Top 7 Most Efficient Water Heaters For Home Use – 2019

Water heaters have become an indispensable part of your home, in charge of your comfort and relaxation.

Since we have to invest money in a unit, most of us want to get the most efficient water heater.

You will have what you ask for. Below are 6 excellent units you need.

Most efficient electric water heater

  • EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater – Best overall
  • Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater – Runner up
  • EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater – Best for cold northern climate
  • Stiebel Eltron 24 Plus Tempra, Tankless Water Heater – Premium Choice

Most efficient propane water heater

  • Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater – Best overall
  • Eccotemp i12-LP water heater, 4 GPM, Black – Budget-friendly option
  • Rinnai RL Model Tankless Hot Water Heater – High Capacity

Most efficient electric water heater

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater – Best overall

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to manage
  • Great from small houses

Cons

  • Only suitable for climates where the water temperature is 67F or above

What I love about EcoSmart Eco 11. Being a tankless water heater, the unit requires no ventilation system, which significantly reduces the amount of installation cost. The water comes immediately and continuously, adding comfort and convenience to your life.

This unit is certainly small and compact. You can place it almost anywhere in the house. When it comes to efficiency, the rating is 99.8%, which saves the electricity bills up to 60%. No stand-by, no wasted energy.

Another the great news for EcoSmart Eco 11’s users, this beast comes with a lifetime warranty. However, it is only applied if you have the heater installed professionally. Another drawback of this heater is the suitability to use in cold climate. It is certainly only compatible with moderate climates.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiency99.8%
kW13
Voltage240
Max Amperage57 A
Required breaker(s)1 x 60 AMP
Min. required wire size & number of runs1 x 6 AWG
Min. flow to activate unit0.25 GPM

 

Output water temp. range80°F – 140°F
Dimensions11.5″ x 8″ x 3.75″

 

Highlight FeaturesPatented Self Modulating Technology and design, 99.8-percent energy-efficient, cut down on heat loss, saving you up to 50% in water heating

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater offers a second-to-none value to small homes in a moderate climate. If this heater matches your requirements, don’t hesitate to buy one.

Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater – Runner up

Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Energy efficient
  • Small and lightweight
  • On-demand hot water
  • Cost-effective

Cons

  • Best for a single point of use

The second runner-up Rheem offers its charms when it comes to heating water.

It is indeed small and lightweight. Since the unit doesn’t take up space, you can easily find a spot in the bathroom or under the sink. The Rheem RTEX-13 features a LED display and knob to adjust water heat as you wish.

It is 99.8% efficient. It also comes with a water-saver shower head too. Compared to normal tank water heaters, this unit is a cost-effective option. At the end of the month, your electricity bill stays the same.

Some tankless water heaters can’t supply continuous hot water, but that isn’t the case with Rheem. No pre-heating and no leftover hot water after use.

The cons? This unit is small enough to accommodate a single point of use. So if you want to have hot water in the bathroom and kitchen at the same time, this machine isn’t for you.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiency99.8%
kW13
Voltage240 V
Max Amperage54 A
Required breaker(s)1x 60A@240V breaker
Min. required wire size & number of runs6 AWG recommended wire size
Min. flow to activate unit0.3 GPM
Output water temp. range20°F – 100°F
Dimensions4 x 9 x 13 inches
Highlight FeaturesExternal adjustable digital thermostatic control with LED display (+/1 degree accuracy, durable Copper immersion two heating elements, simple installation

Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater is an absolute choice for a single point of use. Smart, effective and affordable, it is a must-have at home.

EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater – Best for cold northern climate

EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Self-modulating technology and design
  • Easy to manage
  • Easy to maintain
  • A reliable source of hot water

Cons

  • Installation is quite difficult

Looking for a suitable heating unit for your house? EcoSmart Eco 27 could be a good choice. This model is large enough to heat 3 gallons of water per minute. It can provide hot water simultaneously for 2 points of use.

