Tankless water heaters have come a hell of a long way since their inception and over the years the design has been perfected to the point where they are seen as a viable alternative to a conventional tank because they are cost-effective, durable and energy efficient.
To select the best tankless water heater to meet your needs, you need quality information. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the chart below.
What Are The Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater?
- Efficient– The design of a tankless water heater is the ultimate in energy efficiency. This is due to the fact that the tank does not store its own water. A tankless water heater will be connected to a hot water valve. If the valve is turned on, then the heater will turn on, if the valve is turned off, then the heater will be turned off and this translates directly to saving energy. Saving energy is good for the environment, and tankless heaters are even more eco-friendly because the greenhouse gas that they emit is so small. Saving energy is also going to benefit your pockets, as you will be able to shave your utility bills in half even with a heater that pumps a high level of water.
- Convenient– A tankless water heater is for more convenient than a conventional tank purely because of its size. Most tankless heaters will be no bigger than a standard medical cabinet. This means that you can install it, in the smallest and most inconspicuous space you can find such as under the sink or in a rarely used closet. Some models will even allow you to store them outdoors which will save even more space. In terms of the actual job that they do, they can definitely be considered more convenient than a conventional tank. This is because the water is heated on demand, rather than being stored in the tank, so there is no limit on the amount of hot water you can use. For big families, this is literally a life saver.
- Reliable– Over the years the design and engineering of tankless water heaters has been perfected, and previous issues such as short cold water bursts are no longer anything to worry about. For this reason they can be considered extremely reliable. As well as, even if problems do arise, finding parts to fix the heater is extremely easy and affordable. There is also no risk of flooding like there would be with a conventional tank.
- Clean– Conventional tanks are often susceptible to build up of rust and limescale, however this is not a problem with tankless heaters. The fact that tankless heaters will not have these problems will prolong the lifespan and also ensure that you are always getting fresh and clean water.
What Do You Need to Consider to Find The Best Tankless Water Heater?
Choosing a tankless water heater for your home is not as simple as just picking up the first one that you find. Also check best tankless water heater website which offer different kind of tankless water heater for you home.
Maximum Flow Rate– The maximum flow rate refers to how much water can pass through the water heater in one minute. The measurement for this is usually in gallons per minute (GPM). In order to estimate the flow rate that will be best suited to you home, you will need to consider the number of water fixtures that will be used simultaneously. E.g. will you need to be able to operate more than one shower at a time? Will you be using your kitchen sink at the same time as running a bath? The more water fixtures you are likely to use at once the higher the maximum flow rate will need to be.
- Heating Power– The heating power refers to how much power you will need to make sure that even with a high maximum flow rate the water is always hot. The heating power will usually be measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). As an example, in order to heat water with a flow rate of 1 GPM by 1 degrees Fahrenheit around 500 BTU will be needed. In order to make sure that the heater you purchase has enough heating power you can find out the standard tap water temperature in your region and use that combined with the maximum flow rate to work out how many BTU you will need to reach optimum water temperature.
- Build Quality– The build quality of the heater you pick is a hugely important part, because you will definitely want to avoid problems and malfunctioning as much as you possibly can. Although tankless heaters are much easier to fix than conventional tanks, you could still be left without water for a couple of days and out of pocket. Expensive products definitely do not always equal quality, but there is a much better chance of an expensive heater being high quality than a cheap model. Looking at customer review and thoroughly searching through the product features is a good way to ensure that you pick a model with a high quality build.
- Activation Flow Rate– The activation flow rate refers to the GPM that needs to flow through the unit in order for it to begin heating. Often this is a specification that is overlook, because customers are more concerned with looking at the maximum flow rate. However, the activation flow rate is just as important. If the AFR is too high then you will often find yourself with cold water running out of your taps, and you will also find that the heater is more prone to expelling short sharp burst of water. A low AFR and a high MFR is the best possible outcome.
- Energy Factor– Most tankless water heaters are far more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts, but even the best models still waste some energy through smoke emission. When referring to water heaters, the energy factor is the ratio of heat and energy that is applied to the water compared to the total energy input delivered to the machine. For example, if a gas water heater has a gas consumption input of 100,000 BTU and an energy factor off 0.8 then the overall heating power of the unit will be 80,000 BTU, meaning that with an approximate flow rate of 2 GPM the heater will provide an 80 degree temperature rise.
