Clean Water Hacks ® - May 19 - 13 min read
Best Tankless Water Heaters : Reviews & Buying Guide
Updated: November 19, 2021
If you want to upgrade your conventional water heater to improve efficiency, you may consider a tankless water heater. Once you have made this upgrade, you can save up to 60% on your energy bills. Besides, you can enjoy a lot of other advantages.
Unlike an electric tank heater that lasts 15 years, a top-rated tankless water heater can be good for up to 20 years. A gas tank heater comes with a lifespan of 12 years at most. Another great advantage of these units is that they take up less space even if you get a large unit. Plus, they require less maintenance than a traditional heater.
But the million-dollar question is, which one is the best tankless water heater for your domestic needs?
In this article, we are going to review the best tankless water heaters for your home. We have created this list after tons of research. Therefore, if you go through this guide, you will be able to choose the right size and style of heater for your home. Read on to find out more.
🥇 Rinnai RUR98iN (Top Overall)
Gas (condensing) Since this is a gas-powered unit, it can raise the temperature to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, it can cover the needs of all of your family, even if you live in a cold climate.
the RUR98iN comes with the highest flow rate of 9.8 GPM. So, you can use it to supply hot water across your home.
With an energy efficiency rating of 96%, this tankless water heater is on top of the list. This Energy Efficiency is because of the dual heat exchangers. This system uses water condensation as an additional source of energy to heat up water.
Since this is one of the best models out there, you have to shell out a pretty good deal of money to get your hands on it. It comes with a price tag of $1,915, which may come as a surprise to you. Plus, you will have to pay for the installation as well.
Great EF rating of 96%
High-temperature rise of up to 60 degrees F
High flow rate of 9.8 GPM
Dual heat exchanger
🥈Rinnai RUC98iN (Indoor)
Gas or LP. This model is powered by natural gas just like the RUR98iN. But you can also go for a propane-based outdoor unit, which is made from stainless steel. Regardless of your climate, the Rinnai RUC98iN can cover your needs. Even if your tap water is too cold, you can depend on this unit, partly because it has a temperature rise of 60 degrees F.
Like the previous unit, this one has the same flow rate. Although this unit has a high flow rate, it does not take up too much space. On the other hand, traditional units of the same capacity take up much more space.
With an EF rating of 92%, this tankless water heater is one of the best in the market. The EF rating of this model can touch 96% at times.
Although the price of the unit is $1,500, it's worth the features offered by the unit. For example, you can connect to the device through WiFi to monitor and configure the settings. Another great feature of this model is the recirculation option. With this feature, you don't have to flush cold water from the pipes. Apart from this, this model is soundless, unlike other gas-powered units you can find out there. Therefore, you will have no problem even if you install it outdoors.
This model is ideal for all types of climates, hot or cold
A Flow Rate of 9.8 gallons per minute
Ideal for big homes
🥉Rheem RTG-84XLN (Outdoor)
Gas. According to user reviews, this tankless water heater has all that you may expect in an ideal outdoor model, such as a remote control. Using the remote control, you can configure the settings remotely.
Flow rate: If you are looking for an affordable instant water heater, The Rheem RTG-84XLN is your best bet. It features a high flow rate of 8.4 GPM.
As far as EF rating is concerned, this instant water heater offers a rating of 82%. Therefore, it produces low emissions, which makes it an ideal unit for hot climates.
With a price tag of $800, this instant water heater can still deliver great results. Since this model doesn't require ventilation, it is appealing to most homeowners looking to save money on their water heaters.
Designed for medium-sized homes
Costs less than other gas-powered models
It comes with a remote control
8.4 GPM of flow rate
Ideal for warm climates only
Eemax EEM24027 (Electric)
Electric. An electric tankless water heater is powerful enough for its size. Therefore, you can install it wherever you want to. For instance, you can set it up in a bathroom closet or under the sink as a point-of-use system.
Since this is a portable unit, it offers a flow rate of 5.3 GPM. Therefore, it is more suitable for a small home located in a warm climate. Besides, it is a point-of-use water heater.
This unit can heat up enough water to cover the needs of 3 to 5 residents. The good thing about the unit is that it does not waste any energy as it has an EF rating of 99%. If your mainline has enough water pressure, you can run a lot of appliances simultaneously. With self-modulating technology, a gas water heater can configure its energy usage based on your demand.
Price: This unit comes with a price tag of $600. Therefore, it is not that expensive for those who are on a budget.
Excellent EF rating
It may not be cover the needs of big homes
🧭 Tankless Water Heaters Buying Guide
If you want to purchase a tankless water heater, you need to consider a lot of essential factors. Given below is a list of some major factors you must consider before getting your hands on the perfect heater.
Factors to take into account Before opting for a Tankless Water Heater
Before you get a tankless water heater, we suggest that you consider some essential factors first. These factors have an impact on the performance of the heater. Plus, these factors will help you find out if your desired unit will be suitable for your home.
