An inadequate water heater can be a genuine inconvenience. You may find yourself soaking in an excellent tub, telling family members and guests to keep their showers short, or running out of hot water while doing dishes or laundry.
While water heaters generally have a lifespan of eight to 12 years, you might find your current unit can’t handle the demands of your growing family.
When you had an infant, the system that worked back may not meet your needs when several family members want a warm shower every morning.
Suppose your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life, and you’re thinking of replacing it before disaster strikes. In that case, you’ll be happy to know that you have better choices, thanks to federal regulations that require water heaters to be more energy-efficient.
New storage tank water heaters are required to operate more efficiently, and tankless (on-demand) water heaters are even more efficient than that.
Typically, homeowners replace their old water heater with one of the same type that runs on the same fuel—natural gas or electricity.
Switching from a tank water heater to a tankless unit can be expensive because it requires you to retrofit your plumbing and possibly your electrical system.
But if you’re building a new home or adding to an existing one, installing a tankless water heater may make economic sense.
So what is the best water heater for your home? The following options take the guesswork out of shopping for a water heater that won’t leave you in the cold. Not sure what type of water heater to get? Check out our quick rundown of the different types of water heaters.
Let’s get started.
InSinkErator HWT-F1000S Hot Water Tanks
You can install it directly to your tank so the hot water can go straight out of your faucet. It only consumes electricity as little as a 40 watt light bulb. Overall, the Insinkerator instant hot water tank is ideal for both home and commercial uses.
The primary limitation of most tankless water heaters is capacity. Instantly heating water up as it enters the system is suitable for single-use tasks like cooking or bathing, but the moment more than one person needs hot water, the tankless heater will fail.
One popular way to overcome this challenge is with a point of use water heaters. By connecting straight up to a shower, sink, or other local water supply, these water heaters only heat the water you need in that spot.
When you want a small but effective point-of-use water heater, the InSinkErator HWT-F1000S is hard to beat, thanks to its combined heating and filtration systems.
Designed to be used nearly anywhere there is a typical faucet hookup; the water heater electrically heats water to the desired temperature regardless if you use it in the kitchen, bathroom, or elsewhere.
- Easy to install (tool-free connections)
- Compact design
- Not compatible with other manufacturer’s hot water faucets
- Customer service: average
Bosch Thermotechnology Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
While tankless options are common for road warriors, a mini-tank water heater is the better choice if you plan on needing hot water for bathing, cooking, and outdoor activities.
Since all RVs come in different sizes, it is also helpful to find a water heater that gives you different options to choose from.
Coming in several different sizes ranging from 2.5 to 7 gallons, the Bosch Tronic 3000 is designed to be a multi-use water heater capable of being installed in many tight spaces.
Mountable on a shelf, wall, or floor makes it perfect for RV use when you want something small but functional to keep your water warm during cold nights.
The electric heater uses 1,440 watts of power and should be installed professionally for the best results.
- Patented electrical ignition burner design
- Vertical or horizontal venting with 3″ to 4″ stainless steel
- The energy efficiency of 0.83+
Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater
Its heat flow capacity and thermal efficiency make it legible to support a large home with multiple fixtures with hot water simultaneously, including homes in frigid environments, with a continuous and uninterrupted supply of hot water.
Its small, lightweight, and compact design make it convenient to install anywhere within your home, considering that it weighs 26.5lbs.
The BOSCH WH17 Tronic 6000 also spots a thermal efficiency of 97% alongside a 0.6 GPM activation flow and a 95-131-degree Fahrenheit adjustable output water temperature. These are the figures behind its large home’s endless hot water support.
It can simultaneously supply up to three faucets or showerheads regardless of the environmental temperature.
It also includes in its design a convenient modulating power that monitors the hot water demand and uses that to moderate the amount of power output.
This helps to expediently reduce temperature fluctuations and enhance the comfortable use of this tankless water heater.
It also has an electronic flow sensor and scale prevention technology to enhance the BOSCH WH17 Tronic 6000 tankless heater’s performance and durability.
Speaking of sustainability, the BOSCH WH17 Tronic 6000 has been fitted with durable heat exchangers and a whole robust structure that the Bosch Group has (the heat exchanger) at a limited warranty of 5 years and a 2-year warranty on the tankless water heater’s other components.
