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Best Tankless Water Heater 2018 - 10 Tankless Water Heaters Reviews

The best tankless water heater becomes one of the most marketed items in the past few years as sustainability and energy efficiency increase in popularity. With better fuel costs and low utility bills, many homeowners are flocking to tankless options.

Tankless Water Heater Leaderboard 2018

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  image of Rinnai RL75iN Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater, 7.5 Gallons Per Minute image of Rheem RTGH-95DVLN 9.5 GPM Indoor Direct Vent Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater image of American Standard TCWH199S-AS-NG 199,000 BTU Tankless Natural Gas Ultra Low Nox Condensing Water Heater image of Navien NPE-240-A Tankless Gas Water Heater image of Eemax EEM24013 Electric Tankless Water Heater image of Noritz NRC98-DV-NG Direct 9.8 GPM Indoor Condensing Vent image of Eemax HA036240 240V 36 Kw Electric Tankless Water Heater, Stainless Steel image of Eccotemp FVI-12 Liquid Propane, 3.5 GPM, High Capacity Tankless Water Heater image of EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater image of Tankless Water Heater 240V 27KW Electric Instant On-Demand Hot Shower Heating
  Rinnai RL75iN Rheem RTGH-95DVLN American Standard TCWH199S-AS-NG Navien NPE-240-A Eemax EEM24013 Noritz NRC98-DV-NG Eemax HA036240 Eccotemp FVI12-LP EcoSmart ECO 27 JNOD Tankless Water Heater
Rating 9.5
Very Good
9.3
Very Good
9.1
Very Good
8.9
Very Good
8.7
Very Good
8.5
Very Good
8.4
Good
8.3
Good
8.1
Good
7.9
Good
amazon rating
Brand Rinnai Rheem American Standard Navien Eemax Noritz Eemax Eccotemp EcoSmart JNOD
Product Dimensions

14 x 9.3 x 23 inches

18.5 x 9.8 x 27.5 inches

15.2 x 17.4 x 13.1 inches

13.2 x 17.3 x 27.4 inches

11.5 x 8 x 3.75 inches

9.4 x 18.3 x 24.4 inches

18 x 21 x 4.5 inches

28 x 17 x 10.5 inches

3.62 x 17 x 17 inches

15.1 x 3.7 x 10.2 inches

Item Weight

50 pounds

79 pounds

88 pounds

92 pounds

8.45 pounds

65 pounds

17.4 pounds

29.4 pounds

16.8 pounds

14.35 pounds

Size

Large

Large

Large

Large

Small

Large

Small

Small

Small

Small

Color

Silver

Silver

White

White

Blue

Natural gas

Stainless Steel

White

White

White

Style

ja

ja

ja

ja

LCD

ja

ja

Liquid Propane

ECO 27

LCD

Water Consumption

9.4 gallons

n/a

n/a

4 gallons

2.4 gallons

n/a

8 gallons

3.5 gallons

4 gallons

n/a

Material

Steel

Metal

Stainless stell

Stainless steel

Stainless Steel

Steel

Stainless Steel

Steel

Stainless Steel

Steel

Power Source

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Voltage

220 volts

120 volts

220 volts

220 volts

240 volts

n/a

240 volts

110 volts

240 volts

240 volts

Warranty

1825 days

1825 days

1825 days

1825 days

1825 days

4380 days

1825 days

730 days

1825 days

365 days

Features
  • reasonable price
  • durable and safe
  • easy to operate
  • nice design
  • perfect for large home
  • affordable
  • easy to install
  • hot water all time
  • great value
  • works effeciently
  • longer life and warranties
  • compact size
  • heat immediately
  • deliver continues heat
  • use less energy
  • energy star rated
  • mid range condensing
  • inexpensive
  • compact
  • adjustable temperature
  • advance water heater
  • self modulating technology
  • compact size
  • easy to operate
  • nice design
  • ultra effecient
  • additional venting options
  • compact design
  • sturdy copper
  • freeze protection
  • good insulation
  • compact and light weight
  • easy installing components
  • display screen
  • instant water heating
  • low price
  • extremely energy efficient
  • compact unit
  • sturdy design
  • excellent heater
  • energy saving
  • compact design
  • easy to install
  • durable material
  • beautiful design
  • easily heat
  • sturdy design
  • easy controls
  • good temperature range
  • safe and multipurpose
Quality
Performance
Price Value
Functionality
Product Review Product Review Product Review Product Review Product Review   Product Review Product Review Product Review    
Where to buy
Large selection of Tankless Water Heaters at affordable prices on Amazon.com
Wide range Tankless Water Heaters Secure Payment & Buyer Protection Free delivery from 29 Euro upwards

 Tankless Water Heater  Tankless Water Heaters Bestseller now on Amazon.com & save!

However, many of these brands have been around for decades, supplying tankless options in addition to traditional heaters. Picking the right brand of Tankless Water Heater is a combination of energy efficiency, hot water fastidiousness, and smart features.

There are a few brands that stand out in our comparisons. From features to prices, everything in this guide provides an in-depth discovery into how tankless water heaters work better for your home as well as what products really are worth the initial investment.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless Water Heater ReviewsYou find tankless options are typically in every hardware, appliance, or home improvement store. You can find them online under sustainable heating options as well. These types of heaters have been around for yours, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars. Without a tank, these tankless water heater simply heat the water on its way to your faucet. While there are different types of tankless water heater, they are generally all built to do the same thing.

Typically compact and box-shaped, a tankless water heater hooks up to your water line, and by electricity, natural gas, or propane, the heater warms up the water to the correct temperature in real-time. Most heaters use natural gas or propane, as these options heat up considerably faster and hotter. However, electricity is a great option for some of the newer models that provide instant hot water. You can place all of these types in small spaces, such as a closet, or there is also an outdoor tankless water heater that has tankless options. There are also larger tankless water heating options for businesses and warehouse applications.

So why are homeowners looking at tankless water heater units today?

For one, these heaters save a lot of money. Your utility bills go down drastically without a standing water tank. You don’t use as much water or energy to supply your home, and they are great options if you want a greener home.

