Owning the best tankless water heater is a great way to save money and space. It’s no secret that large, space-consuming tank storage water heaters drive up the energy bill by storing hot water when it is not needed, all the while taking up space that could instead be used for storage as well.
Fortunately, there is a better way, which is switching from a tank storage water heater to one of the best tankless water heaters on the market in 2018. By switching to a top-rated tankless water heater, you will not only save precious space inside of your home, but you will also be able to save money each month on your energy bill.
One of the main concerns I hear from others who are skeptical of switching to a tankless water heater is that they cost much more than tank storage water heaters initially. Although this is true in some instances, people who invest in one of the best instant hot water heaters see a significant return on their investment down the road. With that said, all the tankless hot water heaters you see on this review guide are affordable initially when compared against tank storage water heaters.
In this review guide of the best tankless water heaters you will learn what exactly a tankless water heater is, how it works, the numerous benefits of a tankless water heater, and how to install a tankless water heater in your home. And of course, you will see some of the best tankless hot water heaters – which are backed with fantastic reviews – on the market in 2018. First here’s a quick guide to our top picks:
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless hot water heaters, which are also known as on demand hot water heaters, use high power burners to rapidly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger and deliver it directly to your faucets or showers without storing it in a tank.
Traditionally speaking, most homeowners have used tank storage hot water heaters as a means to store their hot water. Unlike an on demand hot water heater, a tank storage water heater takes up space and is required to constantly store hot water with the inability to instantly heat water when needed.
However, tankless hot water heaters are becoming more and more prevalent. Although the price has often scared homeowners away from making the switch to an on demand hot water heater in the past, many are starting to realize the massive savings they will have over time by investing in an energy efficient water heater. Not to mention, the prices on tankless water heaters have started to drop quite significantly as the demand for them has trended up.
In essence, a tankless hot water heater works by only heating water as it is needed instead of storing hot water throughout the day to stay ready. Subsequently, tankless water heaters save homeowners a ton of money on energy costs and the actual size of the water heater is about that of a small box, which saves homeowners a great deal of space as well.
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How a Tankless Water Heater Works
As we have already mentioned, a tankless hot water heater basically works by rapidly heating water whenever it is needed using high-power burners that serve as a heat exchanger. Because an on demand hot water heater can heat water instantly, it doesn’t require water storage in order to assure timely warm water whenever it is needed.
Here is a step-by-step guide to exactly how a tankless hot water heater works in order to provide a more in-depth answer.
Getting Things Started
Upon turning a faucet to a shower, sink, etc., cold water will begin to pour into the tankless water heater from the connected pipes. The initial stage of water which has not yet been heated will begin to quickly gather in the bottom of the tankless water heater and then proceed into the heating process.
The Heating Process
The actual heating process will start once water begins to pass through the heat exchanger, which has an ignited flame in order to heat the two exchangers. As water continues to go through the heat exchanger, it will warm up to the desired temperature instantly and will then be ready to be dispersed out of the faucet.
Adjusting the Temperature
The tankless water heater is able to adjust the strength and output of the flame, so you can easily adjust the temperature – in the very same fashion as you can a tank storage water heater – by simply turning a knob.
Turning Off the Hot Water
After you no longer need the hot water and you shut off the faucet, the cold water stops flowing into the tankless water heater and the flame extinguisher quickly dies down, shutting off as well. At this point, there isn’t any warm water continually being stored, which can help lower the price of the monthly electric bill.
Although this is typically the process of how the average on demand water heater works, every hot water heater is different, and the one you choose might utilize a slightly different process. With that said, all seven that we show on this guide are some of the best tankless water heaters and have a very smooth, simple process of supplying warm water and lowering energy costs.
Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Are you still not sure what all the hype is about with tankless water heaters? Does the elevated price initially still scare you off? I understand that these questions may come up and replacing an already working tank storage water heater can seem unnecessary. However, pulling the trigger and investing in an on demand water heater can bring back a significant return on your investment.
Here are the four main benefits of a tankless water heater.
Benefit #1: Saves Money Over Time
As we have already mentioned – and in general it is the most talked about benefit that you’ve probably heard even before reading this review guide – investing in a top-rated tankless water heater can save you money over time. The reason it is so heavily discussed is because it is true. By ditching the tank and investing in the best instant hot water heater, you can save a great deal of money each month on your electric bill cost.