This Bosch electric tankless water heater works with a voltage range of 208 to 240 from 17.25 kW of power and a 3/4″ MNPT connection. Its heat flow capacity ranges from 2.6 to 5.4 GPM, which is ample for whole-house homes.
- 97% thermal efficiency with a minimal stand-by lose
- 5-year warranty limited on heat exchanger plus 2-year parts warranty
- External temperature control knob
- Electronic flow sensor and scale prevention technology
- 17.25 kW power
- Customer service is average
Rinnai Indoor Tankless Hot Water Heater
Put an end to planning your mornings and evenings around your water heater and set your schedule thanks to this unit. Ideal for two to three-bathroom homes delivers up to 7.5 gallons of hot water per minute (GPM) while saving energy and money.
Mount your compact RL75iN gas water heater in virtually any room, and vent directly to the outside with a single wall or roof penetration.
Please don’t waste water while you wait for it to heat up; with this Rinnai tankless water heater, the ThermaCirc360 technology recirculates hot water through your pipes to get you hot water fast and on-demand.
Your water heater doesn’t have to be a piece of sizeable scary equipment! This unit has a compact design that allows installation in non-traditional spaces such as the attic, crawl space, or even a closet. It, therefore, saves 16 sq. foot of space since it is only the size of a small suitcase.
The RL75iN unit is packaged in a compact design that cuts CO2 emissions (compared to tanks), using less energy and conserving water because you heat water only when you need it.
Due to intelligent technological advancements such as wi-fi monitoring, your trusted Rinnai service provider can monitor the efficiency of your tankless water heater and address issues before you ever experience a break in service.
It’s a wise investment for now and the future when you intertwine sustainability and reliability. Every part of this water heater unit is replicable, so components can be easily swapped vs. buying a whole new system.
- Wi-fi monitoring
- Endless hot water
- Produces hot water on-demand
- Saves valuable space
- Affordable and efficient savings
- Sustainable and reliable
- You cannot use the same vent used with an old water heater tank
- More extra tools might be needed during installation
Rheem Performance Platinum Gas Water Heater
It features a 40,000 BTU/hour and low NOx burner; this heater provides ample water at a lower cost than older models.
The savings continue with a maintenance-free combustion air intake system and self-diagnostic gas control valve.
A simple push-button ignition system makes for safer startups, while a premium-grade anode rod increases the tank’s lifespan.
The heater comes with a 3-year in-home labor warranty, a 12-year limited warranty for tank and parts, and complete 2015 NAECA compliance.
With a 0.62 energy factor, 86 gallon delivery in the first hour, and the ability to provide for homes up to 8,500 feet in elevation, this tank provides excellent efficiency for most homes.
A large percentage of owners have installed the heater themselves, with little or no issue and minimal cost in additional parts.
Those who have owned this model for a long time have noted no leakage, and hot water is consistently provided.
In the few cases where the unit was damaged upon delivery, consumers have noted that replacement was quick and pain-free.
The single largest problem with this heater is that it doesn’t meet the current Ultra-Low NOx emissions standards in California, meaning that residents cannot install non-ULN water heaters in certain air quality districts.
Other complaints have been geared towards poor warranty support, leaving many users stuck without hot water for periods or given limited replacement options.
- Works without electrical hookup.
- It has a first-hour rating of 71 gallons per hour.
- It features several safety functions, such as overheat protection and push-button ignition.
- It also produces minimal emissions — compliant with the ULN.
- The gas valve is of poor quality and may need to be replaced within a year.
Rheem RTEX-24 24kW 240V Electric Tankless Water Heater
The Rheem RTEX-24 is no exception since you will comfortably enjoy its on-demand and continuous hot water for as long as you want.
There is no need to worry about abrupt temperature changes, either scalding hot water or cold shock. This electric water heater has a digital temperature control that works in increments of 1°F, ranging from 80°F to 140°F. You can set or adjust your water to the desired temperature swiftly.
Installation of this Rheem performance platinum unit is simple, and you can do it yourself without spending extra money from hiring a plumber to help.
All you have to do is choose an ideal point on your wall to mount it, and the threaded ports will allow you to fix the water heater quickly to your existing plumbing works.
Robust copper immersion heating elements with brass top increase durability and are threaded for easy replacement in damage.
