For a person like me – who considers “hating winters” as a hobby, the best tankless water heaters were a great discovery. They provide hot, searing water 24*7 while also keeping energy bills down. What’s more, since they are slimmer than their traditional counterparts, the best tankless water heaters require a modicum of storage space. Consequently, you don’t have to shuffle your whole house up and down to accommodate them.
It is where this article comes into play.
To save you from a nerve-wracking expedition, we embarked on the journey to find the best tankless water heaters. And as the list mentioned below might tell, we ended up with not one, not two, but TEN top rated tankless water heaters.
- 1-Ecosmart ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater
- 2-Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 24 kW
- 3-Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series, Concentric/Twin Pipe Installation
- 4-Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater
- 5-Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing High-Efficiency Indoor Tankless Water Heater
- 6-Bosch Thermo Technology Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
- 7-Rheem RTEX 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater
- 8-Eemax EEM24027(Electric)
- 9-Eccotemp FVI-12-LP Propane Tankless Water Heater
- 10-Atmor AT-D18TP-AZ Instant Tankless Water Heater
- 1.Flow rate
- 2.The power source
1-Ecosmart ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater
Talking about tankless water heater brands, the name of Ecosmart sits right there at the top of the pyramid. That said, it wasn’t the brand name which earned the ECO27 a place in this list. Rather, it was its features which forced us to coronate it as the best tankless water heater.
All of us, when shopping for new products, look for the ones that provide the best value for money.
Having looked at the pros and cons of this tankless water heater, I’ve to say that it provides the best value for money.
Even when the outside temperature is as low as 37*F, this heater stays true to its word by providing a flow rate of 3GPM. Provided the weather gets a little bit warmer, its flow rate will jump to as high as 6GPM. As a result, you can easily run two showers simultaneously on this heater.
Moreover, its running cost is negligible. Using the trademark ECO 27 self-modulating technology, it makes sure the heater draws energy only when it needs it. This technology leads to increased energy savings and a high heater efficiency.
To give you the belief that it will last ages, Ecosmart has used Copper and Stainless steel components as the heater’s parts. Most people know that both these components don’t rust easily, a fact which is true. However, what most people don’t know is the conduction of both these substances.
In other words, both copper and stainless steel have the ability to withstand high temperatures, while transmitting the heat from one end to the other. Consequently, while the heater is efficient on its own, both these components combine to make it durable.
Ecosmart claims that they provide this heater with a lifetime warranty. However, most customers after firsthand experience came to know that the number of clauses in the warranty document is so complex that it is nearly impossible for anyone to claim warranty.
2-Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 24 kW
Apart from my hatred towards winters, another reason why I turned to tankless water heaters is because of their low noise. However, as I later found out, not all tankless water heaters operate quietly. Luckily, the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus does operate in silence.
Why is it quiet? This was the first question after I did the search. As I later found out, there were two reasons. First, this heater has high-grade electronic parts and a reliable cover, both of whom don’t vibrate.
Second, it has NO mechanical switches. Both these facts combine to allow this heater to do its work in silence.
One major complaint most users have with various tankless units is their inability to maintain the temperature on higher flow rates. In other words, their water temperature comes down the moment its output increases.
This heater, thanks to its Advanced Flow Control technology, won’t do that. This technology forms the backbone of this heater, which means that no matter how much you experiment with the flow rate, the water temperature will remain constant.
Also, while electric heaters can be installed anywhere, this unit, thanks to its extra-sleek design, is perfect for one or two room studio apartments. It means that if space is a luxury you don’t have, you need to get this heater.
Finally, while the best tankless water heaters are already energy efficient, this heater has further upped the ante by its self-modulating technology. As implied by its name, this technology will modify the heater in such a manner by which its energy intake will remain constant.
Despite giving a generous three-year limited warranty, Stiebel warns you that you have to hire its licensed personnel to install the product to keep the warranty valid.
3-Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series, Concentric/Twin Pipe Installation
Although tankless water heaters are energy-efficient, some people want the running cost to be even lower. For those persons, here is a heater from Rinnai which, by operating on natural gas, will further bring down their energy bills.
The biggest problem most users have with Natural Gas Heaters is the nuisance of venting. To nip this evil in its bud, Rinnai has equipped the RUC98iN with two venting options: concentric-PVC and twin-pipe.