Benefit #2: Does Not Consume Much Space
A tankless water heater, which is typically around 15” by 15”, doesn’t take up much space at all, so you can have more space for storage or just simply keeping a clean house. Although the water heater unit usually is placed in a room or location that isn’t noticeable, such as a laundry room, garage, or closet, after switching to a tankless water heater you may be surprised by just how often your obnoxious hot water heater tank is noticed and in the way.
Benefit #3: Heats Water Immediately
Arguably the most practical benefit derived from switching from a tank storage water heater to an on demand hot water heater is the fact that you will be able to heat water immediately. Even the best tank storage water heaters take 30 seconds to a minute to warm up. With a tankless water heater however, you can enjoy warm water in a matter of seconds.
Benefit #4: Tankless Water Heaters Last Between 20 and 30 Years
The typical lifespan of a tank storage water heater is between 10 and 15 years. A tankless water heater however, has on average, a doubled lifespan of 20 to 03 years, which means it can potentially last the entire duration of your home mortgage before needing to be replaced. When adding in the fact that you will be able to save more money each month, it is a can’t-miss investment.
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Ranking and Reviewing the Best Tankless Water Heater Options of 2018
So what separates the best tankless water heater from a cheaper version? In order to answer this question, it is important to have an understanding of what exactly to look for when choosing an on demand hot water heater. In other words, you should know the most important considerations to make when choosing the best tankless water heater for you.
Within this review guide, you will learn the most important factors to determine with each tankless water heater before making the final decision. The features that we will focus on specifically in this review guide are the affordability, the design (both aesthetic and practical), the effectiveness, any additional features that may be included, the ease of installation, the durability, and an overall combination of all considerations.
While the quality and quantity of reviews aren’t specifically mentioned in this review guide, be sure to take them into account in order to determine the reliability and past satisfaction of previous clients. Also, keep in mind that prices often change as tankless water heaters are placed on sale, so be sure to take into account your own personal budget, and try and find the best, most affordable option for you without sacrificing the quality in an effort to do so. With that said, all seven options in this list are the best instant hot water heaters on the market today, so you should feel assured that you are getting one of the best on demand hot water heaters at a great price.
Lastly, be sure to take your own personal preference into account. In other words, if there is a particular hot water heater that is ranked higher but one lower on the list matches your specific needs the best, then feel confident choosing the one that fits what you need the most.
Without further ado, let’s get into the best tankless water heater options of 2018.
EcoSmart is a very trusted name within the tankless water heater market, and the EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater is arguably the best on demand tankless water heater on the market – not to mention one of the most affordable ones. For a great combination of quality and price, this is a fantastic option that you are sure to love.
As mentioned, this tankless water heater by EcoSmart is one of the most affordable options on this list and on the market as a whole. There are few on demand hot water heaters that match the combination of effectiveness and price of this tankless hot water heater, which comes in six different options in order for you to get exactly what you need for your particular situation.
The dimensions of the EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater are 17H x 17W x 3.625D inches, although the size varies depending on the model you select. Depending on the model, the weight will also vary anywhere from 4.75 pounds to 17.4 pounds, which is far lighter than any tank storage water heater on the market and on par with most other tankless water heaters.
The temperature range of the EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater is from 80 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for all models. In most cases, this fantastic tankless water heater by EcoSmart saves homeowners up to 50% in water heating costs, which makes a big difference over the course of several years.
The most intriguing feature is the ability to choose from six different options, so you can find the best tankless water heater for your personal needs. You should factor in the weather where you live and the amount of water you plan to use on a daily basis.
Ease of Installation
The EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater is extremely easy to install and use after installation. In order to install, simply connect the on demand water heater with the water pipes, and adjust the settings as needed. After installation, you can easily adjust the temperature setting, and a remote is included to control the flow temperature of the water heater.
This tankless water heater should last just as long, if not significantly longer, as a tank storage water heater, which means you can expect at least 10 years of service out of this option before needing to replace it with a new one. EcoSmart also offers a lifetime warranty on electronic, exchanger, and element.
This is one of the best tankless water heater options for homeowners who are looking to purchase a quality on demand hot water heater at the most affordable rate possible. When considering both the effectiveness and the extremely affordable price, it becomes blatantly clear that the EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater is a great option.
Here’s a quick video showing the benefits of using a tankless water heater
Although the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is typically more expensive than the EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater, it is considered one of the most reliable and trusted top-rated tankless water heater options on the market in 2018, which isn’t a surprise considering the quality design.
This tankless water heater option by Rinnai is one of the more expensive models on this list. With that said, it is one of the more effective on demand water heater options and arguably saves you more money on electric bill costs than various other options. So while it may cost more initially, you can get a return on your investment down the road as you pay less each month on bills.
The Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is very intelligently designed. The dimensions are 10 x 18.5 x 26 inches, which makes for a fantastic space saving option that is easy to install indoors. The weight of this on demand water heater is 82 pounds, so you can easily lift it when needed.
This top-rated tankless water heater has up to a 0.96 energy factor (up to 0.92 uniform energy factor) and ultra low NOx emissions. This natural gas tankless water heater by Rinnai only uses water when it is needed, and there is a faucet on in the house, so you won’t have to worry about unwanted water being stored and driving up electric and water costs.
Although it is only offered in one model and there aren’t many additional features that come along with it, the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is one of the best tankless water heater options on the market and does not need numerous options to choose from and multiple features to get the job done.
Ease of Installation
This on demand water heater by Rinnai is slightly more difficult to install than various other models. However, it can be done by yourself if you are willing to put in the time to do so, and Rinnai has a customer service center there to help you along the way if needed. After installation, this is one of the best instant water heater options there is on the market.
The durability of the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is all but unmatched in the industry. With a typical lifespan that averages well beyond 20 years, there isn’t any need to replace your tankless hot water heater anytime soon with the purchase of this highly durable option presented by Rinnai.
Although it is more expensive than other options on this list, the investment is well worth it when considering the massive savings you are sure to experience over the course of 20 or more years, which is the average lifespan of the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater. If you’re looking for quality, then this may be the best option for you.
Although the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is ranked higher and might be of slightly higher quality, the Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater isn’t far behind in quality and is typically a little less expensive. This water heater by Rheem is extremely trusted among customers due to its excellence in being energy efficient.
Like the previous tankless natural gas water heater, this on demand water heater by Rheem is more expensive than many of the other options on this review guide. However, the quality – other than possibly the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater – is unmatched among its competition. As the saying goes, quality comes with a price.
Rheem has worked hard to design one of the best tankless water heater options on the market today. There hard work has paid off in a big way as the Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater is 94 percent energy efficient with a stainless-steel condensing heat exchanger and intelligent electronic controls designed to increase energy efficiency and safety.
Due to the very energy efficient design, homeowners are able to cut a great deal of expense off of their energy bill by switching from a tank storage hot water heater to the Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater, which is one of the top-rated tankless water heaters on the market in 2018.
The Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater has a self-diagnostic system for easy installation and service, a digital display that shows temperature settings and maintenance codes, a two pipe direct vent system and designed for PVC pipe, and a built in electric blower. In other words, you have all the features you could dream of with this tankless water heater.
Ease of Installation
Although it offers much more than most tankless water heater options and has a more complex design, the Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater is fairly simple to install, and it is even simpler to use after installation. In most cases, homeowners should be able to install this on demand water heater without the need of professional assistance.
Due to the sophisticated design and strong material, this on demand water heater by Rheem is built to last. For this water heater, Rheem offers a warranty and guarantees satisfaction by having third party testing labs ensure the quality by running the tankless water heater through rigorous testing.
While Rinnai offers a high quality tankless water heater at the expense of higher cost, the Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater also offers high quality and guaranteed satisfaction, except this on demand water heater by Rheem is slightly less expensive than the above model.
Although the Takagi Tankless Water Heater may not be as high quality as other options on this list, it is still a very reliable natural gas tankless water heater and has an energy factor of 0.81 to 0.83. If you’re looking for a combination of quality and affordability, then this may be the best tankless water heater for you.
Due to the lower energy factor, this tankless water heater is available at around half the price of many other options. Therefore, if you don’t use water all that frequently and want to get rid of your space consuming, expensive tank storage water heater, then the Takagi Tankless Water Heater is a fantastic way to do so in an affordable manner.
Since it is available at such a low price, it is simply amazing that Takagi is able to design such a fantastic, sophisticated tankless water heater. The Takagi Tankless Water Heater has dimensions of 6.7 x 13.8 x 20.3 inches and only weighs 38 pounds, which is much smaller and weighs far less than the average on demand water heater.
As previously mentioned, the energy factor is slightly lower than the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater and the Rheem Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater, but the price makes up for slight difference in quality. This option by Takagi can still save you a large portion of money each month by lowering energy and water costs.
One of the most intriguing features of the Takagi Tankless Water Heater is the Inlet thermistors that allow for constant temperature monitoring. With lower quality tankless water heaters, monitoring the temperature can be a challenge. With this option however, it is extremely easy to control the temperature without a hassle and without fearing any malfunctions along the way.
