Best Tankless Water Heaters Reviews: Compare Top Deals (May. 2018)

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​So, let’s be realistic about something for a second, shall we? If those of you reading this are homeowners, there is a very good chance that within the next five to ten years — depending on when you bought the last one — that you will be replacing your current water heating system that provides hot water to you and all of the other residents of your home. Now, if you are anything like me (before my latest replacement) and most of the current societal demographic, you currently own a traditional, storage-tank-style hot water tank that is sitting in a storage closet or a basement taking up quite a bit of space and electricity to provide the hot water needs of your family. Well, hopefully like I did this last time around, you will gladly consider changing over to the newest, most efficient type of water heating system to hit the market in the last 50 or so years — the best tankless water heaters.

​Top Rated Tankless Water Heater – Our Picks

​For you to find the best tankless water heater possible, you need to be able to quickly compare and contrast makes and models. The chart below will help you quickly see which water heaters will work for your home and which ones will not.

What’s a Best Tankless Water Heater

​So, you may or may not have heard of this new type of technology, to put it quite simply — a tankless water heater is just that — a water heater without a tank. The system itself is generally a small box that hangs on the wall with the internal components necessary to heat water on-demand as it passes through the system. With one of these heaters installed, gone are the days of sitting around for 20-30 minutes while your storage tank fills up and then is slowly heated. With these tankless systems, the water is drawn through the device, which then heat water only when needed to be used. A flow sensor turns on the gas burner or electric element after cold water is drawn up when the hot water tap is turned on. In turn, a part called a heat exchanger rapidly heats up the water to the temperature pre-set by the end user (that’s you!). Other than that, the principle by which the water is heated is actually very similar to that of a traditional storage tank heater, but again, the water is only heated by the components as it is needed. By operating in such a manner, these systems actually perform with better efficiency than traditional storage tank heaters, which will be described in great detail below. Additionally, there is a second type of tankless heater, certified by ENERGY STAR, called a “gas condensing” tankless heater that takes advantage of a second heat exchanger to pull more heat from the initial gas combustion. These “gas condensing” heaters require a little bit of an extensive undertaking, requiring a ventilation system for installation, but have benefits of their own as well, also to be described in the following sections.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work?

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​Description

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    ​When a hot water tap is opened the unit detects the flow.
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    ​The flow sensor activates to determine the amount of hot water needed.
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    ​The igniter activates.
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    ​The gas control valve opens to supply the correct amount of gas.
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    ​The fan and venturi activate to provide the correct amount of gas and fuel.
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    ​The premix burner ignites providing a flame to heat the water.
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    ​Cold water is pre heated in the secondary heat exchanger.
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    ​Pre heated water passes from the secondary to the primary heat exchanger.
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    ​The unit determines outgoing set temperature and adjusts the flame to heat the water
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    ​Heated water moves to the buffer tank
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    ​Desired hot water amount delivered to the faucet.

​Tankless vs Tank Water Heater

​As technology advances in our society, we usually see the main benefits of upgrading to this new type of technology realized as coming in the form of increased convenience, smaller size, more efficient operation, and most importantly, improved ease of use by the consumer. All of these benefits can be seen in the new tankless water heaters hitting the market versus the old storage-tank types that we all grew up with. First and foremost, the most obvious benefit to the new tankless system is going to be easily realized with the smaller size of these systems. However, there are benefits that extend far beyond the smaller size, and they can be easily summed up as followed:

​Better Safety and Cleaner Water

​With a tankless system, you will immediately notice a benefit of cleaner water, because as you only use the hot water as you need it, you will avoid having to use water that has been store inside of a tank that has been gathering scale and rust over the years. You will also immediately place yourself and your family at less of a chance for scalding water to make it through the pipes and faucets, thereby preventing your children from suffering from unnecessary burns.

Longer Lasting Technology

​Tankless water heaters generally have a lifespan that is twice as long as traditional heaters with a storage tank. This means that your new tankless water heater may last as long as 20 years before needing replacements! Better yet, most manufacturers provide much longer warranties than they do on their storage-tank counterparts, meaning that any repairs will cost much less for a lot longer!

Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly

​Tankless heaters not only save you space in your home, but they also save you money on your energy bill! That’s right, most households actually end up seeing a decrease in their utility bill by up to 40% of the total bill. Now, that’s money directly in your pocket, meaning more free money for the things that matter in life. Furthermore, if you are concerned about our environment like I am, you can rest assured that you are doing your fair share by buying a tankless water system, as they are up to 30% more efficient than their tanked relatives!

