To keep energy bills down, without losing the convenience of instant hot water, more homeowners are opting for one of the best tankless water heaters. Most homes don’t need giant water heaters with excess storage tanks. In fact, many homes already have an oversized water heater and don’t notice until they’re ready to invest in a tankless option. We’ve done all the research and found five top-rated tankless water heaters, as well as a couple you should avoid.
Reviews of the 5 Best Tankless Water Heaters, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
1. Ecosmart Eco 27 Tankless Water Heater Review
The best Ecosmart tankless water heater it’s the Eco 27 model. The Ecosmart Eco 27 tankless water heater also takes the spot of the best tankless water of 2018. This tankless water heater is overrun with outstanding features, and it’s a great value. It’s easily the best tankless water heater under $500.
The Ecosmart Eco 27 tankless water heater stays within its heating range even when the external temperature goes down to 37-degree Fahrenheit. It also maintains it’s 3 gallons per minute flow rate. However, in better weather, the flow rate can increase to 6 gallons per minute. This water heater can run 2 showers at once as well as and not struggle for hot water.
The Ecosmart Eco 27 tankless water heater uses stainless steel, and copper components in its design to help it last more than just a few years. Many people know that copper and stainless steel are the best options for metal to avoid rust. These metals can withstand very high temperatures, transmit heat well and evenly, and don’t corrode easily from contact with water.
2. Takagi T-KJR2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater Review
This model requires natural gas which will have a large impact on your utility bills. The Takagi T-KJR2-IN-NG model is the best Takagi tankless water heater.
Out of all the tankless water heater options available this model is one most loved by homeowners. The Takagi T-KJR2-IN-NG is great for medium households in warm or cool climates. Many people throughout colder climates haven’t had a decent tankless water heater available until this model came out.
You can run multiple faucets, appliances, and a shower of hot water with this model and not risk running out. The energy usage is one of the best features of the Takagi T-KJR2-IN-NG because it uses natural gas.
The only downside is the installation costs. Unfortunately, the Takagi T-KJR2-IN-NG is not as easy to install as other tankless water heaters, and it’s best to hire a plumber for any necessary retrofitting.
3. Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater Review
Do you have a large house or high water demands? Does it seem like there’s never the chance for everyone in the home to have a warm shower? The Rheem RTGH-95DVLN tankless water heater is great for large households.
Known as “beast” this tankless water heater is small enough to install in homes but is extraordinarily large when compared to other residential tankless water heaters. The Rheem RTGH-95DVLN tankless water heater isn’t in every large home though because of its price.
The initial cost, however, is a long-term investment, and it makes a huge difference in your day to day activities. You’re never apt to run out of hot water with this model. It hosts a 9.5 gallon per minute flow rate which is uncommonly high for a tankless water heater.
4. Rheem RTEX 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
This Rheem model couldn’t be more different than the other Rheem option listed here. It’s compact, easy to use and incredibly simple to install. Bust, the biggest difference is in the price!
The Rheem RTEX 13 electric tankless water heater is new on the market, but I’m making waves. Rheem is known for delivering high-quality and long-lasting products. There’s no reason that we should suspect this model won’t live up to that reputation.
Overall, this model’s best feature is the price. Its price matches its size which makes it great for anyone who lives alone or has lower water demands than a typical family home. A single-bathroom household would greatly benefit from this tankless water heater option. The Rheem RTEX 13 electric tankless water heater is the best tankless water heater under $1000.
The best Navien tankless water heater is the NR-210A model which uses a pump and buffer tank with natural gas. The Navien NR-210A water heater claims to provide 10 gallons per minute flow rate in moderate climates with a 4.6 gallon per minute flow rate in colder climates.
The downside is that it doesn’t quite live up to this flow rate. The Navien NR-210A tries and offers a decent amount of water pressure in moderate to cool environments. But, as soon the temperature drops significantly, the flow rate goes down considerably.
As the best Navien tankless water heater, the Navien NR-210A uses natural gas which makes a significant difference in your utility bills. You’ll almost immediately see the drop after making the switch to this model. The Navien NR-210A is also one of the more reasonably priced options when you consider its size and flow rate.
Avoid – Atmor AT-D18TP-AZ Instant Tankless Water Heater Review
Although it’s price matches the product, this is the worst tankless water heater on the market right now. The Atmor AT-D18TP-AZ instant tankless water heater is both compact and easy to install. Unfortunately, it’s the worst tankless water heater because of its inability to heat even reasonably small amounts of water.
The Atmor AT-D18TP-AZ instant tankless water heater can’t handle a standard household, and it doesn’t live up to the claimed flowrate of 3.7gallons per minute. What you end up with is a tankless water heater that barely raises the water temperature and has a very low flow rate.
The final straw that marks the Atmor AT-D18TP-AZ instant tankless water heater as the worst tankless water heater on the market is its warranty. The warranty only covers leaks which is unfortunate because many people are enthused when they hear this device has a 7-year warranty.