Ease of Installation
The Takagi Tankless Water Heater is one of the easiest natural gas tankless water heaters to install. The reason for this has to do with the fact that it is much smaller and lightweight than the average water heater, which makes maneuvering it and connecting the necessary pipes a very easy process. After installation, it is extremely easy to control the temperature and output of the water.
Since it is slightly smaller and weighs less than the average on demand water heater, it has a shorter shelf life. However, the Takagi Tankless Water Heater should still last for decades before needing to be repaired or replaced. When considering the low initial cost, this is a fantastic option that is certain to yield a return on your initial investment.
As one of the smallest and easiest to install options, the Takagi Tankless Water Heater is extremely practical. Although there are tankless water heaters of slightly higher quality or perhaps slightly less cost, this option may be the best tankless water heater when considering a combination of both price and effectiveness.
The Stiebel Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater is arguably the most popular and most trusted on demand hot water heater on the market today. With this fantastic option, you can save 15 to 20% on the hot water heater portion of your electric bill. If you’re looking for a reliable option that is still affordable, then this might be the best tankless water heater for you.
Despite the amazing design and trusted results it has given previous customers, the Stiebel Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater is still extremely affordable when compared alongside other tankless water heaters of similar quality in design and effectiveness. Therefore, you can ensure you get a quality tankless water heater for an affordable price with this option.
The Stiebel Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater – which is also known as Tempra – is around the size of a briefcase and doesn’t require any venting. Stiebel Eltron also offers 12 different options of Tempra, so you are sure to be able to find the model that works best for your particular circumstances.
This has some of the best tankless hot water heater reviews in large part due to how effective it is at helping homeowners lower their energy bill by not having to store water when it is not needed. The Tempra Plus models even offer an exclusive advanced flow control, which automatically reduces flow to maintain in order to maintain a specific temperature.
The Stiebel Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater offers solid copper heating chambers, a digital temperature display, and saves energy with auto modulation. For those who choose Tempra Plus, the exclusive advanced flow control is a very practical feature that allows you to easily maintain a specific temperature.
Ease of Installation
The installation for the Stiebel Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater is slightly more complex than a few other options on this list. However, you should still be able to install this on demand water heater yourself. After it is installed, it is extremely easy to use and even comes with a remote control which allows you to adjust the temperature as needed.
Stiebel Eltron is so confident with their design of the Tempra that they backed it with a fairly extensive warranty, so you will be covered for any parts that malfunction. With that said, this tankless water heater rarely endures problems and should last for decades without needing to be repaired or replaced.
If you’re like many consumers skeptical of the quality of tankless water heaters and want to purchase the most trusted, reliable option based on previous customer satisfaction, then the Stiebel Eltron Tankless Electric Water Heater is the best tankless water heater for you. It is very trusted within the industry and provides great quality and affordability.
The Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater is a very interesting option and is vastly different than the other options on this list. Unlike the other options which power an entire home regardless of size, this on demand water heater is designed as a small point of use unit, so it is typically only used to power a single faucet.
Since it has a much lower voltage, is much smaller and only designed for a single faucet, it is far less expensive than every other option on this list. If the plan is to power the home with multiple Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heaters, you can easily do so for around the same price, if not cheaper, than you can by purchasing a larger model.
At 12.2 x 3 x 6.5 inches, the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater is the smallest option on this list. It also only weighs 4.9 pounds, so you can easily store it anywhere, including under a sink, next to the shower, or in the laundry room. It is designed to be used for a single faucet, and it does a fantastic job at doing just that.
At a 98 percent energy efficiency, the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater is arguably the best tankless water heater as far as quality is concerned on this review guide. Although it doesn’t work well when having to power multiple faucets, it puts out warm water within seconds when used for a single faucet.
The most interesting feature of the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater is the size, which is far smaller and weighs far less than all other options on this review guide. As a result, you can easily place it where it is needed without it taking up space and serving as an eye sore for guests.
Ease of Installation
Due to its small size and simple installation instructions, this on demand water heater by Bosch can easily be installed under bathroom or kitchen sinks, in laundry rooms, or anywhere else you want to put it. If you are looking for an easy-to-install, practical tankless water heater to provide water to a single particular faucet, then this may be the best instant hot water heater for you.
Despite its small size, the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater should last for years without needing to be replaced. Obviously, it doesn’t have the life expectancy of some of the larger, high powered tankless water heaters, but it isn’t unusual for this to last a decade or more before it needs to be replaced. Also, Bosch backs this on demand water heater with a five-year warranty.
