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Best Water Heaters that Are Cost Friendly and Energy Efficient

When it comes to activities involving water, either bathing, dishwashing, or swimming, most of you would agree that the preferred option would be warming it up before use, right? More so during the cold winter season. It’s biology. The water is simply more in tune with our body temperatures, healthier, and frankly, hot water is just way more enjoyable to use.

In the old days, people also enjoyed the privilege of hot water, achieving this using coal heaters or firewood. Technology eventually came to haste the process with the invention of gas heaters, and now we have the much faster electric water heaters. These heaters use an electrical component to make the water hot, and can also be either tank-less or tanked. Tank-less work by rapidly heating water as it passes through the system. Tanked, on the other hand, have some kind of container storage where water is heated up before being let into your taps. 

With recent regulations, it has become mandatory that these heaters operate with less electrical demands. To help you in the quest for the most efficient, yet cost-friendly water heater out there, we’ve done our research and compiled a list of the best water heaters out there. There’s an option for everyone!

Top 10 Water Heaters of 2019 Reviewed

1. Camplux ME25 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater

Best Mini Tank Water Heater

Unlike other water heaters, which are massive and meant for attachment to the main water supply system, this particular one is suitable for use right under the sink. It has a 2.5-gallon capacity, which means it is suitable for heating water as you use it. Since it is the best mini-tank water heater, you can connect it to a 120-volt electric outlet for power. You may install it independently or as part of a larger source of hot water.

This heater has a 150-PSI maximum water pressure, which is high enough to supply water to several taps. The tank is glass-lined to enable you to see exactly what’s going on inside. Because of its unique design, this tank is very easy to maintain. Besides, it is also easy to install. You can mount it on the floor, wall or shelf and then connect a cold water source to it. With that, you will be able to get hot water right there at the sink.

The Complex ME25 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater comes with several safety features to protect you and your family. For instance, it has a valve for releasing pressure and excessive temperature. The thermostat makes it possible for you to set the maximum water temperature limit. When that temperature is reached, the water heater will automatically shut off.

Camplux ME25 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater

Pros:

  • Is fitted with a thermostat
  • Can be mounted on multiple surfaces
  • The tank is glass-lined

Cons:

  • Has a small capacity
  • Warranty voids when you DIY
  • Reports of water coming out brown

2. American Standard CE-12-AS 12-Gallon Point Of Use Electric Water Heater

Best Heavy Duty Water Heater

There are times when you may want a heavy-duty water heater instead of a small-capacity one. When that time comes, you should think of buying the American Standard CE-12-AS. But why is it referred to as the best heavy-duty water heater? It should be because of the heavy-gauge steel tank. The heavily built steel tank is capable of withstanding the ravages of everyday use while staying in serviceable condition.

Inside the tank, there is a glass lining. The tank itself was made by firing at a high temperature of 1600°F. Thus, it can withstand corrosion and other effects of constant exposure to hot water. Even though the tank works at 150 PSI pressure, it is certified to go up to 300 PSI.

This heavy-duty water tank comes with several safety features. Among the most prominent is the pressure/temperature relief valve. These work hand in hand to release pressure when it builds up too much inside the tank. It also has a drain valve made of brass. Thus the tank easily drains and is able to reduce the build-up of sediment. By so doing, this prolongs the life of the tank.

American Standard CE-12-AS 12 gallon Point of Use Electric Water Heater

Pros:

  • Comes with a pressure-release valve
  • The tank has a glass lining
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons:

  • May develop a slow leak
  • Package doesn’t include inlet and outlet pipe nipples
  • The packaging is poor and prone to damage

3. Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater

Best Tankless On-Demand Water Heater

The bulkiness of water heaters with tanks can drive you to seek an alternative. As such, you may want to try the best tankless water heater. Overall, the Stiebel Eltron is a tankless water heater that looks elegant. But its attributes do not end with its beauty. If anything, this heater is designed to ensure a steady water supply whenever you need it. Due to its compact size, it is a space-saving machine that doesn’t require any form of venting.