Wastage of water and energy will be a thing of the past for you since through the on-demand heating system; water would have to run for some minutes before heating will be saved.
Energy used to heat the water will not be wasted too since water heats at the point of use, giving you enough hot water supply.
The Rheem RTEX-24 water heater can simultaneously support several home applications, such as washing machines, dishwashers, or multiple showers.
- On-demand, continuous hot water
- Compact and stylish
- Water and energy efficient
- Simple Installation
- Digital temperature display
- A bit pricey
- It can’t replace a 40 gal tank heater with a 30A double pole breaker directly.
Camplux ME60 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater
Outdoor life can always give your family enthusiasm and happiness, and this Camplux outdoor unit has that figured out. It is part of the JAL Group and is dedicated to providing you an easy and efficient outdoor lifestyle. Being more than 15 years of strong experience in the gas and electrical industry, the JAL group has your needs in mind.
This mini-tank water heater has a glass-lined tank design, making it easy to maintain and durable for long life. Also, it is high efficiency for heating, saving energy, and your bills.
No need to worry about temperature changes of your water since this mini-tank water heater is equipped with an adjustable thermostat that, once set, will automatically control water temperature. The red indicator lamp remains illuminated while the water is being heated.
When the water heater is not being used for an extended period, and there is a risk of freezing, either unplug and drain the water heater or turn the thermostat knob to the snowflake position to guard against freezing.
Installation for you will be a breeze for you just need to plug into a 120v electric supply socket. Simply tap into the cold water line and install the water heater directly at the sink to provide hot water.
With this unit, heat loss is minimized due to the short-distance water supply that minimizes wait time for hot water, saving energy and your bills. Whether as a sole water heating source for a single sink or as a supplement to an existing heater located far from the sink, this premium tank water heater’s stand-by loss is minimal!
This unit is lightweight and compact, designed to be mounted on the floor, shelf, or wall, making it very friendly to any small spaces. Purchase this water heater and enjoy camping and outdoor luxury with your family!
- Quick hot water supply
- Reduces heat losses
- Enough capacity of 6 gallons of hot water
- Friendly to small spaces
- Can only provide hot water to 2-3 sinks at once
- No indication of the length of the electrical cord
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater
It is best used for smaller homes either for multiple activities or as a point of use, depending on the area you live in. This water heater has a self-modulating technology that enables you to know the exact energy it requires.
With a flow rate of approximately two gallons per minute, the Ecosmart water heater brand claims that you can save up to 50 percent of heating costs by using their products.
It features a sleek design with an easy-to-use digital display and dial thermostat. The thermostat gives you the ability to adjust the temperatures.
The EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater is an excellent example of a tankless water heater.
This model is an electric heating unit, which means that it does not require burners and flames as natural gas units do. Because it does not require intricate exhaust and ventilation systems, installation is inexpensive and straightforward.
Because this model clocks in at a mere 6.5 pounds, it can be placed almost anywhere in your home.
- Energy efficient
- A sleek design with a digital display
- Compact and Lightweight
- Features a self-modulating technology
- Easy to install
- For small households, only
Ecosmart ECO 36 36kw 240V Electric Tankless Water Heater
It can provide between 3.6 and 8.7 gallons per minute depending on the inlet water temperature, thus giving you warm water available endlessly, consistently, and on-demand and allowing you to reduce your water and energy waste.
This means it can handle up to two showers running simultaneously and never run out of hot water.
It is the largest electric tankless water heater available with patented self-modulating technology ideal for the northern United States, where incoming water temperatures can reach as low as 37 degrees F.
However, this unit is perfect for large tubs or high demand of hot water between multiple home applications in the southern United States.
It can handle up to 6 GPM, meaning you can run four showers and a sink simultaneously and never run out of hot water.
A digital display temperature control allows you to set your temperature in increments of 1 degree, so you can set the temperature to how you like it.
- Digital output temperature display
- It can run multiple applications at the same time
- Advanced self-modulating technology
- Endless on-demand hot water
- It saves water heating costs
- It is not for personal installation
- No batteries included in case of a blackout
Rinnai Indoor Tankless Hot Water Heater / V94IN/ Natural Gas / 9.8 GPM
The Rinnai tankless natural gas water heater can be the center of your entire home that will deliver hot water to the most critical areas, providing your family with a happy and comfortable lifestyle. Such regions include showering, bathing, dishwashing, and laundry.