The Convenience of On-Demand Hot Water

​Tankless systems heat the water as you need it, we have discussed that. What this also means, though, is that they also heat the water not only as you need it, but for as long as you need it! This means no more cold water in the middle of your long shower after a hard day’s work and no more waiting for another of your member of your household to get done with his/her shower before running the dishwasher or washing machine.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters (Gas or Electric)

​Now, just like a regular storage-tank heater, tankless water heaters come in gas and electric types. If you live in a home that only has the ability to run an electric type, then your decision has been made for you. However, if you live in a part of the country and in a home that uses gas as a source of energy and heating, you may be wondering what type is the best? Well, there is really no simple answer to this, as it will depend on your preferences, your current home set up, and what is important to you. Let’s look at a few of the factors that may help you determine which is best for your family:

Initial Cost

​If you are the type of person who cannot afford a large, lump-sum initial investment, then the electric type may be for you. These generally costs quite a bit less up-front ($500-700) than their gas cousins ($1,000 and above), especially when dealing with very high-quality systems.

Efficiency/Cost of Ownership

​This is another area that is a huge deciding factor. Gas-type tankless heaters are about 85% efficient, while most electric tankless heaters are approximately 98% efficient or higher. Now, while the cost of natural gas may be slightly lower than electricity, this benefit is generally lost because of the better efficiency of the electric units. Also, gas prices can fluctuate at a much faster pace than electricity.
Ongoing operating costs, however, are where gas heaters win the battle. While they may lose about 10%-15% on the efficiency side of things, they can make up for this by costing about 10%-15% less to operate over the long term, taking into consideration replaceable parts and repair costs. This can also depend on whether your area is services by liquid propane gas or by natural gas.

Installation

​Electric water heaters are very small with straightforward installation requirements and can be stored in a place as convenient as a closet. Gas types are slightly larger and require pretty complex combustion/venting systems and must be installed in an area suitable to both. The electric tank is definitely the winner in this category.

Homeowner Preference and Water Usage Needs/Habits

​Some people simply feel that gas is unsafe. These people who live in areas where gas is a necessity for heating during the winter may want to limit or even eliminate the need for any other gas appliances. In this case, the electric tankless heater will always be the better option. Environmentally-concerned homeowners will also go with the electric type, because even though both types of tankless systems are more eco-friendly than tank-style heaters, the electric tankless is the most eco-friendly of them all. On the other hand, while the 3-8 gallons per minute that can be supplied by electric heaters may be enough for most families, there may be some that require more than that, and in this case, they may want to opt for a larger gas system.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Should I Buy?

​When it comes to tankless water heaters, like with all things, size does matter. There are a few things to consider when choosing the right size of a tankless water heater for your house or business that may not seem quite the same as when purchasing the old storage-tank type.

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​Running a real world example from steps 1 and 2, let’s assume that your average shower will be 105 degrees and will use 3.75 gallons of water. If you want to run two showers at once and your incoming water temp is 65 degrees, you will need to make sure that your new tankless system can produce a 40 degree rise in temperature at 7.5 gallons per minute.

​Some other notes include using a reference point of 2.75 gallons per minute for a shower and around 1 gallon per minute for bathroom usage when determining your total concurrent water needs. It is very important that you do not underestimate this calculation, so going a little to the high end of your estimate would probably serve you the best benefit.

How Much will a New Tankless Water Heater Cost Me?

​This is going to be, by far, one of the most important questions that you have while considering whether or not to switch from the antiquated storage-tank-style water heater over to the newer and more efficient and convenient tankless water heater. The good news here is that there are tankless water heaters that are very comparable to your current storage-tank heater, believe it or not. For example, while you may be able to get a budget electric tank-style heater brand-new from a major retailer for about $379.00; you can also get a pretty nice tankless system for the budget conscious consumer for only around $100 more than that. You will save that $100 in operating costs within the first couple of months, though, believe me! Now, you are not concerned about initial costs and are looking for a high-end tankless system that you will have absolutely no worries with, you can look to spend at least $700-1000 for an electric system and between $1200 to $1500 for a high-end gas tankless system. Otherwise, you can find products in between the low end of that spectrum all the way up to $2500 to $6000 or more for a fancy solar-powered type. You must take into consideration your installation costs as well, which will be more for a gas system than an electric one.

Best Tankless Water Heaters Reviews

​You will see a review under five stars here. Browse this group of products and you’re sure to find a new favorite that holds up to the highest standards.

​This FIVE-STAR electric heater boasts whole-house heating with digital temperature control, proven reliability, and a low-profile design that will fit in your tiniest of spaces. The 24 plus offers a higher flow capacity than the 20 plus. The estimated electric bill savings for this model are between 15% to 20% per month! The manufacturer advertises this specific unit as the most technologically-advanced tankless system on the market today. If you have well water, install an inline filter before the water inlet to keep your heater working great.