Lower carbon footprints are great selling points for homes going up on the market as well. As homeowners see increased property values from energy-saving appliances and solar panels, tankless options fit right into the modern, energy efficient home.

Can you use tankless water heater for camping?

There are a lot of uses for portable tankless water heater. These typically use gas or propane, and you can carry them with you if you water to create a portable shower option.

There are also solar-powered tankless water heater that are more suitable for camping, and these may cost less than typical tankless options.

What is covered under a tankless water heater warranty?

There are some parts that are covered, such as the gas-burner, heating elements, LED screens, switches, and valves. However, some of these parts are also replaceable and not covered by the full warranty.

You may want to check with the manufacturer before you purchase a brand or an extended warranty in case you're not sure what is covered.

What is the maximum temperature for my appliances?

Temperature of Tankless Water HeaterWhen determining the size and flow rate of your best tankless water heater, you want to consider what temperature is currently coming into the pipe and what temperature you want to rise it to. Most storage heaters can boil water, depending on what you set the valve too, so it is really a personal preference. However, most tankless options don't go over a maximum rise of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If you think about your shower, you typically don't need that much. You probably only take a maximum of a 106 degree Fahrenheit shower on a daily basis. This uses about 3 gallons of water as well.

If you live in a warmer climate, you should also consider that the water temperature is higher when originating in the pipe. This is important in determining flow rate. Your water may come in at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may have a temperature rise of 45 degrees Fahrenheit minimum.

How does a Tankless Water Heater work?

With every tankless water heater unit, there is a heating element inside. Most of the time these are gas burners. They can heat up water without the usage of a storage tank. Once you turn on the faucet, cold or hot water travels through the line and into the pipe. The gas burner or an electrical heating unit will heat up the water on-demand as you turn it on to different areas of your home, resulting in a constant supply of hot water.

Most tankless water heater provides a hot gallon at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute. However, flow rates for gas tankless options are higher than electric. This means that you can get faster, hotter water from a gas tank over a completely electric tank. There are advantages to each, however, especially if you don’t agree with using fossil fuels.

Contrary to some popular beliefs, you can stretch a tankless water heater capabilities to the limit if you take a long shower or run the dishwasher at the same time as another appliance. You might experience diminished heated water when simultaneously turning on different hot water faucets. These are all symptoms of a water heater that is being pushed to the limits. With tankless, you have to get used to heating water on-demand and waiting for it if you plan to use two appliances or at once.

For the most part, a tankless water unit will help you save money on energy, but there are other advantages that are drawing homeowners to removing the storage tanks in favor of tankless options.

Advantages & Applications

Advantages of Tankless Water HeaterDo you use a lot of hot water in your home? For homes that use 42 gallons or less of hot water a day, on-demand tankless water heaters can provide up to 35% more in energy efficiency over a traditional storage tank water heater. They also up to 14% more efficient for homes with higher hot water needs around 86 gallons.

Homeowners stand to save up to 50% on utility bills by installing a demand best tankless water heater in multiple outlets as well. Energy Star claims that families save over $100 a year with this method. However, some savings are greater depending on the type of best tankless water heater and how much water you use every day, as well as if you use a water heater with solar panel systems to save even more.

Tankless heating types also don’t have issues associated with standby heat loss like storage heaters do. A gas-fired demand best tankless water heater does have a higher flow rate than electric tankless water heating units, however. This may waste energy if you have a pilot light that is constantly burning, but with new smart features, you can control how much fuel you use with the tap of a finger on your phone. This allows you to check the energy efficiency and even schedule when you want to set up recirculation pumps, which provide the highest heat for showers and cooking.

The costs of tankless options can vary depending on the features. You can find used models for under $500, while brand new tankless gas and propane heaters may go for $800 or more. Smart features also add some more control and value to the units, allowing you to save money, but you also pay for the convenience. These heaters are typically priced in the $1000 and up range.

What types of Tankless Water Heater are there?

In your search, you have probably seen a variety of different heaters that are mostly gas. This is the most common type of tankless water heater available because of its high flow rate and BTU output. However, there are multiple options and some have greater advantages for energy efficiency if you are looking to create a very sustainable home.

Here are the different tankless water heater types and some advantages as well as cons to using each:

Gas Tankless Water Heater

Gas Tankless water Heaters ReviewWith natural gas, there are some advantages. It’s more cost-efficient, as prices are lower for gas, but you do sacrifice a small percentage of heat in BTU output. Natural gas options can hook up to your home’s gas line and provide instant heat. Gas heaters are also more efficient than storage tanks. They peak at about 98% energy efficiency overall.

With cheaper fuel costs than propane, the initial investment is sometimes a lot depending on the brand. You may pay over $1,000 for the latest gas heater because of its construction, materials, gas hookups, smart features, and recirculation pump design.

It’s important to have a tankless water heater that comes with a recirculation pump as this is how you get hot water almost instantly. You can continuously take hot showers with these types of heaters.

Electric and solar power tankless water heaters are technically the most energy efficient. They also have a cheaper installation and don’t require the use of fossil fuels. Still, you can’t get the same energy output and heat with an electric heater. Gas will always provide a hotter shower and hot boiling water for dishwashers at a higher rate than an electric unit.

Pros

  • High flow rate
  • Faster hot showers
  • Low energy costs
  • Smart features to control heat usage

Cons

  • Not as energy efficient as electric units
  • Fuel costs for gas may increase

Electric Tankless Water Heater

Electric Tankless Water HeaterThe most energy efficient heater of the bunch runs off electricity. Without the use of fossil fuels like a gas line or propane tank, you really get to experience a truly sustainable shower that can control its own temperature easily. Electric heaters have been known to have some flow rate problems, however. You cannot get the same fast BTU output as a gas or propane tankless option.

As gas prices fluctuate and more homeowners look at green options, electric tankless water heater are becoming more popular. You may need to purchase more than one to supply your faucets with hot water as you need. Many contractors recommend installing a tankless option at every faucet in the home to avoid having to wait for hot water or competing with other appliances for hot water needs.