You can select any one which you find easy to install and start getting hot water from the heater.
If you live in a large house – or has a big family, you can take solace from the fact that this heater – without breaking a sweat, can supply searing hot waters to multiple faucets and showers simultaneously, with no interruption whatsoever.
To put it quantitatively, this heater can provide hot water at a flow rate as high as 9.8GPM. This flow rate, in turn, stems from the natural gas intake which varies from 15,200 to 199,000BTU. That is, if you can afford to pump its required gas, it will give you your desired water flow rate.
Another concern which most users have with gas water heaters is their effects on the environment. People believe that these heaters pump an astronomical amount of carbon into the atmosphere, thereby polluting it.
However, this concern is sent packing by the 0.95efficiency rating achieved by this heater. In fact, look around, and you will be hard-pressed to find a gas heater with an efficiency rating as high as this one.
Judging from the tankless water heater reviews, users have two major problems with this heater. First, they complain that it is the bulkiest gas heater they have ever seen – a complaint which looks solid when you see the weight of this heater. Second, they believe that it is difficult to install.
4-Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater
There are heaters that provide a decent water supply. Then there are those which provide a good water supply. Finally, there are those which provide a HUGE water supply. The Rheem RTGH-95DVLN belongs to the last category.
As you know already, a high water flow rate isn’t enough if the accompanying technologies cannot compliment it. Put simply, a heater which, while delivering a good water flow rate, records temperature fluctuations, isn’t good.
This heater, however, thanks to its stainless steel heat exchanger, isn’t one of those heaters. Rather, it gives you the option to connect both vents when the water demand is high.
Consequently, you can draw maximum water without having to worry about the temperature fluctuations.
You might ask: how does it do that? Well, say hello to its power consumption specifications. For, when running at full throttle, this unit consumes as much as 199BTUs. That doesn’t mean that it wastes a lot of energy. Rather, since it has a 94%energy rating, it will lower your energy bills while meeting your aggravated hot water needs.
As for the heat output, this heater has been designed to handle temperature as low as -30*F. What’s more, Rheem can operate at elevations as high as 9,800ft. Hence, if you are a mountain resident, this is the unit you need to have.
Although you are guaranteed of a mammoth water supply, you’re gonna have to be a little patient. The water takes some time to heat.
5-Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing High-Efficiency Indoor Tankless Water Heater
Heaters running on electricity can spike your bills quite high. To minimize the flow of your money, Takagi designed this brilliant model that runs on propane. While keeping your bills minimal, the Takagi T-H3-DV-N performs satisfyingly.
What I liked most about this heater was the massive flow rate. The heater is capable of supplying hot water at a rate of 10 GPM. This can mean that four showers and three kitchen sinks can fully rely on it for a consistent flow of heated water.
The impressive flow rate is seen to it by a commercial-grade copper alloy that performs 25 times better than stainless steel. And to keep corrosion at bay, a 316L stainless steel is used.
From my own experience, unstable water temperatures can be annoying. With this great model, random cold water surprises are a thing of the past.
You no longer have to worry about safety. Thanks to the featured computerized safety function. No freezing, surges or overheating. Also, no pilot light to waste your gas.
If you are a fan of environmental conservation, the emission rate will delight you. It goes in compliance with the 2012 Ultra-low Nox regulation of less than 14 nanograms per joule.
The professional installation of the ventilators calls for extra costs.
6-Bosch Thermo Technology Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
Even though tankless heaters provide hot water quickly, instant water is a superior feature. This model is designed perfectly with much finesse. The mini-tank, which is small enough to fit under the sink, makes sure that you get your hot water promptly.
I know you already hate this model because of the tank. You should not. Despite the mini-tank, the heater is ultra-light and boasts of a compact design. Don’t worry if your space is limited, you can place this heater anywhere imaginable.
The small tank (that you already hate) can hold up to four gallons of hot water. This means a 4 GPM instant flow rate. This water flows out instantly, and you don’t have to wait for the temperature to rise.
About the installation, no experts are needed. Connecting it to a power source and enjoying hot water has been made easy by the convenient three-pin plug. Also, the cord ranges between 36 and 37 inches.
What else should you hear? The lifespan? This model is very durable. The heating elements are made of glass-linings which can last for decades!