It has a tiny water heater with an electronic switch. When on, the pump is nearly silent. In fact, you have to listen really hardtop hear any noise. The heating element is enclosed in a copper sheath. Now, copper is a very good conductor of heat. No wonder these machines heat up the water in an instant. The heater is capable of supplying high volumes of heated water. It has a 0.99 energy factor, which can be attributed to the lack of a tank. This means no heat is lost while the water is in storage.

One of the best things about this machine is that it has a thermostat, which allows you to set the temperature to a level you desire. There is also an advanced flow control through which you can regulate whether the water should flow out warm or hot. In addition, a self-modulating function enables the machine to save energy.

Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater

Pros:

  • It looks elegant
  • Made copper parts to heat water fast
  • Has the energy-saving, self-modulating function

Cons:

  • High water temperature may affect the flow rate
  • Works with only one fixture
  • Water temperature tends to fluctuate

4. Rheem 240V 2 Heating Chambers RTEX-18 Residential Tankless Water Heater

Best Advanced Water Heater

The best-advanced water heater boasts of a state-of-the-art digital thermostat, which is extremely easy to set. You can increase or reduce the expected temperature level, thanks to the easy-to-read LED display. That together with +/- 1 accuracy is why it is thought of as the most advanced. Simply set the thermostat and you will get the water at the temperature you desire.

A self-modulating heater, this is a versatile model that can adapt to the power in your house to give you hot water. Thus, you don’t need your power to be at a certain voltage level to use this machine. The heater itself is a dual-element, immersion copper affair. If you want to use it for large water quantities, you only need to make a few changes.

When the water speed is slow, it flows at a 4.4 GPM rate. That speed can rise higher, depending on the temperature you wish to achieve. The heater comes with several ¾-inch NTP water connections in its bottom. Installing this water heater is simple and fast. The NPT connections are already threaded, which makes it extremely easy to replace parts.

Rheem 240V 2 Heating Chambers RTEX-18 Residential Tankless Water Heater

Pros:

  • Has a digital thermostat
  • The copper immersion heater is durable
  • Has ¾-inch NPT water connections

Cons:

  • Comes with confusing directions
  • Reports of it not working at all
  • Water temperature tends to fluctuate

5. Tankless Water Heater ECOTOUCH 9KW 240V

Best Self-Modulating Instant Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are meant to provide you with hot water in an instant. They are not like the other heaters for which you wait for the preheat period before hot water begins to flow. And this is not the best self-modulating instant water heater for nothing. It comes with a 9KW heating system, which is capable of supplying hot water up to 116°F maximum temperature. Since the water temperature remains constant, this is the best machine to attach to a sink or shower.

With this water heater, you don’t have to worry about getting extremely high temperatures. The machine adjusts the power input depending on the temperature setting as well as the water flow rate. This kind of precision ensures that you get your water at the perfect temperature. This energy-efficient water heater can save up to 99.8 percent of your energy bills. Using the touch and digital display control panel, you can easily set the expected water temperature.

It comes with an ECO90 hot water heater, which is controlled by a microcomputer to ensure the water comes out at the right temperature. The cast-aluminum module separates water from electricity to prevent in-pipe corrosion and ensures extended life. The water heater has ½-inch NPT water connectors for easy installation.

Tankless Water Heater Electric ECOTOUCH 9KW 240V On Demand Water Heater

Pros:

  • Provides hot water in an instant
  • A self-modulating water heater
  • Has a touch, digital-display control panel

Cons:

  • Reports of the temperature level not being attained
  • Package does not include the necessary installation materials
  • May not for people with large water needs

6. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Heater

Best Tankless Water Heater

From the name, this is an eco-friendly water heater that saves energy costs by up to 60 percent. That can be attributed to the fact that the machine has an energy efficiency of up to 99.8 percent. This is certainly the best tankless water heater, given that is has a uniform energy factor of 0.98. Thus it gains and loses very little on the set water temperature. What you get is uniform water temperature, which is great when you are taking a shower.