This is especially true for the electric tankless option. Since it takes a bit longer to heat up water with electric options, you should have the heater installed closer to each faucet and use multiple heaters to get more BTU output. You can change settings very easily on these heaters since most have a smart display, remote control, and smartphone access.

Pros

  • Cheaper utility costs
  • More energy efficient
  • Smart features
  • Does not use fossil fuels

Cons

  • May need not be as fast or as hot as gas or propane heaters

Propane Tankless Water Heater

Propane Tankless Water Heater ReviewFor the highest heat output and long-lasting hot water needs, propane is the best option. These tankless water heater get the best of energy efficiency and heat output, offering a lot of value to the homeowner who wants to ensure that they get hot showers on demand quickly. However, there are some drawbacks to these options.

While more efficient and higher heat-producing over natural gas and electric, propane also costs more to run. You don’t save as much per year with a propane tank but fuel costs are higher and less convenient to order. Availability can run short in certain months as well, which means that you have to always have a backup plan.

Tankless propane heaters can provide all the hot water you need up to 8 gallons per minute without fail every time. These are the best tankless water heater if you want the hottest shower as soon as you turn on the faucet. Many of these best tankless water heater come with recirculation pumps that allow you to instantly get hot water. You can turn on the heat recirculation pumps with the press of a button on your phone to prepare for your shower or when you plan to run the dishwasher.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Puts out more BTUs than natural gas or electric
  • Hotter flow rate

Cons

  • Higher investment costs to purchase initially
  • Higher fuel costs to consistently run
  • Limited fuel ability in certain months

Solar Power Tankless Water Heater

These are the most efficient if you have the option of using solar energy in your setup. While you won’t find heaters that are specifically sold with solar power units attached, you can use an electric heater and a solar-powered home to achieve the most energy efficiency. Tankless water heater can quickly get hooked up to solar power lines to become the most sustainable way to get hot water in your home without using any nuclear energy or wasting water through a storage tank.

Pros

  • Most energy efficient

Cons

  • Harder installation
  • Requires solar panels to be purchased separately

What Makes a Good Tankless Water Heater?

Best Tankless Water Heater ReviewTankless water heating options are a great investment for a home, especially if you plan to sell and want to add sustainability as a feature of the home. Water sustainability is a great way to save on utility costs and feel better about your carbon footprint, so it’s important that you select the right profile when shopping for one.

Some tankless units are cheaper, but they may have a flow rate that doesn’t match yours. It’s important to select a best tankless water heater unit that matches what your home needs in terms of water lines and gas. You can see our guide below on preparing to buy a tankless water heater and what you need to check your home for before selecting a unit that will work with your lines.

Here are a few other things to look for as you shop for the perfect tankless heating unit:

High Flow Rate

You want the best tankless water heater to have a flow rate that is high and sustainable for your home. You can find the flow rates for each of your fixtures listed somewhere on the faucet hardware. WAter piping to a particular fixture can also restrict flow rate, so be sure to check that before picking a tankless water heater.

With higher flow rates, hot water can move more swiftly to each of your outlets. By matching the flow rate to the unit, you guarantee more energy efficiency as well. Natural gas and propane heaters have higher flow rates when compared to electric units.

Energy Efficiency

How much energy will you save with each unit? You want to make sure that you check the energy savings when you are purchasing each unit. They should have an Energy Star rating that shows how much energy efficient you can expect. In most cases, it’s 98% efficiency or higher. These are the best units to purchase because it means you won’t be using as much water or fuel, and you can plan to have lower utility bills every month. Typically, you can save about $100 with a tankless water heater per year.

High-Grade Materials

Stainless steel construction and PVC piping with gas burners offer the best among natural gas heaters. You can expect to get the most energy efficiency and durability from these materials. There are also heaters that are made from aluminum or have plastic parts. These will not last as long as the stainless steel options. While these units may have an additional cost, they are worth the investment in the long run.

Condensing Units

These are the latest generation of tankless water heater. If you see a non-condensing unit, you probably want to steer clear. Condensing tankless units offer the hottest heat exchange because you can reuse the heat from your exhaust to continuously heat up water. This increases energy efficiency up to 94% when you are using a lot of hot water for a shower or dishwasher.

Ventilation

Your ventilation matters on these units because it allows you to draw heat back in with certain condensing designs. There are also condensing hybrid water heaters that having a small storage tank of water. These are less efficient but provide the hottest water availability.

Installation Costs

Most tankless brands offer installation with the unit. In fact, if you purchase some tankless options, you won’t be able to do the installation yourself because the warranty requires that you use a licensed installer from their list. Installation costs are around $300 but may be included in the price of certain brands. There are specific needs when installing these heaters that make it a bit harder to do on your own, especially if you don’t have a permit to install a gas line or new electrical unit.

Endless Hot Water

Hot WaterIs it possible to use on-demand heaters just like a regular hot water tank heater? Yes! In fact, tankless water heating options are made to be instant, and you’ll often see “instant hot water” as the top feature when looking at each brand. This is the defining feature for natural gas and propane best tankless water heater because you get hot water faster using these fuel types. With an electric tankless heater, you may not get endless hot water. In addition, most installers must install the heater closest to where you use hot water the most, typically the kitchen or bathroom. The best method is to install multiple heaters to get the most energy efficiency and hot water available.

Purchasing a hot water heater for your home really depends on your home’s specifications and installation skill level. While warranties may stipulate that you must use a licensed installer, you can install a best tankless water heater on your own with other brands that sell heaters online. You can see our brands guide below for options on heaters that let you use a DIY installation or hire your own installer instead.

What should I pay attention to when buying a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless options are for homeowners who are looking to save energy and money. The ideal profile of a tankless heating unit includes high-quality construction, Energy Star rating, smart features, recirculation pump, and compact design. Your budget is also important when determining what heating options is best, as you may want to go with an option that uses a lower cost fuel type or doesn’t cost as much to install. Some brands will require that you pay additionally for installation as well.

These are a few of the features that we look for when shopping for on-demand water heaters.

