Tankless water heaters use 30 – 40% less energy than the units that have tanks. Over the years, the demand of tankless water heaters has increased because they are easy to maintain, require a small space, have a continuous supply of hot water and save a lot of money in the long run. In most cases, tankless water heaters operate on natural gas or propane instead of electricity and thus they are more effective and efficient. However, even though tankless water heaters have numerous advantages, the initial cost is quite high because you need to hire an expert to install the system in your home. Since there are numerous types of water heaters to choose from, you need research thoroughly to select the right type of water heater. Some of the factors you need to consider when choosing a water heater include the size of your household and the budget. This guide will help you determine the best water heaters in the market today to help you make the right choices. To make the guide easy, it has been divided into several categories i.e. top sellers, highest overall quality and the best value buys. When you research about water heaters, you can know the pros, cons, estimated cost, and maintenance cost of each unit to help you choose the right unit.
Here are the best tankless water heaters:
- Takagi TK JR2 NG: ideal for homeowners who are on a budget because they are affordable
- Rinnai V7In: this water heater is good for an average household
- Rheem RTGH-95DVLN: ideal for homeowners who want a limitless supply of hot water
- Takagi – T – KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas (6.5 GPM)
This is one of the most popular gas water heaters in the market today because it is affordable. If you have a small to a medium household, this is an ideal choice because it can supply you with 2-3 fixtures at once in a warm climate. On cold climates, the water heater can provide enough water heater in small homes and apartments. Therefore, this water heater is recommended to homeowners who have a low hot water demand, especially in small homes. You will have to choose your own GPM requirement depending on your hot water requirements and budget. For instance, if you have a tight budget, you can buy a water heater that has a 6 GPM or less.
- The water heater offers good value for money when compared to other gas water heaters
- The water heater has no problems during cold climates. You can run two showers at once if you are using low-flow fixtures on a cold climate. Consequently, you can run three different fixtures on a warm climate especially when you use a low-flow fixture.
- It is user-friendly because it is available with remote control. In addition, it has an easy installation process because you just need to hook up the gas and water lines.
- The water heater can be adjusted for different attitudes. Therefore, regardless of your altitude, the gas water heater can be adjusted for efficiency during installation.
- The unit is compact and economizes on space because it only sticks out less than 7’’ from your wall.
The unit lasts for a long period of time when compared to other water heaters within the same price range.
- Since the unit has a limited supply of hot water, you cannot have 2 showers running at the same time if you don’t use low-flow showers heads or other efficient appliances. Therefore, if you want an unlimited supply of hot water or you are not prepared to install an efficient plumbing system, investing in a different water heater that has a larger hot water capacity is recommended.
- If your household is medium and you live in a cold region, this water heater might provide a limited supply of hot water. Hence, you should invest in a Rinnai water heater.
- Even though the unit is easy to install, you need the help of a professional to have a warranty cover. However, the installation costs will be affordable because the unit requires less labor time to successfully install it.
- Rinnai V75iN Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater (7.5 GPM)
This gas water heater is recommended to average households because it has a GPM of 7.5. Therefore, if you have efficient appliances or you use low-flow plumbing fixtures, you can run two or three things simultaneously. However, the ability to run 2 or 3 things at once can be determined by your location because climate plays a big role when it comes to heating water using gas.
- Since it has a GPM of 7.5, you can run two showers at once and still remain with some hot water to wash the dishes. Alternatively, you can do the laundry, take a shower and clean the dishes.
- The unit is very efficient – Rinnai has low emissions ratings to boot because it is SCAQMD approved. When compared to other mid-range water heaters, it is friendlier to the environment.
- Rinnai is certified for use in prefab and mobile homes. This is a great benefit to people who live in such homes because most tankless water heaters are not certified for use in such homes!
- Rinnai is neat and compact. The unit occupies a very small space and it looks good especially when it is installed near other white appliances e.g. a washing machine.
- The controls are easy to read, access and use.
- You can choose a temperature setting between 98 and 140 degrees. The unit has a temperature lock to prevent accidents that may result from changes in temperature limit and settings.
- The unit operates efficiently for a long period of time.
- When you purchase this unit and have it installed by a professional, you get a 10 years warranty on the heat exchanger, 5 years on parts and 1 year on labor.
- The unit has a smart safety system that’s built-in. This system ensures that the unit remains efficient for years. For instance, if the right cleaning schedule of the unit is not followed, the scale detection shuts the things off to prevent damage to the unit. The system also shuts everything off if the water composition requires regular descaling before use.