Another thing you will like about this model is the self-modulating feature. It ensures that the machine regulates the power input depending on the temperature setting and speed of the water. With that, it is able to deliver a constant water temperature regardless of the speed of the water.

It comes with a touch control pad, which together with the LED display makes setting the water temperature very simple. As a testament to the quality of this product, the manufacturers are offering a lifetime warranty. Now, what can beat that? It requires a 240V power outlet so as to be able to produce up to 13KW of heat energy.

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Pros:

  • Has a very high energy efficiency
  • Comes with improved temperature precision
  • LED display for easy reading

Cons:

  • May develop leaks at the bottom
  • Poor customer service
  • Requires frequent maintenance

7. Thermoflow UT10 2.6-Gallons Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater

Best Water Heater for Under Sinks

Here is the best water heater under sinks. It has a capacity of only 2.6 gallons, which makes it suitable for installation at the point of use. Thus, it provides you with hot water right there at the sink. Unlike other products in its class, this particular one is capable of heating water extremely fast. Thus, you don’t have to wait long before getting hot water when you need it.

This water heater is composed of a stainless steel water tank, which is durable. The heating element is right inside the tank. It is controlled by a thermostat, which ensures that the device stops heating once the set minimum or maximum temperature is attained. This function is meant to ensure both convenience and safety. Another safety feature is the overheat prevention function. It cuts off the supply of electricity if the machine stops producing hot water unexpectedly.

The machine comes with ½-inch NPT water connectors. It requires 120V of electricity and can operate at a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. This compact water heater measures 18 by 12.2 by 11 inches, so you need to be sure if it is going to meet your water needs. As a device that is attached to the source, it can definitely supply you with adequate hot water.

Thermoflow UT10 2.6-Gallons Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater for Under Sinks

Pros:

  • Made of a durable stainless steel tank
  • Has an efficient thermostat
  • Produces hot water fast

Cons:

  • May require rebuilding of the plumbing system
  • Has a leaky pressure valve
  • May stop heating water without warning

8. Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

Best Water Heater for Shower

Tired of your old showerhead? Why don’t you should buy a water heater with its own shower head? This is definitely the best water heater for showers. It comes with a dedicated shower head, which is adjustable to four settings – off, jet, mist, and shower. Thus, you have the choice of adjusting to a setting that will provide you with the kind of experience you are looking for.

This water heater is made of stainless steel, which is the reason it is among the most durable. Thus, you will not have to deal with frequent repairs and replacements. But that is not the most attractive attribute of this product. Well, it has to do with the overzealous 34000 BTU burner, which produces enough energy to heat your water. Since this is a gas-powered water heater, it requires an LP tank. A standard tank can last for up to 11 hours of continuous burning.

With this water heater, you can adjust the water temperature between a minimum of 80°F and 150°F. Thus, you get to choose the temperature at which you want the water. So as to ignite, the device requires two D batteries, which you must buy separately.

Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

Pros:

  • Comes with a showerhead
  • Can burn continuously for 11 hours on a full tank
  • A durable stainless steel heater

Cons:

  • Two D batteries must be bought separately
  • May not stay lit
  • Lacks a thermostat

9. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater

Best Wall/Floor Mounted Mini Water Heater

It is very inconveniencing when you have to wait for a long time for a heater to produce hot water. With the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater, the wait time is nearly zero seconds, given its fast recovery rate. The good thing is that it is capable of supplying two sinks with hot water at the same time. Its 2.5-gallon tank is suitable for the point of use installation.

This is undoubtedly the best wall/floor mounted mini water heater, given the ease with which it can be installed under a sink. You can mount it on the floor, wall or shelf. Basically, the choice is yours. All you have to do is to connect it to the line with cold and it will deliver hot water straight to the faucet on your sink. With a 98 percent thermal efficiency, this water heater is a must-have.

