The Best Tankless Water Heaters in 2018

The Best Tankless Water Heaters in 2018

If you are looking to save money, switching from a traditional hot water tank to a tankless water heater is a good way to stave off on your monthly utility bill. A tankless heaters is proven to save up to 37% energy consumption. That is already a huge number. So with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best tankless water heater in 2018 to help make the decision process on choosing which one suits your needs a lot easier. Many, and we mean many people around the world are switching to tankless hot water heaters every day. They do it mainly so that they can save money as well as save the environment too.

If you feel you are not up to reading this guide, let us make it easier for you. The best tankless water heater out in the market today is the Rinnai RUR98iN 9.8 Max GPM Ultra Series. This baby is widely regarded as the most advanced, efficient and powerful natural gas tankless water heater today. It has a 96% energy efficiency factor and will surely be able to meet any demand in a household. To top it off, it has advanced features like WiFi controls and water recirculation. Truly a monster of a tankless water heater.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, if you still want to push through and find other options, then let’s continue. Before we give you the list though, let’s understand first why you need a tankless water heater. If you want on-demand hot water, your best choice is a tankless water heater because hot water tanks will only keep a fixed amount of hot water at any given time. Their main difference thous is the energy consumption. A hot water tank uses energy all day long. A tankless heater on the other hand, will only draw power when you need hot water.
What’s the difference between a gas and an electric tankless water heater?

There are 2 types of tankless water heaters, the gas powered and the electric powered. This will be the first choice you’ll have to make when you shop for a tankless water heater. If you don’t have a gas line, then the choice by default is an electric powered one. But if you do, then the best way to distinguish which one suits you best is to weigh the pros and cons of both types.

GAS

Pros:
• More powerful and has the ability to heat multiple faucets at once
• Lower cost than electricity in general
• Can heat water even if incoming water temperatures are very low
Cons:
• More pricey compared electric heaters
• Will have emissions directly from the unit
• Might require ventilation depending on the placement and design of the unit

ELECTRIC

Pros:
• Doesn’t have direct CO2 emissions
• Less pricey than a gas powered heater
• Won’t require any ventilation

Generally, if you buy a single, large, gas powered tankless water heater, it will have around the same initial cost as buying multiple electric tankless water heaters that can produce the same amount of hot water. So that answers your question.

1. Rinnai RUR98iN 9.8 Max GPM Ultra Series

As mentioned above, the Rinnai RUR98iN 9.8 Max GPM Ultra Series is considered as the very best tankless water heater for residential use ever designed. It has an extraordinary 96% efficiency factor and is able to provide 9.8 GPM of hot water at almost any incoming water temperature. The Rinnai RUR98iN 9.8 Max GPM Ultra Series will be able to replace your regular hot water heater in almost any climate.

It has unique Wifi capabilities that you can use to monitor and change the settings of the water heater. Since it is WiFi capable, you can do it over your home network. It also has a ground-breaking re-circulation line that allows the unit to produce an endless supply of hot water. The best thing about this unit is that it offers features that only a few can. Even though it is a bit luxurious, your investment will easily pay for itself in energy savings and ease of use.

PROS:
• Can meet any residential house’s need
• Manufactured by the industry leader in water heaters
• Hassle Free Warranty Process
• No Expansion Kit Required
• Very Silent
• Very efficient
CONS:
• Very pricey for residential use
• Requires venting but does not come with a venting kit
• Not suitable for smaller homes

2. Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series

Rinnai is the expert in tankless water heaters. The Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series is proof of that. Just like the 9.8 Max GPM Ultra Series above, it can also produce a staggering 9.8 GPM of hot water with a temperature rise of 50F. That is why this natural gas powered water heater is great for most homes. The Rinnai RUC98iN has excellent GPM flow rates. Although you should take note that it may take up to 20 seconds for the water to heat up from the heating unit to the faucet just like other tankless water heaters. The good news is, once it’s warmed up, you will have an unlimited amount of hot water and enjoy monthly utility savings because of the energy efficiency. Since this unit requires a natural gas hook up, it is recommended to ask a professional to install it.
PROS:
• Can meet most household capacity need
• Produced by an industry leader in water heaters
• Hassle Free Warranty Process
• No Expansion Kit Required
• Very Silent
• Very efficient
CONS:
• Very pricey for residential use
• Requires venting but does not come with a venting kit
• Not suitable for smaller homes

3. Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus

The Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus is the best electric tankless water heater today. The flagship product of Stiebel Eltron, the Tempra Plus is their largest unit and can provide an impressive 4.0 GPM with incoming water temperatures of 72F. If you are looking for one of the most powerful and efficient electric tankless water heaters, then this is your best choice. It features easy to use digital controls, a small and sleek design that allows you to install it nearly anywhere in your house. The Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus is very efficient and can nearly match the energy cost of a natural gas water heater. If you have a solar power source, it can even outperform it significantly.