With this unit, hot water is always available to you, no matter how much or how often you need it, without ever running out. Your large family will enjoy a consistent flow of hot water with a capacity of 9.8 gallons of water per minute(GPM).
Your energy costs will be minimized by investing in this water heater. With an energy efficiency range of 0.82/0.81, you are guaranteed it will bring down your energy costs. This gas water heater utilizes natural gas in its operations.
Reduced incoming water flow rate shouldn’t be an issue since this energy-efficient unit will fit into your pre-existing plumbing works and serve you with hot water as you need it.
Contrary to the traditional tank water heaters that would take up your space, the Rinnai tankless water heater requires minimal space, and you can choose to have it either indoors or outdoors. This unit is among the best gas water heater as it can effortlessly serve multiple hot water points simultaneously.
It is fitted with a recirculation technology that allows the hot water to get to you fast. This means you don’t have to waste time and keep testing whether your water is hot enough.
With advancements in technology, the Rinnai gas water heater comes fitted with a wi-fi monitoring service that makes its maintenance easy. It allows you to prevent and manage the risk of having the whole system breakdown in good time.
This tankless water heater may be expensive, but it will last twice as long as standard water heater tanks, thus saving you money.
- On-demand hot water supply
- High flow rate
- Provides hot water at different points simultaneously
- Energy -Efficient
- Wi-fi enabled
- Not very easy to install
- High price range
Buyers Guide for Consumer Reports Water Heaters
Gas or Electric
The choice between an electric and gas-powered water heater depends on a number of factors, including local utilities and your own personal preference.
Electric water heaters are favored by people looking for low upfront costs and households that aren’t set up with natural gas. While gas heaters are more expensive upfront, they can save you hundreds of dollars a year, depending on energy costs in your area.
Tankless or Tank
Tank water heaters keep a certain amount of hot water in a tank at any given time, ready to send to multiple appliances at once.
Tankless water heaters quickly heat incoming water as you need it and take up less space than a water heater with a tank. However, one unit may not provide hot water to multiple fixtures at once, so you may need to buy multiple water heaters for your home.
If you go the tank route, make sure that your water heater can store enough hot water to keep up with your family.
While tank water heaters can provide water for multiple places at once, it will take longer to heat up new water than a tankless heater, which could leave you with an unexpected cold shower.
Some brands advertise features that are supposed to reduce the buildup of mineral scale at the bottom of the tank by swirling the water.
Though scale can shorten the life of the heating element, you don’t need to invest in fancy features to get a water heater that lasts. Just look for one with a 12-year warranty, which typically includes a longer or thicker element.
Brass vs. plastic drain valves
These are situated near the base of the water heater for a garden hose that drains the heater. Look for brass drain valves, which are more durable than plastic.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best water heater for a large family?
TOP PICK: Rinnai RUC98iN Tankless Water Heater. – With its high 9.8 gallons-per-minute (GPM) flow rate, it’s perfect for families.
2. How big of a hot water heater do I need for a family of 4?
A family of 3 to 4 people should purchase a 50-60 gallon water heater. On the other hand, a household with 5 – 7 people may require a water heater with a 60-80 gallon water tank.
3. What size hot water heater do I need for a family of 5?
With 3 to 4 people, you’ll need at least a 50-gallon capacity tank (electric) or a 40-gallon capacity tank (natural gas or liquid propane). If your family size is five or more, you’ll need an 80-gallon tank (electric) or a 50-gallon tank (natural gas or liquid propane).
4. Is A.O Smith better than Rheem?
Both A.O Smith and Rheem are great names in the water heater industry. Rheem has a better overall product offering with a higher reach in the industry. But AO Smith is known to have a better customer experience. Regardless of what type of water heater you choose, both options will provide you with excellent longevity.
Considering the factors above, you may discover that the best brand for your home is not the leading brand by market share. The length of warranty outweighs, for example, the additional cost of anti-corrosion devices, and the size of the tank is more important than factors such as plastic drain fittings.
We all have different water usage requirements, and you will have to do the calculations and comparisons to find the best water heater for your needs. We hope that you find this helpful article. Happy shopping!