Its capacity is amazing. You can run 4 showers and a sink at the same time without hot water shortage. Plus, it can handle the incoming water temperature as low as 37 degrees F, which is ideal for the cold climate in the north.

The unit features a digital temperature control that allows you to set the water temperature according to your liking. It also offers a lifetime warranty for those who have it installed professionally. And you should because the installation process is tedious.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiency50%
kW27
Voltage240 V
Max Amperage113  A
Required breaker(s)3 x 40 Amp Double Pole
Min. required wire size & number of runs8 required wire
Min. flow to activate unit0.3 GPM
Output water temp. range80F – 140F
Dimensions17 x 17 x 3.6 inches
Highlight FeaturesDigital temperature control in 1-degree increments, copper and stainless components, compact size

EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater is a reliable source of hot water for people in the northern area. Its powerful capacity provides endless hot water and comfort.

Stiebel Eltron 24 Plus Tempra, Tankless Water Heater – Premium Choice

Stiebel Eltron 24 Plus Tempra, Tankless Water Heater

Pros

  • Silent operation
  • Digital display for better management
  • The solid copper heating chamber
  • Small and compact
  • Energy efficient
  • German quality

Cons

  • Require professional installation

Want a bit of luxury in your house? Stiebel Eltron has everything to offer. It certainly catches people’s eyes by the sleek design. Adopting copper for the heating elements, this unit is made to last.

This is a German-quality unit, so no doubt it gives users the best experience when it comes to operation. It functions quietly. The intelligent self-modulating technology makes sure that this heater uses just enough water and saves energy.

It comes with a pre-set temperature buttons so that you can choose the water temperature before the shower. The showers are always hot thanks to the advanced flow control technology.

Anything to complain? It requires professional installation, which can make some people annoyed.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiency99%
kW24
Voltage240 V
Max Amperage150 Amp
Required breaker(s)2 x 50 Amp DP breakers
Min. required wire size & number of runs2 separate runs of 6-gauge copper wiring
Min. recommended household electric service 208 Volt electric service
Min. flow to activate unit0.5 GPM
Output water temp. range68 to 140°F
Dimensions4.6 x 16.6 x 14.5 inches
Highlight FeaturesThe sleek design saves space and no venting required, electronic switch activated for virtually silent operation, copper sheathed heating element housed in a copper cylinder

The solid Stiebel Eltron 24 Plus Tempra, Tankless Water Heater offers premium experience and sleek design for extra comfort at home.

Most efficient propane water heater

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater – Best overall

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Pros

  • CSA approved
  • Great product functionality
  • Easy to install
  • A cost-effective purchase
  • Durable
  • Quickly heats the water (20 seconds) and stays hot

Cons

  • Require professional installation (warranty)

If you prefer a propane water heater, this tankless unit from Takagi is the best overall option for you.

It comes with a bunch of safety features including freeze, surge protection, overheat and troubleshooting diagnostic codes. It can handle 2 points of use without fail. The water is heated within 20 seconds and stays hot until you stop.

The Takagi’s flame size varies to accommodate different water flow. It, therefore, uses less gas and saves energy.

How about the cons? The warranty specifically states that the unit needs to be installed with professional help.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiencyN/A
Maximum BTUs140,000
Minimum BTUs19,500
VoltageAC 120V
Max AmperageN/A
Min. flow to activate unit0.4 GPM
max flow rate6.6 GPM
Output water temp. range99-167°F
Dimensions20.25 x 13.75 x 7.75 inches
Highlight FeaturesInclude freeze, overheat, surge protection, and troubleshooting diagnostic codes

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater is an affordable and durable propane unit. It is safe to use and stays very durable.

Eccotemp i12-LP water heater, 4 GPM, Black – Budget-friendly option

Eccotemp i12-LP water heater, 4 GPM, Black

Pros

  • LED display
  • Sleek black design
  • Safety protections included
  • Solid construction
  • Versatile

Cons

  • May not suitable for cold climate

Eccotemp i12-LP is a combination of great design and affordable price. Its sleek design is perfect for a small, shiny bathroom. This little beast features automatic temperature controls and child lock technology for extra protection.

