Best Tankless Water Heater Reviews and Comparisons of Consumer Favorites
The best tankless water heater can help to reduce your water-heating bill by as much as fifty percent or as little as twenty percent, if your family uses forty gallons or less of hot water daily. If you use more than forty gallons you will save around ten percent. The best electric tankless water heaters can also provide an endless supply of hot water, depending on the type of fixtures it’s hooked up to.
When searching for a new model, there are many features to consider, such as the water flow, how the heater is powered, the type of warranty that’s provided and what you can expect in terms of power and installation needs. These models can definitely be tricky to install. In fact, most manufacturers will actually void the product warranty if the consumer fails to provide proof that the water heater was installed by a professional.
So, not only will you need to consider the cost of the tank itself, but you’ll also need to call around and find out what you can expect in terms of installation fees for both an electrician and a plumber.
Doing a little research and taking a look at some electric tankless water heater reviews can also give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of heating ability and quality. Many of these reviews may also discuss whether professional installation is a product requirement and what to expect in terms of these extra costs.
With a number of popular options to choose from, it can be difficult to pick a tankless model that’s powerful enough to provide your entire home with hot water, instantly. But this extensive guide will list the different styles of tankless models available and what you can expect in terms of energy efficiency and overall quality.
Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
These models work by moving water quickly though the system instead of storing the hot water in a large tank. The traditional tank style storage model features a big container with a heater and it’s able to store a large amount of water, usually forty to eighty gallons. These traditional models will heat up the water and keep it ready and waiting until hot water is needed. When water leaves the tank, it’s then replaced by cold water. The downside to these traditional models is that they tend to waste a ton of energy considering they have to work to keep the water hot for twenty-four hours a day, whether hot water is needed or not.
Instead of storing up a large amount of water, the tankless models will circulate incoming cold water using powerful gas burners or electric coils that are referred to as heat exchangers. Heat exchangers will heat up when the user turns on the tap or an appliance that uses hot water. When the appliance or fixture is shut off, the burners or electric elements are switched off.
These tankless models come in several varieties from smaller point of use models to large gas appliances. If you’re considering replacing your old storage water heater you’ll have to rely on a model that’s designed for whole house use. If you want hot water efficiently and quickly for a single fixture such as the sink in the bathroom, a point of use model should work perfectly.
Not all models of tankless water heaters can supply hot water instantly. In fact, the only way to guarantee fast hot water is to have a model right next to the appliance, shower or faucet. Otherwise, the hot water will sit in the pipes between the fixture and the water heater where it can cooldown. The water in the fixture won’t be hot until the cold water is replaced by the hot.
With this type of water heater, the issue will be flow, not capacity. If the washing machine and two showers are going at the same time, the water heater won’t be able to handle that type of volume because the water is passing through it too quickly, resulting in lukewarm water.
So, what’s the solution?
Purchase a unit that’s able to put out a lot of heat. You should also stagger washing machine and shower usage by a couple of minutes at least. Another solution is to purchase a couple of tankless models, which will work out perfectly, if you have the budget for it.
Electric Tankless Water Heaters vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters
You can purchase an electric tankless water heater or a gas tankless model. The gas water heaters are considered more efficient and faster at heating water. Because of the response time needed and the heat output, most whole house units feature gas burners. Gas fired tankless models will require venting and their flues must be larger than the flues that are required for a gas storage water heater. Some models that are low nox feature power vents that will allow the user to exhaust gasses out a side wall. These models are the best solution when running a new vent out a roof would be impossible or impractical. Some companies also make tankless outdoor models that you can install outside the house, so they won’t require venting.
Some gas powered models will have a pilot light that consumes fuel in order to maintain a flame. Models with an electronic ignition can help with efficiency. Search for models that use an intermittent ignition device. Gas powered units that don’t require a lit pilot will be more expensive, but they’ll also be more energy efficient compared to units that are equipped with a pilot light.
If you need to fit a tankless water heater into a tight space, look for one with a sealed combustion. Most tankless units will contain electronic components that need an electrical hookup.
Before you buy, make sure you check out the model’s warranty. You’ll need to look for a product that comes with a five to twelve year warranty on the heat exchanger.
. The best tankless water heaters last longer than traditional water heaters because they don’t store water. A traditional model can deteriorate after years of water storage, but a good tankless model is more durable and can last significantly longer at around twenty years. Conventional storage models have a life of about ten years. Another problem with conventional models is that the minerals in the water will get cooked onto the tank’s bottom, which can significantly affect the tank’s efficiency. With a tankless model, you can easily purchase replacement parts whenever they breakdown.