The top 5 Tankless Water Heaters
Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 plus Electric Tankless Whole House Water Heater
The Stiebel Eltron is a reliable model with a sleek design that will fit anywhere without needing room for ventilation. The temperature always stays steady with this model and the digital readout is very easy to use. The plumbing installation is simple, and the flow rate easily accounts for more than one shower being used at one time. This model is definitely purse friendly and you should experience a drop in your electricity bill. There may be a minimal drop in water pressure when more than one appliance is being used at the same time, however the temperature will stay constant even at a high level such as 120F.
- Digital temperature control.
- Hinged cover for easy access.
- Saves 15-20% energy compared to a conventional tank heating system.
- Advanced flow control technology minimises water temperature fluctuations by automatically adjusting the water flow.
- The electrical service installation is heavy duty. It is unlikely that old houses will be able to handle the two 60amp circuits that are required.
- High activation flow rate.
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater
The Takagi indoor tankless water heater is propane powered and features an impressive maximum flow rate of 6.6GPM. Installation is relatively simple and can be completed with the help of a plumber. However, with a plumber it can take as little as 1 hour before your back to having hot water. The heating time is great on this middle, within 10 second water will go from stone cold to steaming hot. Being able to remotely control the temperature is a great feature useful for big families. This model can easily handle 2 or 3 hot water appliances running at once.
- Small unit, that is perfect for apartments or small houses.
- Comes with a remote control to change settings easily.
- Allows the user to easily see the GPM being used at any time, and also shows the temperature of the incoming water.
- Low Activation flow rate, makes it perfect for small families.
- Venting is required which limits where the unit can be situated.
Rheem 9.5 GPM RTGH-95DVLN Indoor Direct Vent Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater
The Rheem direct vent tankless heater is 94% energy efficient and features a stainless steel condensing hear exchanger. It also features intelligent energy controls which are designed to increase energy efficiency and safety. It’s perfect for outdoor installations or colder areas such as garages and basements because of the built in freeze protection. The small footprint of this model makes it perfect for homes with limited space. The heating time is slightly longer than some other models at 30 seconds from cold to warm and around a minute from cold to the highest heat.
- Self-diagnostic system that promotes easy installation and service
- The digital display shows the used the current temperature setting as well as maintenance codes.
- Freeze protection to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A lot noisier than some of the other models on the market.
- Quite a high activation flow rate.
Rinnai RL94iN Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
The Rinnai natural gas tankless water heater promotes 83% thermal efficiency and also comes with a digital controller complete with error code indicator. The temperature stays constant while being used and there is no loss in water pressure when more than one hot water appliance is used at the same time. The product comes with the valve kit but it will be necessary to purchase the vent kit separately. The guarantee from Rinnai covers the parts, however service calls and diagnostics are not coverage. The water takes a couple of minutes to heat to the desired temperature however it does stay constant once the temperature is reached.
- Features a GPM of 9.4 allowing users to run hot water though up to 5 appliances at a time.
- Approximately 40% energy savings.
- The compact interior mount vents directly to the outside via a concentric venting system.
- Extremely noisy, especially when the unit starts up after not being used for a while.
- Cold water spurts out before unit really gets going.
Eccotemp FV1-12-NG High Capacity Gas Tankless Water Heater
The Eccotemp high capacity gas tankless water heater features a sleek and modern design to fit seamlessly into any household. It also promotes safety and efficiency through the power ventilation system. This model is best suited to households where small to medium hot water production is necessary. It’s particularly good for smaller homes and vacation cabins. When operating at maximum flow capacity the model offers a 45 degree F temperature rise. Mounting the model and venting it through the wall is pretty straightforward and you shouldn’t need to buy additional pipes of fittings. However, you will need a high temp silicone sealer to seal the exterior wall plate to the wall. The service valves are not included.
- Strong heating power with 74,500 BTU’s.
- Independent gas and water controls that can be viewed via the digital temperature display.
- Conserves energy efficiently, only pulling in around 10 watts during operation.
- Installation and wall mounting is simple and quick
Fairly low maximum flow rate at 4 GPM. Can only realistically handle two appliances
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