Although easy to install and operate, it is not suitable for bathrooms.
7-Rheem RTEX 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Being the successor of the Rheem RTE 13, the RTEX 13 had big boots to fill. However, despite the fact that it is relatively new, it’s already winning hearts with its user-friendly, reliable performance.
The most praiseworthy feature of this heater, apart from its price, is its flow rate. A four GPM (Gallons Per Minute) flow rate means it allows you to run hot water on a shower as well as a low-rated kitchen tap at the same time.
This impressive flow rate, however, shouldn’t suggest that this top-rated tankless water heater isn’t compact.
In fact, even if you live in a studio apartment, the 9 x 4 x 13’’ dimensions mean it won’t occupy much storage space.
Apart from its compact size, another thing which makes this heater ideal for small houses is the source of its power supply.
Yes, propane is cheaper than electricity, but you cannot use the former in confined spaces. Keeping this fact in mind, Rheem decided to provide this heater with an electric power source. It means you can use it wherever you like without worrying about things i.e. ventilation, gas pipes etc.
After low price, most users demand devices which give them maximum control. The Rheem RTX 13, by allowing you to adjust its temperature with increments of 1*F, does just that. What’s more, there is also a thermostat located on its outside with an LED display, making it easier for you to set the temperature at the desired level.
If you have a large household or use two hot water showers simultaneously, the 3.17 GPM flow rate provided by this heater isn’t enough. You may as well consider the Rheem RTEX-18 with 4.4 GPM.
Eemax has been in the industry for almost three decades now. The EEM24027 allows you to save a remarkable amount of energy while giving you an exquisite supply of hot water at the same time.
The most noticeable feature is the stylish self-adjustment mechanism. With this digital technology, the energy consumption rate adjusts itself according to your water usage. Consequently, only a negligible amount of energy goes to waste.
The temperature is adjustable between 80° to 140° with increments of 1° F.
This stylish heater is also sleek in design. This, however, does not hamper its performance. For warmer climates, it can simultaneously supply hot water for three showers and two sinks. For cold-climate places, it can sufficiently serve one shower and two sinks.
One thing not to forget is how easy it is to replace the heating elements.
The modern digital temperature display and control makes it straightforward to operate.
This one is not for you if you are fond of extremely hot waters. The maximum water temperature is 105° F.
9-Eccotemp FVI-12-LP Propane Tankless Water Heater
The compact is one word that seems synonymous with tankless water heaters. Still, if you want to see a heater that is compact to the bone, the Eccotemp FVI-12 is worthy of your attention.
The Smallest Tankless Water Heater!
The most important – yet the most underrated feature, of this best tankless water heater, is its weight. Yes, since it weighs only, holds your breath, 20lbs, this tankless unit is one of the most lightweight on the market. Its 2*15*24 dimensions also complement its weight meaning if you don’t have a large space to store water heaters, you need the Eccotem FVI-12.
For its lean size, the FVI-12-LP’s maximum flow rate of 3.4GPM seems an anomaly.
However, having tested the heater, I could testify that it can provide to one shower and one, low-rated faucet at the same time.
Energy efficiency is yet another notable aspect of this heater. While it has a 20lb propane tank – and takes in 110W while running on full throttle, this heater draws only 2W while it is sitting idle. Consequently, it won’t amp up your energy bills while sitting idle.
Finally, this heater is very easy to operate. On its front, there are two knobs: one for gas and the other for water temperature regulation. These are the only two mechanical switches you’d see on the heater. Alongside these knobs is an LCD screen displaying water temperature at any instance.
What’s more, turn it around, and you’d see three pipe openings on the heater’s back: water inlet, hot water outlet, and gas inlet. More importantly, all three of them are labeled. Hence, if you want to install the heater without any help from a professional, it won’t give you a tough time.
Although it has a small size, you still cannot use this heater in a confined space for its venting has to be ported outside.
10-Atmor AT-D18TP-AZ Instant Tankless Water Heater
When I was going through this tankless water heater’s reviews, I found three reasons to include it on our list: it is compact, easy to operate, and also provides a considerable flow rate for its price.
Giving a lesson to other, high priced, best tankless water heaters, this one has a feature which most of them don’t: a water sensor.