PROS:
• Best in class flow rates for electric tankless
• Trusted brand
• Great warranty
• Industry leader
CONS:
• A bit more expensive than other models
• Will require at least 2 units to provide for an entire house

4. EcoSmart ECO

Another great electric tankless water heater is the EcoSmart ECO. This unit is perfect if you have a simple need to place a water heater under your sink, a cabin or a new powder room added to your home. It can provide 1.5 GPM flow rate with a 50F temperature rise, which easily hand incoming water temperatures that are quite cold. Generally, electric tankless water heaters aren’t capable of handling high GPM flow rates, but for a simple sink, it will be more than enough. EcoSmart is one of the leading brands in electric tankless water heaters as evidenced by EcoSmart being the best seller 3 years in a row on major online retailers. If you check online, it has consistently maintained a very high positive review score too.

PROS:
• Great value for money
• Trusted by many
• Great warranty
CONS:
• Relatively unknown brand
• Larger unit than expected
• A little louder than other brands

5. Rheem RTGH-95XLN Prestige

If you are looking for an outdoor tankless water heater, then the Rheem RTGH-95XLN Prestige is the perfect option for you. It is a very highly rated outdoor tankless water heater and has one of the highest energy factors in the market today at 94 percent. It also has one of the highest flow rates for outdoor tankless water heaters at 9.5 GPM. This baby can meet the needs of most of the homes today. And best of all, it doesn’t require ventilation.

PROS:
• One of the best brands in water heaters
• Standard 10 year warranty
• Leading energy efficiency rate at 94 percent
• Excellent flow rate at 9.5 GPM
• Does not require any ventilation
CONS:
• A bit pricey up-front, but will make up for it over time

6. Rheem RTG-84XLN

Another of Rheem’s excellent outdoor tankless water heaters is the RTG-84XLN. This comes in 2nd place, but make no mistake, it is still one of the best outdoor tankless water heaters around. It has a strong flow rate of 8.4 GPM, which is very satisfactory for most households. It also boasts of strong efficiency and low emissions. Although considered as “middle of the road” outdoor tankless water, it can still be the right outdoor tankless water heaters for many homes.

It can be controlled remotely using a remote control and has environmentally conscious design that is energy efficient. Best of all, it has low emissions. If you compare this with a hot water tank that runs on natural gas, you will be able to save a ton of money and tons of carbon emissions too.
PROS:
• One of the best brands in water heaters
• Standard 10 year warranty
• Leading energy efficiency rate at 84%
• Strong flow rate at 8.6 GPM
• Does not require any ventilation
CONS:
• Not recommended in harsher climates

7. Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG

Out of all the tankless water heaters listed, the Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG provides the best value. This tankless water heater is both high quality and reasonably priced. Takagi is a well known name in the industry and comes very highly rated on a lot of online shopping websites. It has the ability to generate a maximum of 6.6 GPM for under $500.00. That is an absolute best in terms of value per GPM.
PROS:
• Considered the most powerful tankless heater below $500
• Built by a reputable brand name
• Standard 10 year warranty
• Very easy to maintain
CONS:
• A bit loud
• Not recommended for a medium sized house
• Only 81% energy efficient

8. Bosch Electric Tankless

The Bosch Electric Tankless is the best under-sink tankless water heater out on the market today. It is a simple, affordable and easy to install tankless water heater that is suitable for a kitchen or bathroom sink. Although it is not suitable for larger uses like a dishwasher or shower, it can still provide unlimited hot water to your sink for under $200, which is very remarkable. In addition, it is highly efficient and runs at 98% efficiency. It features power ranges from 3.2 KW to 12kW that you can adjust based on your needs and incoming water temperatures. Designed to be sleek and small, it fit under your sink without sacrificing needed storage space.
PROS:
• One of the smallest units today
• Well reviewed by thousands of users
• Industry leading warranty
• Very silent
CONS:
• Low flow rate

9. SioGreen IR260

For those who own RVs and are looking for tankless water heaters, the SioGreen IR260 is the perfect match for your recreational RV. The SioGreen IR260 Infrared Electric Tankless water is an innovative water heater that uses materials that resist the build up of calcium and limescale. This makes it a unit that requires minimal maintenance. It can produce up to 2.0 GPM which will allow you to provide hot water for a shower. When you travel in your RV, you will most likely encounter hard water. That is why it’s important to use an infrared water heater instead of going for a traditional electric tankless unit.
PROS:
• Maintenance free water heater
• Well reviewed by thousands of users
• Industry leading warranty
• Very silent
CONS:
• Low flow rate that isn’t recommended for high flow showers
• Larger than expected