​If you didn’t like Takagi water heaters before, you will like them now. This tankless gas-powered system boasts a 6.6 GPM max flow rate with a 140,000 BTU heating output. The cost for this system is very affordable, but since it is an indoor gas system, look to pay a little bit more for installation, as it does require 4-inch category III stainless steel venting for installation. Other features include inlet/outlet thermistors for constant temperature monitoring, ensuring that your water is the temperature that you want it to be, when you want it to be. Also included are a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a 5-year warranty on parts.

​This gas-powered heater is one of the more high-end heaters out there that is packed full of amazing features. Those who wish to purchase a top-of-the-line and sleekly designed heater will not be disappointed. It is digitally-controlled with an MC-91-1US Error Code Indicator so you do not have to guess at any problems that may arise. It has a 10,300 – 180,000 BTU heating capacity, 82% thermal efficiency, and temperature settings between 98-140 degrees for residential usage. Its water usage capacity comes in at WHOPPING 7.5 gallons per minutes, which is enough hot water that even the largest family can take simultaneous hot showers without losing hot water. Since this is an advanced gas system, installation costs will probably be a little high, but if you can afford a high-end water heater, this is probably the least of your concerns. Comes with a 12-year warranty on heat exchanger and a 5-year warranty on parts as well as a 1-year labor warranty on residential installs.

​This is an outdoor natural gas tankless heater with a 6.4 gallon per minute flow capability. Obviously, this does not come with the convenience of being able to be installed inside a closet, but on the other hand, by being installed outside, the venting requirements associated with most gas-type tankless systems are not necessary with this system. Also, being installed outside means that this takes up the least amount of square footage inside your home as possible — ZERO! It comes with a remote control for temperature control and puts off fewer emissions than many other gas-powered appliances. Like the high-end systems above, it is also 82% thermally efficient with an all-copper heat exchanger. Being an outdoor model, it must be hard-wired into your electrical system much in the same way that a heat pump or air conditioner is, which means that you may pay a little bit more for installation than if it plugged into to a wall-outlet — but this cost should be highly offset by the lower cost of the unit itself. This is an amazing offering from Rheem with a more than capable flow capability that will allow for multiple simultaneous hot water applications at the same time.

The Tankless Water Heater by Eccotemp comes with some useful features you will want to consider when purchasing a water heater. This water heater includes a 9-foot gas regulator and hose, approved by the CSA. This hose is a standard for a 20 lb grill style tank. This allows for flexible usage that can assist with a wide variety of needs. Lastly, the tank is powered by liquid propane gas. Making it efficient for quickly heating your water.

The entire tank includes a stainless steel rain cap, providing weatherproof protection. It also provides ease of mine with a 20-minute automatic safety shutoff timer. The 20-minute mark is reset every time the water begins. This timer allows the user to save energy and not have to consistently watch over the heater.

​What we Like

  • ​Easy to use water temperature and pressure controls
  • ​Battery powered ignition, 2 D batteries are required but not included with the product
  • ​Mobile making it perfect for outdoor showers needed when camping or cleaning before entering home
  • ​Can be enjoyed by dogs, horses, or other animals needing a bath or some warm water
  • ​Can easily be used with any available showered or hose, providing you more options for various use

​What we don't Like

  • ​Needs monitoring when being used in temperatures below freezing
  • ​Some users found the battery placement a poor decision
  • ​Some users had issues with the water tank leaking
  • ​Some users have found difficulties with customer service when troubleshooting

A water heater designed to save you energy and space. This infrared electric hot tankless water heater may come with a slim design, but it is packed with powerful technology. Not only will this slim water heater warm up your water to the sufficient temperatures, but it will do so without having any excess hot water. This alone will save you money. After using this product for a while you will find the savings makes this a high-quality investment.

In addition to providing efficient water heating, you will not have to worry about corrosion or bacteria and algae forming in your water or on your plumbing products. This minimizes potential hygiene and operation issues that may arise during usage. When issues do occur you can be comforted in knowing there is free maintenance with your purchase.

​What we Like

  • ​Perfect for areas with high calcium or limescale deposits, this includes areas experiencing hard water or pulling from well water
  • ​Save money, energy, and space compared to traditional water heaters
  • ​Slim design, making it perfect for a wider variety of homes or locations
  • ​Will not have to worry about other products or plumbing in home facing corrosion or limescale deposit damage

​What we Don't Like

  • ​Some users have found issues with the specifics in the Amazon listing, be sure to confirm what you are purchasing before buying
  • ​Some users found issues with the product overheating
  • ​Some users found issue after prolonged use
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