Energy Star Rating

This is a must-have for any appliance, but it’s especially important for the best tankless water heater. You don’t want to use extra water or pay for extra heating costs because you don’t have a highly efficient heater. Energy Star is typically listed in specifications for all best tankless water heater types, but you may find it missing from some of the older units that are not made in the USA. This is a definition of quality craftsmanship and design, and if you want to save the most money, then these are the best tankless water heater that will have lower costs in both energy and fuel needs.

Fuel Type

Benefit of water HeatersNatural gas and propane heaters reign supreme in this market. For fast, hot showers and on-demand dishwashing, you definitely want a best tankless water heater that can put out hotter BTUs at a faster rate. There are some drawbacks to electricity in terms of flow rate, but you can get a high amount of heat and more efficiency than both propane and natural gas.

Natural gas heaters will save you money initially and over time because fuel costs are lower than propane.

However, propane offers a higher heat output and better flow rate than natural gas and electric.

Electric is the most efficient and lets you control your energy saving that much more. If you add on a solar panel to heat up your water, you can live with complete sustainability.

Brief information on leading 7 manufacturers

  • Rinnai
  • Noritz
  • American Standard
  • Rheem
  • Eccotemp
  • Navien
  • EZ Tankless 
Once known as Rinnai America, this is one of America’s oldest cooling and heating manufacturers. Rinnai has excelled at bringing new and inventive ideas for the tankless market in recent years. It employs over 600 research and development team members to ensure that their heaters are tested and ready immediately for use.

Rinnai makes a high-quality tankless water heater option that has everything you need for the modern home. With smart features, you can truly control everything about your shower or hot water needs, whether you want to connect through Alexa or your mobile phone. While there aren’t any electric options with Rinnai, propane and natural gas are considered to be better for faster water heating by the gallon.

However, Rinnai can be rather expensive, and you may void the warranty if you install on your own. You can purchase Rinnai tankless options at Lowe’s and get a custom installation. Prices range up from $970 for a new Rinnai gas heater. You can find super efficiency smart models like the High-Efficiency+ or you can choose the Rinnai Ultra series that uses propane or natural gas.

A Japanese manufacturer known for lower prices, Noritz has been in business for many years, and while they switched to tankless water heater in the United States, the company is known for a variety of other products. Their tankless water heater units are known for superior, long-lasting quality. Many of their models are still working after 15 years, according to customer reviews and testimonials.

There are two types of best tankless water heater available on the market from Noritz at the moment. Most are available indoors, but Noritz also one outdoor model.

Noritz only sells natural gas and propane heaters. It’s really up to customer preference. There are advantages to both. However, propane typically contains twice the energy of a heater with natural gas. That simply boils down to more energy efficiency and cost.

While you get more energy output with propane, natural gas is the cheaper alternative that’s easier to install as well, as houses typically have a gas line.

There is also energy efficiency and greenhouse gases to consider. Natural gas causes greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, many people want to use only “green fuels,” in which case propane would be the best option.

A lower cost brand with a reputation for well-made on-demand heaters, American Standard is a great brand to look at and compare online if you want energy efficiency and high flow rates. They have a variety of different models that range in efficiency and prices, but you can pick either natural gas or propane for each.

A history of customer satisfaction combined with sterling quality makes American Standard one of the most affordable best tankless water heater options. Most customers rank the company high for all types of the best tankless water heater and cooling products, but their tankless units are backed by guarantees and warranties.

You can find American Standard heaters at Home Depot and Amazon, as well as a few heater tankless heater sites online.

With the Rheem tankless heating line, you can replace a conventional storage tank and save money every time you turn on the best tankless water heater. The tankless heaters provide instant hot water, more utility savings, and long-lasting heat. These are high-efficiency, condensing, tankless options that have recirculation pumps built inside as well.

Rheem has also been known for its high customer satisfaction, and it is one of the top rated brands online for tankless heating. The company guarantees that it can save you thousands of gallons of water every year, and you will pay a very low price (under $200 in most cases) by installing one in your home.

With a long-lasting warranty and lots of smart features in the latest models, Rheem offers an all-in-one, whole-house best tankless water heater option that brings you the most efficiency. The initial investment may be a lot with certain models due to the additional installation costs, but it’s worth it if you want to save money on your home’s utility bills and energy.

The lowest cost option for propane is the small and efficient Eccotemp. These are decent tankless water options that provide endless hot water, but they are quite compact and may only be used to supply hot water to one device at a time. If you are operating on liquid propane, you can get a lot of energy efficiency from one unit. However, some consumers have complained that these heaters have issues with heating up fast enough and not providing the right flow rate.

You may want to check with Home Depot first before you purchase an Eccotemp in case your home is not rated well for these heaters. Otherwise, you can expect to pay less than $300 for a propane tankless option from Eccotemp, which is a great value if you are looking to save money.

Navien creates a dynamic indoor tankless water heater that easily replaces any standard storage heater in your home. These heaters are smaller in design but still produce hot water on demand. Whether you want a lower cost unit for your home or business, Navien has several different models that you can shop online for, including natural gas and propane for indoor and outdoor use. These are each rated specifically for the type of home or building, so you get a great sense of looking at each unit whether it will work for your home.

Navien’s heaters come with a host of options including gas valve heaters, condensing tankless options, recirculation pumps, and WiFi with NaviLink. These smart features let you control the temperature settings and preferences of the tank remotely. This is a good option if you want to set the recirculation pump up for a shower before you get home. You also can really hone in on your utility savings with these models.

EZ Tankless takes a different approach to heat up your home, campsite, or business. You can find portable tankless heater options as well as built-in tankless heating options for indoor and outdoor use. They are highly rated and provide natural gas or propane models for your home. Home Depot has the highest ratings for these heaters, which typically cost around $500 to $1000 depending on the type and year of the model.

Internet vs. retail trade: where do I buy my tankless water heater best?