The water heater requires a 120-volt outlet when doing an independent installation. Alternatively, you can also install it onto an existing hot water system. The water tank is made of stainless steel but lined with glass. That makes it extremely long-lasting. It measures 13.75 by 13.75 by 10.75 inches, which makes it compact enough to be installed in a small space.

Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater

Pros:

  • The gas-lined material promises long service
  • Has a fast recovery rate
  • Can be mounted on the floor, wall or shelf

Cons:

  • Complaints about poor customer service
  • May develop leaks after a short time of use
  • Has a small capacity

10. ECOTOUCH Electric Tankless Water Heater

Best Energy Efficient Water Heater

Are you looking for a heater that produces hot water quickly while preserving energy? The ECOTOUCH Electric Tankless Water Heater has a 5.5KW heating system. It is an energy-efficient machine that provides up to 98 percent energy efficiency. Thus, it is capable of saving large amounts of electric charge. With that, you will be able to save a lot of money in terms of energy bills. It is for this and other reasons that it is considered the best energy-efficient water heater.

This self-adjusting water heater increases or decreases the power output in tandem with the rate of flow of the water and the temperature setting. This ensures that the water temperature you set is maintained throughout.

A tankless water heater, this device has a touch control panel and digital display. The combination of those two aspects makes it easier for you to adjust the temperature at which you want the water. In fact, there are some models, which come with remote control for easy operation. This device is also safe, given the deliberate separation of the electric and water lines. Thus, there is no way water can leak into the electric system and cause damage.

ECOTOUCH Electric Tankless Water Heater Point-of-Use Hot Water Heater

Pros:

  • Has up to 98 percent energy efficiency
  • Comes with self-adjusting capabilities
  • A touch control panel and digital display

Cons:

  • Temps to provide a low temperature at maximum capacity
  • Doesn’t allow you to use conventional hoses
  • May stop working without warning

Choosing The Best Water Heater – The  Ultimate Buying Guide

Are you in need of a water heater? It is something you cannot do without, especially when it comes to the provision of hot water in your bathroom or kitchen. But you cannot simply go to the market and pick just any water heater.

You need to consider a number of factors including the type, energy source, size, and cost considerations. Here is a detailed buying guide that should take you through what you need to know as you go to the market searching for a good water heater.

The Type Of Water Heater

Before you settle on a particular water heater model, you need to be sure what type it is. There are five types of water heaters, but for this review, let’s cover the three most common ones you might want to consider. They include the conventional heater, solar-powered heater, and tankless water heaters. Let us look at each of these water heater types in greater detail.

  • Conventional Water Heater: This type of water heater usually has a pressurized storage tank. It heats the water externally using natural gas, oil, propane or electricity. The tank holds the water at the given temperature levels waiting to be drawn through a tap. Usually, a conventional water heater is less expensive. Since it stores water in a tank, it enables you to get all the water you need when you want it. Unlike the smaller heaters, this particular machine can channel water through several pipes.
  • Solar-Powered Heater: In order to avoid spending money on electricity or gas, you might want to consider buying a solar-powered one. It comes with a solar panel, which converts sun rays into an electric current. The electricity produced is used to power the water heater. Because of the way they work, solar-powered water heaters might be slightly costlier. It uses renewable energy and is, therefore, good for the environment.
  • Tankless Water Heater: From its name, this is a water heater without a water tank. When cold water leaves a pipe, it enters the machine. It is heated using propane, gas or electricity and released through a faucet. Tankless water heaters provide hot water within the first few seconds of getting turned on. In short, you don’t have to wait until the water fills the tank for it to be heated. They also ensure that you are able to save a lot of money in terms of energy costs.

Energy Efficiency

Since you need the energy to operate a water heater, the extent to which it is energy-efficient is an important consideration. Given that a heater can last for between 8 and 10 years, the energy saved over time will result in substantial savings.