If you’re concerned about saving money on your energy bill you should also pay attention to a water heater’s efficiency rating. These ratings can range from seventy-five percent up to eighty-eight percent. The rating will indicate how much fuel will be converted to heat by the unit. The higher the amount the better.
These tankless models are available in a few different styles: non-condensing hybrid, condensing and non-condensing. The condensing and non-condensing are the first two generations of tankless models and they have been used in Europe for a number of years. The non-condensing models feature a design that uses a main heat exchanger to heat up the water, which can create hot exhaust and require the need of vent installation. The condensing models are equipped with an additional heat exchanger which takes the exhaust emitted by the primary exchanger, using it to continue to heat the water, making this style the ultimate in energy efficiency. Hybrids feature an innovative design that can provide much higher energy efficiency and a small holding tank that can work to effectively overcome any short draws when a number of fixtures or appliances are used at the same time.
The price of these tankless models can vary widely and will ultimately depend on whether you’re looking for a whole house unit or a point of use model.
On average, gas powered models can save you around a hundred dollars a year, while the electric models will save you about half of that. However, you can expect that both types will last you over twenty years.
If your home is set up for the use of a tankless water heater, the installation costs will be relatively low, ranging from $500 to $1,000, however a complete installation can cost twice as much or even more, in addition to the cost of the water heater.
In order to properly install one of these units you’ll need a dedicated gas line that is able to handle the high BTU demand of 200,000. A model that features a category three venting can require unit relocation to an exterior wall. If the unit needs to be relocated you’ll need to factor in the cost of additional piping. You’ll also need a dedicated power supply, in addition to a backup battery.
So, as you can see, installing one of these models is a big deal. If you’re building a new home, most contractors highly recommend a tankless water heater system. Older homes will still benefit from this type of technology, but because of power limitations and outdated electric panels, you can look forward to a very costly installation and one that often requires the guidance of a professional electrician and plumber.
Benefits of Top Tankless Water Heaters
The biggest disadvantage of a conventional tank is that you have a limited amount of water. While it might not be a big deal if there are only one or two people in your home, it can become a major issue for larger families. While you can always get a larger tank to remedy this issue, the price will go up significantly once you go for a model with a fifty to sixty gallon capacity. With a high quality tankless unit, you can have a number of people take consecutive showers and there will still be plenty of hot water to run the dishwasher or washing machine after.
You’ll definitely notice the difference in a tankless model vs a conventional model when you get your first energy bill. While they cost more upfront, the tankless water heater will allow some consumers to realize as much as fifty percent in savings on heating costs compared to traditional units.
You’ll also need less space to install these tankless models, which feature a size that’s similar to that of a small suitcase. Some models can even be mounted under a skink, in a crawl space, attic or on the wall.
These benefits alone should encourage you to consider upgrading to this type of technology.
Electric Tankless Water Heater Comparison Chart
|Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater||One year warranty on parts|
Ten year warranty on heat exchanger
Designed for point of use application
Professional installation required
|ECO 27 Eco Smart Electric Tankless Water Heater||Lifetime warranty on parts|
Can handle more than one appliance at a time
99.8% energy rating
Professional installation required
|Tempra 24 Plus by Stiebel Eltron Electric Tankless||Three year warranty|
Self-modulating technology for perfect water temperature
Features advanced microprocessor technology
Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
The Rheem RTE 13 electric tankless water heater is a 13,000 watt model that’s compact and able to be paired with a wide range of fixtures. This unit features a brass and copper heat exchanger, which can heat water up impressively fast and can save you a lot of cash on your monthly energy bill.Click Here to Read the Full Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
ECO 27 Eco Smart Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
The ECO 27 Eco Smart electric tankless water heater features the popular self-modulating technology, allowing you to easily control the temperature of the hot water throughout your home. This is a model with a reputation for reliability and power and a unit that’s a must-have for consumers who are short on space in the home.Click Here to Read the Full ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
Tempra 24 Plus by Stiebel Eltron Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
The Tempra 24 plus by Stiebel Eltron electric tankless water heater features a single flow sensor design, a hinged cover for easy access and heavy-duty electronics. It’s also a serious space saver and features a max GPM of 4.0. This type of power will allow consumers to operate up to two hot water appliances or fixtures at the same time, making this model ideal for larger families.Click Here to Read the Full Tempra 24 Plus by Stiebel Eltron Electric Tankless Water Heater Review