Buying a Tankless Water HeaterBuying tankless water heater in a store gives you a better indication of what will work in your home. You can talk to the representative, check out different features, and see how the smart features will work. However, you may not get the best price by shopping completely in-store. Today’s hardware, home improvement, and appliance stores have higher prices. By shopping online first, you can compare different brands and models, and you can even look at guides that show you how to measure your flow rate so you pick the best model for your home.

Shopping online for a best tankless water heater gives you the easiest insight into what prices and specifications match what you are looking for. If you have a budget, you can filter out all heaters not in your market, and you can also choose specific features such as LED screens, recirculation pumps, or stainless steel enclosures that you want for your tankless appliance.

When you purchase a tankless water heater, it’s not the same costs as a storage heater installation. However, you may have to pay an additional cost for licensed installation, especially if you are buying on a third-party website. Some sites let you purchase installation online with the unit, while others expect that you have a license or permit to install the unit yourself.

You should be careful about the brand you pick in case they require a licensed installation. If so, you will need to work with the brand to ensure that you pick the right installer and don’t void your warranty. This is especially true with Rheem and Rinnai brands as they require a licensed installer in order to keep the warranty active.

Interesting facts & advice

Tankless Water Heater FeaturesIf you have yet to purchase a tankless water heater, then you probably have seen multiple articles about the energy efficiency of demand water heaters. They simply allow you to save money every time you turn on the faucet, but how did they get started? What was the idea behind creating these tankless options?

These appliances also have intricate designs that make them more efficient and compact, allowing you to place them within a closet or even on a small panel outside. You can use multiple fuel types, and there are ways to hook up a tankless option to a solar power heater as well.

Here are a few facts that stand out about tankless heating options:

  • On-demand water heaters were first invented in the early 1900s. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s when they started to rise in popularity.
  • Tankless water options use heating elements like a gas burner or electric element to heat up water without a tank.
  • Heating units are typically installed close to where hot water is being used. Multiple units may be installed for the most energy efficiency.
  • They also need to be connected to a power source.
  • Demand hot water heaters were originally designed for remote bathrooms and Jacuzzi spas.
  • You can have the most energy efficiency with a solar water heating system that uses a tankless option.
  • Before buying a tankless water heater, you should consider the size, fuel type, availability of fuel near you, energy efficiency, and costs.
  • Most warranties for heaters last between 5 and 15 years. Rheem has the highest at the 15-year warranty.
  • You get an unlimited hot water supply with tankless heaters while using less energy. This is why many homeowners choose it for the more sustainable living.

Getting a tankless heater installed? Proper installation depends on fuel type, codes, safety issues, and special wiring if you don’t have an outlet set up near your water source. You should request cost estimates in writing if you plan to use a licensed installer, and you can check the company with the local Better Business Bureau to ensure that you get someone who knows what they are doing.

Want even greater energy efficiency? Most homeowners are connecting their tankless options to solar power systems. You can even find certain brands that are creating installation processes for solar power units, which are installed a bit differently than ones using nuclear power.

The history of the Tankless Water Heater

On-demand water heaters are growing in popularity now, but they have always been admired for their use of engineering and alternative fuels to create endless water without storage tanks. With tankless options, you have a reduced energy consumption since you only use the water as it’s being used, and the best tankless heater comes in a compact size, which means you can place it anywhere.

So where did tankless heaters come from?

Tankless Water Heater HistoryThe first demand water tank was commercially available in 1889. However, it had a different copper design which didn’t make it very energy efficient. There were additional models created throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, including Stiebel-Elton’s electric tankless heating units. Even then, it was noted that gas-powered counterparts were more energy efficient.

Throughout the 1900s, tankless options were installed for separate areas of the home requiring their own heating units. They varied in power, but none were as strong as the standard storage tank models. The technology wasn’t really effective enough until the 1990s, which solar power and energy efficiency began to really take off.

During this time, brands like Rheem invented more energy efficient tankless models that were commercially affordable to some homeowners for high-end markets. It was only in the later 2010s when tankless options began to lower in price for a short period. There was increased competition due to the digital boom as well. Many DIY homeowners were able to purchase units online and install on their own.

Smart features have also been added to the list of things that you can look for in the latest units. These features allow you to connect the best tankless water heater to WiFi and tap into the statuses, alerts, and remote controls for recirculation pumps. You can now get your hot water turned on with a press of a button, giving you more control and thus, increasing energy efficiency at another layer.

There are more brands than ever that have entered the tankless water heating market. As more homeowners look to save on water and energy efficiency, they are turning to tankless options a way to get more value out of their homes and increase resale prices. In fact, tankless water heating units are often one of the top searched DIY projects for homes, because many people want to use electric heating units to save on fuel costs and utility bills.

With the rise of solar power also comes new ideas for energy efficiency using tankless options. Some homeowners are hooking up their heaters to solar panels so that they can heat up their water without the use of any nuclear energy or fossil fuels. In most cases, this means that multiple solar panels and tankless units are installed.

Tankless water heating is truly the way to a modern home, and it has been featured on a variety of energy efficiency websites as the best way to decrease water costs overall.

Figures, data, and facts about the Tankless Water Heater

Information About the Tankless Water HeaterThere are some really big advantages to using a tankless heating option in your home. In general, on-demand heaters save a lot of money each year, but the government has published statistics on savings in terms of energy and money online. This research shows that homeowners can save hundreds of dollars every year on utility bills, but they are also getting a more energy efficient home in the process.

Here are a few facts and statistics that we found interesting about demand water heaters:

  • Energy efficiency savings depends on how many gallons you need daily. For homes that use 45 gallons of water on average, tankless water heating options can be 24 to 34% more efficient when compared to a conventional tank. Even if you use up to 86 gallons, you will still experience some energy efficiency. However, it’s only up to 14% more efficient.
  • The most energy-efficient way to install a tankless water heater like this is to hook it up to a solar panel. You can save on energy and fuel costs as you can rely on your own home to sustain your electrical needs.
  • Energy Star also provided a study that showed homeowners can save up to 50% more when they install demand tankless options at each hookup where they need hot water. While this is a higher initial investment, you save more money every year this with the method and you get higher hot water flow overall.
  • The government found that water heaters like this one have a 20-year life expectancy which can be increased through maintenance and care. You can also get higher warranties with some brands.
  • You can use replaceable parts to extend the life of your hot water heater as well. Storage heaters don’t last as long as tankless options either. These typically tend to burn out after 10 years.
  • The cost of operating a best tankless water heater each year is around $200. You can save more money with certain brands and better flow rates. It’s best to ask the manufacturer what the cost is per year before purchasing.
  • Global demand tankless water heater sales value shares have risen quite a bit since 2015. It is expected to increase by 2024, and that Europe accounts for 37 percent of all tankless sales. North America falls behind that at 19% in 2015 and 25% by 2024.