Most water heaters have their energy efficiency rating stated in terms of a percentage or decimal. For example, most energy-efficient models can save energy by up to 98 percent or a factor of 0.98. If it is gas-powered, then it should burn without producing smoke for it to be considered energy-efficient.

Type Of Fuel It Uses

Electric heaters may be powered using fuel types such as electricity or gas. Electric water heaters rely on electricity to operate. They have heating elements, which convert electricity into heat. The heating elements are usually immersed in a tank of water to do the heating. To use them, you need to have access to an electric outlet.

Still, there are water heaters that use natural gas as a source of fuel. This can be in the form of kerosene, oil or LP. If propane, it will be channeled through a pipe to the machine itself. When it comes to affordability, gas is considered to be better than electricity. Also, operations in your home will continue, even when there is a power outage. That means you can have your shower as usual without having to wait for power to be restored.

Size And Capacity Of Water Heater

While some water heaters come with tanks, others don’t. When considering the size of the tank, the capacity of water heaters varies from one model to another. Thus, it is important to consider just how much a water heater will be able to hold in its tank. But that is not enough. Another important aspect of capacity is the device’s recovery time, which refers to the speed with which a heater can heat water.

Water heaters with storage tanks may have a capacity of between 2.5 to 120 gallons. Thus, you can pick a water heater size depending on your needs. If you have a large family, then the tank needs to be of a higher capacity. However, if you have a few people going to use the water, you can have a smaller tank. Take note of the fact that large capacity water tanks may take longer to heat.

Now, let us look at the recovery time. When it comes to the gas-powered machines, the recovery time is defined in terms of the BTU. For example, the propane water heater might have 32000 BTU for 12 gallons. This defines how efficient the water heater is. Thus, a water heater with a higher BTU and greater efficiency will have a higher recovery time.

As for the electric heater, they may have one element with a wattage of 5500 or two elements with the wattage of 4500 each. In that case, two elements with lower wattage can heat the water faster than one with a higher wattage. Recovery time refers to the number of water gallons a water heater can release in a given time at a temperature of 90°F. So, as not to be caught unawares, you should look carefully at these metrics. Also, remember to consider the amount of water you need in your home.

Safety And Warranty

It is foolish to buy a water heater just because of what it can do for you. Another thing to consider is how safe it is to use. There are several safety features that a water heater might have. For example, some have the self-modulating function, which changes the inlet power depending on the flow of water and set temperature. Other safety features include an automatic shut-off function, temperature lock, and free protection.

Even as you consider safety, you also must pay attention to whether the product has a valid warranty or not. If it has a warranty, you will be protected from possible loss when the water heater fails to work as expected. For example, the manufacturer would repair and maintain a water heater under the warranty. If it stops working for no apparent reason, you will receive a replacement water tank without paying for it.

How Affordable Is It?

When all is said and done, the biggest determinant on whether you can afford a water heater or not is the price. Once you have several products that tick all the right boxes, you should narrow down to the price. In the same category, pick a model you can truly afford.

While the more expensive ones that can handle more capacity tend to cost in thousands of dollars, smaller models, especially those designed for counters are a bit affordable, shooting a few hundred dollars.

It’s all about what you want, but again you shouldn’t compromise on key features just because you want to buy a cheaper product.

Conclusion

With the reviews and buying guide above, you should find the process of buying a water heater to be a little straightforward. Sift through the ten products we have reviewed to see if what you are looking for is listed there. If not, then the buying guide should take you a long way in your quest for the best water heater.

Erin Porteous

Written by Erin Porteous

For the past ten years Erin Porteous enjoyed the freedom of being an independent purveyor of creative services. I specialize in crafting and producing scripts for radio and TV commercials for businesses of all sizes. Moving into the web past 2 years I've been part of LR family driven by a passion for finding simple solutions to complex problems.

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