Although it shouldn’t be used to power an entire home, the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater works wonders when used for a single faucet. When used for a single faucet, this on demand water heater arguably provides the most energy efficient and provides hot water faster than any other option on the market.
The Marey Tankless Water Heater is very similar to the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater, except it allows the ability to connect to two water points and utilizes smart technology to manage various settings, including the ability to control the temperature. This tankless water heater is another great option for individual faucets.
This tankless water heater by Marey is the second least expensive on this list. Although it may not be as effective as the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater at saving on energy costs, it is still very reliable when considering its ability to quickly heat water and handle two faucets at once without being overwhelmed.
One of the best parts about the Marey Tankless Water Heater is how practical it is. Since the dimensions are only 8.7 x 3.5 x 14.2 inches, you can easily install this tankless water heater wherever it is needed. Also, this on demand water heater is designed with the ability to connect with smart technology, so you can monitor various settings using another smart device.
Although it is still slightly unproven within the industry, there is no reason to doubt the effectiveness of the Marey Tankless Water Heater and its ability to help save homeowners money on electric bill costs and produce hot water in a matter of seconds after turning on the faucet. Although it doesn’t work well when used to power an entire home, it works extremely well on individual faucets.
The biggest and most appealing feature of the Marey Tankless Water Heater is its ability to incorporate smart technology, making managing and keeping track of various settings very easy. Marey also offers fantastic customer service and the tankless water heater is backed with a five-year warranty.
Ease of Installation
The biggest drawback to the Marey Tankless Water Heater is the fact that it requires professional help in order to install. While you might be able to install it yourself if you understand smart technology and electrician-related issues, it is highly recommended that you seek professional assistance in order to safely and accurately install the on demand water heater.
As mentioned, this tankless water heater by Marey is backed with a five-year warranty. However, there is a very good chance you won’t need it as this on demand water heater should last for well over 10 years before needing to be replaced. If anything were to go wrong with the smart technology, you can call customer service for assistance.
Although Marey is still somewhat an unproven brand within the tankless water heater industry, they are quickly gaining attention due to their innovative way of implementing smart technology with the tankless water heater. If you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of the temperature and other settings on your on demand water heater, then this may be the best on demand water heater for you.
How to Install a Tankless Water Heater
After choosing the best tankless water heater for you personally, it is important to ensure you know exactly how to install it the proper way in order to affect any harmful accidents from occurring. Although the following five step process should give you a general sense of how to install a tankless water heater, you should follow the instructions provided as the main source of information and seek professional assistance if you have any difficulties along the way.
Step 1: Carefully Remove the Tank Storage Water Heater (If Needed)
Most individuals who purchase a tankless water heater are doing so to replace their current tank storage water heater which drives their energy bill up each month. Before you do anything with the new tankless water heater, it is important to properly and carefully remove the current water tank you have inside your home. If you don’t currently have one, then simply skip this step and move on to step 2.
Step 2: Remove the Tankless Water Heater and Determine its Location
After carefully removing the tank storage water heater (or any other form of water heater you have in place), it is time to remove the new tankless water heater from the package and place it where you want it to go. In most cases, the tankless water heater will simply take the place of the previous tank storage water heater. If you are using a small point of use unit however, you will more than likely place it near the faucet you plan to use it for.
Step 3: Mount the Tankless Water Heater on the Wall
Upon determining the exact location of your new tankless water heater and setting it into place, you will then need to mount the tankless water heater onto the wall safely and securely. Be sure to connect all of the necessary pipes to the tankless water heater, and double check to ensure that everything is attached exactly how it should be. Make sure that everything is fastened on tightly and there isn’t anywhere that could potentially lead to a leak.
Step 4: Apply All of the Essential Parts
The last thing to do before you are ready to use your new tankless water heater is to apply all of the essential parts that make the tankless water heater work, including the ventilation ducting, water supply line, heat source, and the pilot. Be sure to take your time throughout the process of applying all the essentials as this is the most important part of the installation process.
Step 5: Make Sure Everything Works and Enjoy Your Warm Water
Last but not least, make sure everything works by trying everything out. For instance, try taking a shower. While showering, make sure that the water temperature is warm enough and you can easily adjust the temperature as needed. Also, check to ensure there aren’t any leaks near the tankless water heater. After ensuring everything is properly installed and working well, enjoy your warm water and lower energy costs.