How to Install a Dedicated Tankless Water Heater

Whether you are purchasing one unit or several for your home, you should think about the steps that it will take for an installer to get the water heater safely working in your home. Most installations take an hour, but you will have to have the old tank removed and utility lines set up previous to installation. Otherwise, it could cost more to install.

Do you know what lines to install? In most cases, you will need a gas line and main water pipe to install the tank. These should be free of any other tanks by the time the new installation is ready to start.

Here are some other tips for the demand tankless water heater installation process:

  1. You will need to run a dedicated gas line to the unit as most tankless heaters need 200,000 BTUs to fully heat up your water.
  2. Multiple gas lines and pipes may need to be installed if you are installing more than one tankless heater in your home.
  3. Most tankless heaters require a category-3 stainless steel vent or a PVC venting system. If you don’t have these, you may need to relocate the best tankless water heater to an exterior part of the home or an outlet where it can be installed safely.
  4. If you are installing the best tankless water heater in a different location, water piping may need be re-routed as well.
  5. You will also need to run dedicated power lines to the best tankless water heater. Most heaters have LED panels, switches, temperature settings, and other electric needs. If you are purchasing an electric heater, you may need a higher voltage outlet in a special location as well.
  6. If the power goes out, you should keep in mind that the best tankless water heater will not work. However, a backup battery system can be installed and utilized for situations like this so you don’t have to worry about running out of water during an outage.
  7. Most installation teams base prices on what you currently have in your home. If you already have a storage tank, then you may want the installation team to remove and replace that unit. This brings up the costs considerably. On new construction and homes ready for a tankless heater, you will typically have a quote that is cut in half in terms of rate. Installers can easily deliver a tankless system and have it set up within an hour if you have already prepared for the tankless unit to be installed.

Tips for Care with Tankless Water Heaters

Want to keep a demand water heater the most efficient? A little knowledge can help you keep your tankless heating system going for more than 20 years. These are a few things that current homeowners and tankless water heater experts have found over the years.

  • Remove Lime Scale
  • Close Off Water Valves Prior to Cleaning
  • Use White Vinegar
  • Cleaning the Filter
Heat exchange elements can trend towards limescale buildup over time. This is a light coating that you typically see around the interior of the unit. This can cause big problems for efficiency, making it more difficult for your unit to run on low energy. It can also cause longer burner cycles and strain your system.
If you do plan to take off any part of the heater to clean, you should make sure that it is unplugged and disconnected from the water source. You don’t want anything to hurt you as you are cleaning around gas lines, power lines, and water pipes.
White vinegar is the best solution for cleaning off heater units. You can do this to flush and drain the tankless water heater by attaching hosing lines to the valves. These are typically included with the maintenance instructions by a manufacturer. If you don’t have these lines, then you should check what the guide says about maintaining your unit and how to clean the best tankless water heater from scale buildup.
You can find the filter inside of the unit. It is typically labeled. You will need to unscrew the filter and clean out the housing, as well as the inside of the screen. You should do this twice a year at most, and you can simply run it under the tap water to remove any buildup. Once done cleaning, you should make sure to replace the filter so that you don’t have any water filtration problems.

You can also use smart features on some of the newer units to run diagnostics and get alerts. For example, if you are using a propane tank, you may need to get more fuel. If you have buildup that causing a decrease in flow, you can get a status alert to service or clean out the water as well.

Useful accessories

Tankless Water Heater AccessoriesThere are a few things that you may find on your path to a tankless water heated home. These include different kits and valves that allow you to make your home more efficient with the use of a tankless water heater. There are also different types of vents and recirculation pumps that you can use to alter your heater from the inside.

Heater Installation Kits

These kits are designed for DIY homeowners who want to install a tankless water heater on their own. These allow you to install a tankless option as long as you know where your gas lines and water pipes are. You may need to get a permit or license in order to perform this installation. You may also want to use this kit to save on costs if you hire a contractor.

Heater Service Valves

You can purchase your own set of demand heater service valves to help you alter the flow rate on your unit. These kits typically include iron pipe connections with on and off switches.

Recess Box for Heaters

These are great enclosures to protect an outdoor tankless heater, or you can use with an indoor heater. They can be painted to match the home without voiding the warranty for altering a purchased tankless heater. They are also important for businesses if you want to avoid tampering and damage.

Push Buttons for Recirculation

Rinnai makes a lot of accessories that you can use to upgrade your tankless heater. For example, push-button recirculation allows you to communicate with your heater remotely so that you can get on-demand hot water instantly.

Concentric Venting for HE and HE+ Series

This is another Rinnai product that works just with the tankless water heater brand. You can use it for a unique venting system or create a single vent assembly. These provide direct-vent and sealed systems that have the optimal safety performance. These are great for businesses who are looking to install tankless water heating options.

FAQs

How do tankless water heater heat up instantly?

How do tankless water heater heat up instantly?

When you open the faucet, a flow begins with the water triggering the heat source to come on-demand. If you use electric or gas tankless heaters, the burners or heating elements will automatically turn on to begin heating up water as it flows through the heating unit and out through the water pipes.

In this way, the water is heated instantly instead of being stored in a tank. That’s why they are called demand water heaters in addition to tankless. The time it takes to heat up a water source depends on where it is located in the home. This is why some studies suggest that tankless heaters should be added on to every faucet so that you get the faster hot water. However, this may be a big investment for some in the beginning.