Avoid – Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series Concentric Twin Pipe Installation Review
Many homeowners are drawn to this tankless water heater because it uses natural gas rather the electricity and which reduces their bills even further. But there are many downsides to this tankless heater. Avoid this tankless water heater because of it’s difficult installation and its price.
Unlike the Atmor which the worst tankless water heater is absolute, this model is an overall disappointment, but because of its price, there aren’t that many people who will fall prey to its deceptive claims.
The Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series is one of the largest gas tankless water heaters available. It’s also incredibly difficult to install as it uses a twin pipe installation process. If you insist on having this tankless water heater, you should hire a plumber to ensure proper installation.
2018 Buyers Guide to the Best Tankless Water Heater:
There are a ton of things to consider when you’re buying a new tankless water heater. Like many other devices made for the home, these items can require installation from a professor or willing handiperson. With the territory comes some technical jargon, but we’ve simplified it and found three aspects you must consider before buying a tankless water heater, including how much hot water you need, your climate, budget, and how much installation will cost.
3 Main Points to Consider
- Energy Source: There are 2 options for energy sources, either gas or electric. Many people that are switching from a conventional water heating tank to a tankless water heater are looking to trim down their utility bills. Although with a tankless you’ll see an improvement on your utility bills, either way, electric models aren’t as efficient as natural gas options. Both options have their benefits and downfalls. But, the drawbacks for some could be benefits for others. For instance, gas is cheaper than electric, however, in some places gas is easier to manage and can withstand cooler climates better. However, a smaller household could do better with an electric water heater because they don’t need the power behind a gas tankless water heater. Not to mention that gas water heaters are more expensive than an electric option.
- Hot Water Demand: Tankless water heaters have an advantage over traditional water heaters because you can choose which unit works best for your water demands. Most houses have traditional tank water heaters that allow for a much higher demand than the household needs. Water heaters work differently than the traditional tank heaters because they heat water as you need it instead of holding tons of hot water. These water heaters acknowledge the hot water demand through flowrates. For a large water demand, you should aim for a higher flow rate which measures in gallons per minute. The more gallons per minute the tankless water heater can handle, the better it is for large households. However, if you are living alone or have a small house, you don’t need all that power and will probably never use it. To figure out what the best range of GPM is for you and your household, start by counting the showers. Each shower uses between 2 and 3 GPM for adequate water pressure. Add each shower’s needs and then add 1 gpm per appliance you plan on running at the same time. So, if you have 1 shower, a sink, dishwasher, and clothes washer that you want to run all at the same time you need at least 5GPM.
- Climate: A tankless water heater has to battle their environment to sustain how water. So, the lower the outside temperature, the lower the flow rate will be. Throughout the northern area, the climates have lower inlet temperatures which mean that your water heater must work harder. Higher flow rates are the solution to in climate regions. They offer more effective heating during cold weather. Until recently many homeowners weren’t able to have tankless water heaters because of the cold months. Always round up when you’re trying to figure out which flow rate works best for you. There’s always a margin of error, and you can’t be certain that last years temperatures are an accurate prediction of the weather in the years to come. However, people in warmer climates have a little more wiggle room. Throughout the Southern region of the United States, many homeowners disconnect their water heater because it’s not necessary.
What is the difference between a traditional vs tankless water heater?
The difference comes down to how the water heaters operate. A traditional water heater holds gallons of water which at a certain temperature. Tankless water heaters use its components to heat water as you need it. When you turn on a faucet, it’s system kicks on and starts heating.
In the long run, the big difference is in price. A tankless water heater is usually more expensive at first but will save you money in utilities over the years. You can easily increase efficiency by about 25% when you consider the average water usage in a small to medium family home.
Tankless water heaters are increasing in popularity because of their longevity. Because a traditional water heater holds somewhere between 30 and 50 gallons of water for an unknown amount of time, their inner components experience a lot more water exposure.
However tankless water heaters provide hot water on-demand, so their components are usually dry.
The fact of the tank is the biggest difference between the 2 options, but this difference spurs some other benefits and downfalls. Many people enjoy having the extra bit of space in their garage from a tankless water heater.
However, many people can’t afford to buy the tankless water heaters and pay for the installation. If it comes down to budget, you’ll need to closely evaluate not only the price difference from the initial cost but also for any necessary retrofitting.
How Tankless Water Heaters Work (Video):
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Tankless Water Heater:
If you’re looking into the best tankless water heater of 2018, you’ll quickly realize that although there are outstanding models available, finding the right fit for your home requires advanced planning. You want to enjoy the benefits of a tankless water heater such as lower electricity bills and more space. Always consider all of the costs associated with switching to a tankless water heater. Every type of tankless water heater will have the initial cost and installation costs, yet ultimately it will deliver an appropriate flow rate and last for many years.