Just like tank-based water heaters, tankless water heaters use three sources of energy: Natural gas, electricity, and liquid propane (LP). The fuel gets into the heat exchanger or a heating element if you have an electric model.
This fuel powers a heat-exchanger in gas units, or a heating element in electric models. Before you decide on the fuel type for your heater, make sure you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of system.
Electric heaters are quite efficient. Besides, they require no ventilation, unlike other units. Compared to gas-powered units, they are more compact. Based on your location, you may find them at a lower price tag. Since they have low output, they may not be suitable for cold climates.
Power heaters are suitable for all types of environments, as they feature a higher output. However, they are not as efficient as electric heaters. Besides, they also require special ventilation. Liquid propane heaters share a lot of similarities with gas-base units. The good thing is that they use one gallon of liquid propane for every 4 gallons of gas. Besides, they burn cleaner and produce fewer emissions.
How to go for the Right Size and Type of unit
If you think you take a look at the comparison chart to get a suitable unit, you need to think again. Before you make a choice, you should consider a lot of factors, such as installation location, size, type, and temperature rise, just to name a few. In other words, you need to consider the specification of the unit to make an informed decision. Below are some factors that can help you go for the best unit to cover your name.
1. Temperature Rise
The temperature rise indicates the number of degrees the water has to be heated up so you can achieve your desired temperature. Temperature rise is dependent on two factors: Your personal preferences and your local water supply.
If you live in a warm climate, the water temperature may be up to 77 degrees F. On the other hand, if you are from a cold climate like the north US, the temperature of the water can be as low as 35 degrees F.
If you want to decide on the temperature rise, make sure you know the ideal temperature for the appliances you have in your home. For instance, the temperature of your shower should be at least 102 degrees F, while the kitchen sink water temperature should be around 120 degrees F.
2. Gas-based and Electric Instant Water Heaters
If you want to purchase either an electric or gas tankless water heater, make sure you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each unit.
Whole House or Point-of-Use units
Generally, if you are looking for a whole-house unit, we suggest that you get a gas-based heater. Since they have a higher GPM, they can supply water to several appliances at the same time. But if you prefer a point-of-use system for your hot tub or shower, you can get an electric water heater. Apart from this, an electric water heater can supply enough water for two to three members, as they have a lower GPM rating.
Compare the costs
The operating costs of a gas-powered unit are lower than that of electric units. However, if you have solar panels on your roof, an electric heater can be a better choice.
The cost of a gas heater is higher than that of an electric heater. You may have to pay for the price of the unit as well as the installation costs. On top of this, if you want to install an indoor water heater, you may have to pay a higher price, as these units require ventilation as well.
Although the gas-powered unit is a cost-effective option, you may have to pay more for it in the short term. Apart from this, condensation is another factor that will impact the cost.
These are conventional gas-based tankless heaters. These units feature a flu system for gas emissions. However, you have to have a properly functioning ventilation system before you go for these units. The good thing is that these units are not that expensive.
Condensing gas heaters come with new technology. These units use a second heat exchanger, which uses the exhaust gases to preheat the incoming cold water. Therefore, these units work more efficiently and don't require additional ventilation.
However, these units come with two disadvantages: First, these units come with a higher initial cost; Second, there is a problem of corrosion because of gas recycling. Therefore, you may have to spend money to get some of the components replaced on a regular basis. Overall, these units are efficient and can save you a good deal of money.
What one Is More eco-friendly?
Unlike gas heaters, electric heaters are more eco-friendly. However, if you make use of a green source of energy, you can make your electric heaters even more eco-friendly. As a matter of fact, some homeowners prefer electric heaters, as they do not generate carbon dioxide.
Due to the lack of emissions, you are electric heater will require less maintenance. On top of this, these units are good for the environment. After all, it is our responsibility to take care of our environment. After all, our future generations depend on us.
3. Power Input BTU
Another important consideration is the BTU rating of the unit. This figure represents the power of your heater. In other words, this figure tells you how many pounds of cold water the heater is capable of heating up by one degree in 60 minutes. So, what you need to do is get a unit that features a higher BTU rating. These water heaters can produce plenty of hot water in a short period of time.
However, these units consume more fuel. Therefore, you need to consider the size of your home and your needs for hot water before making a choice. For example, if you want a hot water shower, you can manage with a unit that comes with a lower BTU rating.
4. Flow Rate of the unit
The flow rate of a heater is given in GPM or Gallons Per Minute. Therefore, you may want to check the specifications to make sure they can meet your needs.
Generally, if you have one bathroom in your apartment, you can get an instant water heater with a flow rate of 3.0 GPM. On the other hand, if the size of your house is below 1,000 square feet, you can manage with a unit that has a flow rate of 4 GPM. On the other hand, if the size of your house is between 1,000 square feet and 1,600 square feet, you should go for a GPM rating of about 7.5.
If you have a large house with three to four bathrooms, you may want to go for a tankless water heater that can generate 10 gallons of hot water in one minute.
Long story short, you need to consider the needs of your home if you want to go for the best tankless water heater.