaters are on the pricier side, even before factoring in installation and maintenance costs. The latter can add up quite quickly in the long run as storage water heaters are more prone to water leaks and corrosion.
Image credit: Viessman
Based on her experience, Jess also notes that storage water heaters take a while to heat up, and that water may sometimes run cold if both her husband and her shower simultaneously due to the limited tank capacity.
Who should get a storage water heater?
If you’re keen to invest in a storage water heater, here are some questions to guide your decision-making process:
- Are you going to install this in your forever home?
- Are you willing to stretch your budget for better quality and aesthetics?
- Do you want to install a rain shower or massage jet in your bathrooms?
If you answered yes to all these questions, then a storage water heater may a worthy investment in your renovation journey.
Where to buy instant & storage water heaters in Singapore?
Water heater brands such as Ariston, Rheem and Joven are the main players in the market. Other common brands such as EuroAce and Rubine are also reliable choices.
Image credit: Home Geeks
Those who want hot water on demand but refuse to sacrifice aesthetics can consider the Rubine’s Instant Water Heater with Rain Shower ($269). Its minimalist design comes in several different colours, including matte back. Plus, you can easily adjust the water pressure and save up to 55% in energy costs.
Meanwhile, Ariston’s Aures Luxury ST33 ($215) focuses more on ensuring a constant temperature and water pressure, which addresses the main weaknesses of instant water heaters.
Image credit: Rheem Singapore
The Rheem’s Xwell Classic Plus Electric Storage Water Heater ($249) comes highly recommended. The brand claims that they have a unique technology in water insulation and flow diffusion that allows water in the tank to remain hot for a longer period of time and has a capacity that’s 45% bigger than others on the market.
Image credit: Ariston
Ariston’s Andris 2 RS is also one to look out for. Beyond its sleek design, this storage water heater has a blue LED indicator that tells you when the water is warm enough for showering. The indicator can also warn you when the water gets too hot.
These products and brands are available both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. But for new homeowners, we recommend checking out department stores such as GainCity, HarveyNorman, Water Heater City or Hoe Kee, where it’s easier to browse through various brands and find good deals.
Storage vs Instant water heaters – which is the best option for you?
As with all household appliances, everyone has their own unique set of needs, wants and budgets, so there’s really no right or wrong answer to which option is the best. All that matters is that your heater fits the needs of your house and doesn’t leave too big of a dent in your wallet.
For more comparisons:
- Standing vs Sitting desks
- Dyson vs Bosch cordless vacuum cleaner
- Muji vs Ikea storage solutions
- Leather vs Fabric sofas
Cover image adapted from: Lazada, Third Avenue Studio
Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.