10. Eccotemp L10

If you are looking for a propane water heater, then the Eccotemp L10 is the leading choice. The Eccotemp L10 Portable Outdoor Tankless Water heater is one of the best you can find to suit your cabin or camping needs. Since it is powered by propane, it will be able to heat nearly any incoming water temperature and will also provide hot water to your outdoor shower. Designed to work with the standard 20lb propane tank, it comes with the standard garden hose adapter upon purchase. It is easy to setup to. Just hook up your gas line and garden hose, and you are good to go. The best thing about this unit is that it is capable of handling temperatures below freezing point.
PROS:
• Capable of handling any incoming water temperature
• Backed by one of the biggest names in water heaters
• Industry leading warranty
• Works with standard garden hose and BBQ propane tanks
CONS:
• Will take a while to heat up the water
• Uses more propane than you would expect
• Use an external cover to keep it protected for safety purposes

Tank Size Of Water Heater Chart

If you don’t want to and buy our top pick for the best whole house tankless water heater, here’s a chart you can follow to determine the tank size of the water heater. Note that we will assume that incoming water temperatures are 67F or above for this chart.

Bathroom Sink – 0.5 GPM
Standard Shower – 2.5 GPM
Low-Flow Shower – 1.5 GPM
Dishwasher – 1.0 GPM
Washing Machine – 1.5 GPM
Kitchen Sink – 0.5 GPM
Laundry Sink – 1.0 GPM

Dwelling Bathrooms GPM
Apartment / Condo 1 3.0 GPM
Small House (<1000 sq. ft.) 1 4.0 GPM Average House (<1600 sq. ft) 2 7.5 GPM Large House (1600+ sq. ft) 3+ 10+ GPM Indoor or Outdoor?

Generally, it is recommended to buy indoor tankless water heaters. But before you can rule out the outdoor unit, you will have to consider these important factors.

Space

Space can be a serious constraint. If you can save space by placing the water heater outdoors, then go for it. A small cabin or cottage, or a multi-unit building that requires multiple units can save a lot of indoor square footage, so an outdoor unit is best.

Sound

Some water heaters will make some noise. If you live in a small house, this can be irritating. So your best option is placing it outside.

Ventilation

If you require ventilation and can’t properly set it up inside your house, your best choice is to place the unit outside to avoid any issues. Ventilation also tends take up more space than is available.

Water Hardness and Temperature

Temperature

If the incoming water temperature is below 50F, a gas powered tankless water heater is recommended. That’s because electric heaters are not powerful enough to raise the temperature to more than 30F. If you are willing to give up hot water during the winter, then an electric powered water heater will. If not, then you’re likely better off with a gas powered unit. Electric water heaters are great for a cottage or cabin that you will only used in the summer.

Hardness

If the water is particularly hard, then you will need to do more maintenance on your tankless water heater. Sometimes, it might require use additional equipment to soften the water before it enters the hot water heater. As stated above, limescale and calcium can build up and destroy the unit if it’s not cleaned regularly.

How do tankless water heaters work exactly?

The general logic for how tankless water heaters work is like this. Incoming water enters a heating chamber and energy from the power source for the heat exchanger. Then the energy is transferred from the heat exchanger to the chamber and water is then drawn to the outgoing pipe. Some tankless heaters use different materials which are then used for different purposes. That’s why you need to do your research to make sure you get the right tankless hot water heater for your needs.

Cleaning and Maintenance

If you’ve never performed maintenance before, it’s important that you don’t use store-bought descaling products, as they contain harmful chemicals that can run off in your tap water. Check the product manual always to see how to perform cleaning maintenance of your unit. It is recommended to use all natural, pure white vinegar when cleaning because it’s completely safe for humans to take in. It might taste bad at first, but at least it won’t be unsafe.

Final Words

Tankless water heaters are nothing new. A lot of households use this system and are realizing that it is a wise decision because they save money every month. By using less energy, you will be able to preserve the environment while saving money at the same time. If you ask me, that is a win-win situation. By switching from a hot water tank rental to a tankless hot water heater, you may be able to save on your monthly utility bill by as much as 50 percent. The online drawback is that you will have to do routine maintenance on it. So if you’ve already decided to switch to tankless water heaters, we hope this guide will be able to help you out in choosing the best one for your needs.

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