What types of tankless water heaters are there?

What types of tankless water heaters are there?

There are typically three types of demand water heaters on the market. These include natural gas, liquid propane, and electric heaters. Some consider solar panel heaters to also be a fourth type, but this is a variation of the electric heater and requires that you purchase a solar panel separate from the heater. In addition, that solar panel should be already installed by the time you purchase and have the new heater installed.

Natural gas heaters are cost effective and provide a high flow rate with good BTU output. However, the higher BTU output comes with propane heaters. These are also the most expensive heater of all the different types. Electric heaters will save you the most money, but they can’t really compare with the heat output.

Can you install a solar panel with a tankless heater?

Can you install a solar panel with a tankless heater?

You can install a solar panel system to work with an on-demand heater. However, this is separate from a typical installation from your heater manufacturer. Solar panels require their own electrical system to be in place before you have the tankless heater delivered to your home. This offers the most efficiency for plumber and installation expert, but it does add on to the overall cost.

If you already have a solar-powered home, then hooking up a water heater to your solar power is as simple as locating the energy source and ensuring that it has the right voltage for your water heater.

Where are tankless water heaters manufactured?

Where are tankless water heaters manufactured?

Manufacturers are located all over the world, but you find most of the manufacturers are located in America and Japan. Rheem is one of the most popular brands with headquarters mainly in the USA but also in Europe. Noritz is a famous Japanese brand that has been around for many years as well. American Standard, Westinghouse, and Rinnai are also located globally around the world with main headquarters in US locations.

How much is a gas water heater vs an electric water heater?

How much is a gas water heater vs an electric water heater?

You can find older gas water heater units are about the same price as the low-end models of today’s most modern gas tankless options. However, this mainly depends on the model, BTU output, and brand. Rheem has the highest quality tankless heaters, but they trend towards being more expensive. You might pay over $1000 for a large Rheem system.

However, you may pay as little as $200 for an Eccotemp liquid propane system that has a smaller size and flow rate. It really depends on how you plan to set up your home for tankless water heating as well. If you want to have a tankless unit at each of your water outlets, then you’ll probably want to go for a more moderately per unit cost.

Are there differences in energy savings for gas tankless heaters vs electric tankless heaters?

Are there differences in energy savings for gas tankless heaters vs electric tankless heaters?

You definitely get more energy savings with electric tankless options. Electric demand heaters can go strictly on electricity, which means that you don’t have to buy gas or deal with fluctuating propane costs. You also don’t have to wait for any kind of availability for fuels. In terms of sustainability, it’s definitely more sustainable than a storage tank to have a gas tankless heater, but the most efficient would still be an electric heater.

When combined with solar energy, you save a lot more energy and money. It also lowers your carbon footprint and boosts your home’s green value. These are ways that homeowners can elevate their property values as well, as most new home buyers are looking for energy efficient housing that will save money on its own.

What is the payback period from investment for a tankless water heater?

What is the payback period from investment for a tankless water heater?

This varies depending on the amount of water that you use in your home, as well as how hot you like your water to be on a constant basis. However, you can typically recoup the costs of a tankless unit within about five years on average. If you maintain a tankless water heater well, then you can probably keep it for an additional 30 years, providing long-term savings.

Is it true that tankless heaters don't get the water as hot as a storage tank?

Is it true that tankless heaters don't get the water as hot as a storage tank?

You can actually control most of the newer heaters with a thermostat that lets you set the temperature of the water to any level that you want when it comes through for heating. Many people will set it to the highest settings, which is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the flow rate for a tankless water heater?

What is the flow rate for a tankless water heater?

Selecting the right size water heater and the flow rate is terribly important if you want to get the most efficiency and not cause a water break in your home. Tankless heaters are rated by the maximum temperature increases possible at the given flow rate in your home. To size the right heater, you want to determine the flow rate first and then the temperature rise that you will need for the type of heating you want. For example, heating the dishwasher water pipeline as opposed to the bathroom shower line. You also never want to save money by under sizing the water heater as this will lead to poor output.

You can determine the size and flow rate by looking at the figures in your house that use water. The flow rate is typically located on the pipe or hardware. You also want to look at the number of devices getting hooked up to the tank and their total flow rate. You can add up the flow rate in terms of gallons per minute. This is the desired flow rate that you will need to use to pick out the right size equipment for your home.

You also want to look at the required temperature rise. You can determine this by subtracting the water temperature from the desired output temperature. You can pretty much assume that the incoming water temperature or where the water originates has a temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You likely want a temperature output of at least 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average showers need between 104 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and they typically use 2.6 gallons of water. The average flow for devices can typically be found by looking at your tub, shower, washing machine, dishwasher, and the kitchen sink.

Do you need a recirculation pump?

Do you need a recirculation pump?

These are pretty necessary in modern times. You will see this listed as a recirculation or condensing tankless heater. These units allow you to continuously heat water, using the exhaust to feed back into the unit. If you want to make sure that your water is always hot, then these pumps are necessary.

In some of the older units, they used non-condensing units, which meant that you had to wait for the water to heat up for longer periods of time before you were able to even feel a bit of warm water. It could take as much as five minutes to heat up the shower to the desired rate, and many times, clothes and dishes were being washed with lukewarm water.

Recirculation pumps make it possible to get on-demand heat, and it’s a rather efficient way of recycling energy so that it continues to remain hot. However, modern units with condensing heating are a bit more expensive. If you decide to use a non-condensing tankless heater, then you may want to set up a heater at every water source that you’ll need heating. This could bring you more efficiency and cost less initially on setup.

What kind of smart features are available with tankless water heaters?

What kind of smart features are available with tankless water heaters?

Some brands are making it a point to have more energy efficiency included with the latest features. Smart features are connecting heaters to WiFi and mobile phone apps so that you can check on the heater from wherever you are, set recirculation pumps to ensure a hot shower, and change the temperature settings on the fly.

Rheem is one of the companies that is excelling in smart features. The heater comes with several heating options that you can turn and off with just the tap of a finger in the app. It also has settings and more control over heat outputs.

