Water heaters typically are either a stand alone heater, a tankless coil unit working in conjunction with your boiler, or one of the newer tankless models. Albon Plumbing can help you evaluate which is best for your situation. Water heater life can be extended by occasionally flushing the tank and by replacing the Anode Rod.
A standard water heater will likely last only 8-12 years (generally right after warrantee period ends, it will fail). When (not if) your heater fails, it is time to evaluate your lifestyle, your budget, your fuel type, and your environmental consciousness to determine what type of replacement unit is right for you. We can help you make these decisions and generally get you a quality replacement unit very quickly.
Tankless water heaters, as the name implies, have no (or a very small) tank. There are generally energy savings because you are not keeping a large tank of water hot all day when you are not using it. Tankless systems heat the water as you need it. Sizing a tankless water heater takes into account whether you have 2 people and one bathroom, or a house with 4 bathrooms and 5 teenagers so you get the right unit for your water demand.