- The unit also has a built-in leak detection that helps the unit to shut off if there is a leak to prevent water damage.
- Since the unit is a midrange model, it takes a longer period of time to respond when compared to smaller models like the Takagi. The unit takes about 30 seconds to respond but once it is up and running, the unit has a higher capacity when compared to the Takagi.
- When installing the unit, you need a direct venting kit that’s only available with the heater unit.
- Rheem RTGH-95DVLN 9.5 GPM Indoor Vent Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater
Rheem is one of the best tankless water heaters in households that require a constant supply of hot water. With an average of 9.5 GPM, you can hand wash a pan, run the dishwasher, a load of laundry while two showers are still running. It is important to understand that the unit not only has a large capacity but it also efficient on energy consumption. The unit is easy to install, works quietly and efficiently for a long period of time without breaking down or having surges.
With such great features, Rheem is the best tankless water heater for big households or for small/medium households that have a high demand for hot water. However, if you are considering investing in Rheem, you should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money because it has great features.
- The unit can provide a continuous supply of hot water in a large household i.e. in a 4 bedroomed house or even in a bigger house because it has a large capacity.
- Rheem is not affected by weather. This means that the unit will never experience a drop in pressure or temperature even if you live in the coldest part of the country.
- The condensing unit of Rheem extracts heat from exhaust gases thus making it energy efficient. When compared to non-condensing models, Rheem is cheaper because it economizes on energy i.e. 94% efficiency while non-condensing units have an efficiency of 82%.
- Since the exhaust gases are not very hot, cheaper venting materials can be used during installation to save some money. In addition, Rheem has a built-in electric blower that aids with venting.
- Rheem is environmentally friendly because it has a high rate of efficiency thus producing very low poisonous gases. With its ultra-efficient design, Rheem is compared to electric water heaters which are known to produce very low poisonous gases.
- The remote control is included when you buy the unit. Therefore, you don’t have to buy everything separately.
- In most cases, large capacity tankless units are used for industrial purposes but Rheem has been customized for use in homes. The unit has a maintenance code, temperature settings and self-diagnostic controls that you can use depending on your hot water requirement.
- The unit can be used in vast altitudes because it is hardy.
- Rheem is available with a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a 1-year warranty cover on the parts.
The price tag is the main drawback when it comes to purchasing, installation, and maintenance of this unit. You can buy the unit for about $1,000 and you’ve not included fittings and the installation costs. Therefore, if you are considering buying and installing this unit, you will spend a reasonable amount of money although you will get the value for your money in the long run.
For smaller and medium households, Rheem is not a good investment because there are other cheaper options with great features. However, if you have a high demand for hot water or you have a big home, Rheem is the tankless unit that will suit all your needs.
Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
Tankless water heaters have a wide range of benefits when compared to other water heaters. However, since buying and installing a water heater can be an expensive investment, there are some factors you need to consider to make the right choices.
The size of your household is one of the factors you should consider before investing in a water heater. If you live in an apartment or you have a small home, you can invest in a water heater that can support one shower or at most two. This means that you don’t need to spend on a water heater that runs several showers simultaneously!
On the other hand, if you have a larger home or you’ve multiple bathrooms, your hot water requirement is high and you should invest in a unit that has a large capacity. This is not only the right choice but also an economical approach because you don’t have to install several water heaters in your house. To do this right, you need to determine the amount of hot water you need at any given time. For instance, you can check the dishwasher, the washing machine, and your shower to see how much water they use. After gathering such information, you can then think of the number of feeds you need to know the total GPM. The number of people living in the household, fixtures, and appliances used in a home are some of the variables that can determine the amount of hot water you need each and every time.
Your location can determine the unit to invest on or even the cost of the unit. If you live in a cold region, the unit you invest on should be able to heat the water efficiently and vice versa. Make sure that you have researched about different water heaters to know the hardy ones before making up your mind.
Finally, the cost of installing a unit is also a factor that you should consider. Normally, the cost of installing tankless water heaters is usually high when compared to installing electric water heaters. Indoor tankless water heaters require to be properly vented while outdoor tankless units require to be waterproofed to increase their lifespan. However, the units last for years with little maintenance and repair practices thus saving money after a long period of time.
You are advised to hire a qualified plumber to determine the full cost of retrofitting your house before buying to have an estimated cost of buying and installing a tankless unit. Finally, your hot water requirement and budget are the two main factors that will determine the type of tankless water heater you will invest on.