Want to see alerts and status updates? You can run diagnostics and get help for a poor performing unit if you notice problems. Your unit may also warn you of issues, such as power failures that may need to be addressed if the unit suffers an issue.

Alternatives to the Tankless Water Heater

You really only have a couple other options if you don’t want to get a demand water heater. The storage heater is typical for every home in America, and it’s still the most popular heater worldwide. The other option is purchasing a standalone drum of water with a solar power heater. These are very effective for short-term and camping uses predominantly.

Solar Powered Tankless Water Heater Drums

Solar Power Tankless Water HeaterYou can typically find these drums of water at hardware and home improvement stores, as well as camping stores. These typically have a solar panel and drum attached that can contain anywhere from 30 gallons to 100 gallons of water at a time. There are also solar water systems that have a solar dome construction. Most of these units range in price from $100 to over $2,000. This typically depends on the drum size and brand. A larger drum made for 50 gallons typically costs closer to $2000.

Many of the manufacturers and brands that sell tankless options started with standing storage tanks. There are some advantages to using storage tanks if you want to save on investment. However, tankless water heaters last longer and give you more energy efficiency overall.

This is a quick look into comparisons between storage heaters and tankless options.

Tankless Heaters vs Storage Heaters

storage vs tankless water heaterMost homes have a storage heater, especially if built before 2010. Even then, most builders continue to include storage heaters because they are cheaper and easier to install on the fly. They typically hold between 30 and 50 gallons of water at a time, and they can heat the water until it’s needed. The large tank stores the water so you always have hot water until you drain the tank.

A pipe at the top of the heater delivers hot water to the different areas of your home, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or other faucets. Typically, a storage tank will use electricity or natural gas to heat up the water. Natural gas conventional tanks use 50% less energy and cost less to operate than an electric storage heater. This is opposite to the tankless water heater that uses less energy with an electric version.

However, storage tanks cost a bit more to operate overall than an electric or gas tankless heater. They also have a temperature and pressure-release valve that allows pressure to escape when it exceeds a certain level. This is a great safety measure for keeping homes more efficient and avoiding blown water pipes.

Which is More Energy Efficient for Heating

If you don’t use a lot of water in your home and don’t need to heat water every day, meaning that you typically use a combined total of 40 gallons or less, then you get more energy efficiency with a tankless water heater. However, you get less energy efficiency if you use a lot of hot water and need to simultaneously run several appliances that are using hot water at the same time.

This becomes an issue if you are running the dishwasher at the same time as you shower. While storage tanks may be able to handle this issue, you won’t be able to get the kind of energy needed to get hot water to both water faucets at the same time with a tankless option.

Pricing for Tankless vs Storage Heaters

Reviews of Tankless Water HeaterTankless units are the latest technology, so they typically cost over $1,000 in most cases. You will end up spending a bit more on installation and removing any previous tanks so that your home is ready for installation as well. With a storage tank, you can purchase for less than $200 in most cases for a small home. It depends on the model how much you will spend on the initial investment, but homeowners are looking at saving more with a tankless option over the duration of the product.

This is because tankless options are more energy efficient and provide a higher use of water on-demand than a storage tank that is constantly using water to store the tank. You get less water waste as well, making it a great option if you want to build a water-saving home that doesn’t have as high utility costs as when you use a storage tank.

Tankless water heaters allow you to save money over time, which doesn’t happen with a storage tank. You will be able to save $100 per year with an Energy Star rated demand heater. You can also use solar power to decrease your savings, even more, becoming your own sustainable water heating source.

Which Lasts Longer: Tankless vs Storage Heaters

Studies have shown that tankless water heaters beat out storage heaters time and time again. This has a lot to do with modern construction, as manufacturers are building these heaters from steel and PVC pipes. They also don’t have issues dealing with storage tank leaks or rust like traditional models as well.

The government performed a study that showed tankless water heaters lasted 20 years on average. In comparison, storage tank heaters only lasted about 10 years on average, with the most being 15 years.

Shorter Warranties for Storage Heaters

In addition, manufacturers don’t guarantee that a storage heater will work as long as a tankless unit as well. Many of the warranties do not last beyond five years, whereas you can get a 15-year warranty from Rheem, Rinnai, and Navien. This is likely because these storage heaters will not last long, and you’ll need to replace parts.

Drawbacks of Tankless Heaters in Comparison to Storage Tank Heaters

Tankless Water Heater FunctionThere are some things that you should look out for when you start on your journey to a more efficient home. You can pay less for a used tankless heater to avoid some of these issues.

In general, tankless options do cost more than storage tank heaters initially. You can pay $500 for a good storage heater, but you will likely spend over $1000 for a decent tankless option that matches the same quality.

Heater installation of a tankless unit is very costly, as you will have to remove the storage tank, and you may need to relocate utility lines in order to run the unit properly. If you choose to retrofit a demand water heater, then your plumber and installation will take more time to get the unit installed, which adds on to the overall price.

Tankless heaters are not always as fast or as hot as storage tanks. This is because the storage tank is continuously heating up the water in the tank and making it ready for consumption. When you have a tankless option, it only heats the water that you use.

While this is more efficient, it’s not a great option if you only have one tankless heater and multiple appliances that you want to run at the same time. This can cause issues with output and ultimately stress your system if you are running multiple hot water lines at once.

Overall, tankless water heaters should be used for efficiency and lower costs over time. If you want the ultimate energy-saving home, then using solar panels in addition to a tankless option will increase your energy efficiency and savings.

Further links and sources

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/tankless-or-demand-type-water-heaters
https://www.neyerplumbing.com/blog/water-heater-service/a-short-history-of-the-amazing-tankless-water-heater/
https://www.statista.com/statistics/700116/tankless-water-heater-market-value-share-by-region/
https://www.fastwaterheater.com/water-heaters/tankless/
https://www.rinnai.us/tankless-water-heater/accessories
https://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/tankless-water-heater-guide/article
https://www.petro.com/plumbing/hot-water-heaters/tankless-hot-water-heaters-vs-tank-storage-water-heaters

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