Subsequently, the moment you turn off the tap, the sensor will turn off the heating. Consequently, it brings down your energy bills to a negligible level.
User-friendliness is the other feature adopted by this instant water heater. Though containing nothing fancy – it has only one knob underneath a digital thermostat, this device is a cinch to operate. In fact, even kids could operate this heater without any danger.
After user-friendliness, safety is another badge worn by this heater. All of its internal components are IPS4 certified, which means they will remain dry and safe. Consequently, the chances of them malfunctioning to damage nearby elements are slim.
Finally, despite its relatively low price tag, this heater has a feature that only the best tankless water heaters can boast of a self-modulating system. This system delivers major energy savings while delivering the recommended flow rate.
Even for such a low price, users complained that the 3.7GPM flow rate provided by this heater is simply not enough.
How does a tankless heater work?
Unlike the traditional tanked heaters, these ones don’t require heating a certain amount of water first. When the tap is turned on, cold water flows through a pipe into the heating unit, converting it hot instantly. The flow rate is however not as remarkable as the tanked ones’.
Why a tankless water heater?
- They save a lot of energy. They heat water only with the tap open, unlike the tanked ones which always keep hot water in the tank that may end up unused.
- They are sleekly designed hence occupy less space. No tanks to waste your valuable space.
- They heat water instantly. You don’t have to wait for the water in the tank to get hot.
- They have a longer lifespan as compared to the tanked ones.
- They can supply water simultaneously to different entities.
Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Tankless Water Heater
Enough with the reviews now. If you’re going to purchase a tankless water tank, you’ll have to pick the one that best matches your needs. Tankless heaters differ in many aspects and choosing the right one can sometimes be hectic. Here are the critical factors you need to consider:
This should be determined by the size of your household or your hot water needs. While some heaters can supply water for the bathroom, sinks, and a faucet simultaneously, others can only supply for a single entity. This is where the flow rate becomes relevant.
If your house is three bedroomed, with numerous bathrooms and sinks, then the kind of heater to get should have at least a 6 GPM flow rate.
On the other hand, if you are a bachelor living alone in a one-bedroom, even the Bosch Mini-tank (with a maximum flow rate of 4 GPM) could be good for you.
The number of pipes that require hot running water will help you estimate your desired flow rate.
2.The power source
You can either go for the gas-powered or the electric-powered. Each has its own pros and cons. Choose according to your needs and financial capabilities:
They are the most powerful and heat water at fast speeds. However, these good services require you to dig deeper into your pockets.
First, an upgrade of your gas supply line is needed. This can be costly and time-consuming.
It is also important to note that they are continuous consumers. The pilot light for gas heaters is always on, whether you need hot water or not. The result is high usage of your propane. To avoid such energy wastages, choose a heater that has an electronic ignition device. The device will allow you to turn the pilot light on or off promptly.
Installation of gas heaters can also be costly. Putting up the mandatory vent pipes poses challenges and requires professional tackling. Inappropriate installation can compromise the product’s warranty or cause other risks and, therefore, you will need to hire an expert.
The vent pipes should also be tough enough to withstand the high temperatures from the combustion zone. This means extra money from your pocket.
Most of the gases are big-sized and occupy a notable space. The gas cans contribute greatly to this. They are therefore suitable for houses with the luxury of space.
Gas heaters also come with high price tags.
Regular maintenance thereafter is also required. The vent pipes need to be constantly checked to ensure maximum ventilation.
They are less powerful than the gas-powered and offer lower flow rates. If you need a lot of flowing hot water, an electricity upgrade is inevitable.
On the good side, they are energy efficient. Some of them offer an energy efficiency of up to 99%.
Installation is straight forward. This you can accomplish yourself. You don’t require to spend a cent on installation experts. An electricity upgrade might cost you hundreds of dollars, but generally, installing electric tankless heaters is cheaper than installing the former.
Another good thing is that they are sleek and occupy little space.
For electric heaters, little maintenance is needed. Some modern heaters even come with self-maintenance features.
Be sure to buy a water heater whose operation is straightforward. Luckily, with the advancing technology, easy operation is a guarantee. Some heaters feature digital displays and only a few control buttons. Others have gone to the extent of employing auto-regulation mechanisms, which are, in the long run, useful.