The touch screen with LCD shows water temperature and GPM flow. It is perfect for small houses, vacation cabins, and cottages.

The unit is small but it indeed is solid. The efficiency rating is about 79%, which is enough to save your electricity bills at the end of the month. The Eccotemp is probably not the best choice for those in cold climate.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiency79%
Maximum BTUs25,000
Minimum BTUs80,000
Voltage110V
Max Amperage1.07 Amps
Min. flow to activate unit0.6 GPM
Max flow rate4.8 GPM
Output water temp. range35 -77 F
Dimensions17.00″ x 29.00″ x 11.00″
Highlight FeaturesSleek, modern design with black tempered glass front panel, fully automatic temperature controls with an energy-saving mode and child lock technology

Eccotemp i12-LP water heater, 4 GPM, Black is a budget-friendly option for a small family. Its sleek design will bring additional decorative benefit to your house.

Rinnai RL Model Tankless Hot Water Heater – High Capacity

Rinnai RL Model Tankless Hot Water Heater

Pros

  • Safe to use
  • Endless hot water
  • High capacity
  • Quiet operation
  • Amazing technology

Cons

  • Take time to install
  • Some complaint about the warranty

When it comes to high capacity, Rinai RL is my top pick. It can provide hot water for the whole house with a flow rate of 9.4 GPM.

Compared to other gas tankless heat water, this unit is super safe to use since it uses outside air for combustion. It provides hot water until you turn the unit off. The hot water will arrive a few seconds later than in tank water heaters but it stays strong and hot.

This unit comes with advanced technologies and high-tech elements such as combustion fan, pc board to manage the gas and water flow. It functions quietly too.

Rinnai offers 12 years of warranty on heat exchangers, but you need to make sure you install it with professional help. The installation is quite tedious and takes some time too.

Product Specifications

Energy efficiency82%
Maximum BTUs180,000
Minimum BTUs10,300
Voltage115 volts
Max Amperage
Min. flow to activate unit
Max flow rate9.4 GPM
Output water temp. range35 -127 F
Dimensions14 x 10 x 23 inches
Highlight FeaturesUp to 9.4 GPM hot water flow rate, Circ-Logic technology, compact, interior-mount

Looking for a high capacity water heater to run the house? Rinnai RL Model Tankless Hot Water Heater is hand-down the best catch.

How to choose the most efficient water heater (buying guide)

Most Efficient Water Heaters For Home Use

Types of water heaters

First thing first, never go shopping with an empty mind. You need to know which options are available on the table.

There are 5 types of water heaters.

  • Tank water heaters store hot water in a ready reservoir.
  • Tankless water heaters heat water directly.
  • Heat pump water heaters move heat around to generate hot water.
  • Solar water heaters use solar energy to heat water.
  • Tankless coil and indirect models come with a home heating system.

Size

The size of a water heater also indicates its efficiency. How many points of use do you want to cover? How many people share the hot water system?

Think carefully about the answer and choose the size that can cover the need of everyone in your house. If you live in a big family, a properly sized heater is needed.

However, if only one or two people use hot water, a small budget-friendly unit is all that you need.

Energy efficiency

Check the energy efficiency of the unit you intend to buy. This way you can maximize the energy used without compromising electricity bills.

Costs

How much are you willing to spend on a water heater. It is worth to estimate the operating cost of a water heater.

This way, you will have an overview of how much you have to spend on a unit annually, thus making a realistic and reasonable choice.

Who makes the most efficient water heater?

Most Efficient Water Heaters For Home Use

Not many manufacturers can make efficient water heaters at the user-friendly price. These 6 brands are exceptional. They invest in new technology, advanced safety features, and cost-effective models.

Their products incorporate experience, science, technology and customer-minded manufacturing process.

The most efficient propane water heater brands:

  • Takagi
  • Eccotemp
  • Rinnai

The most efficient electric tankless water heater brands:

  • EcoSmart
  • Rheem
  • Stiebel Eltron

FAQs

Most Efficient Water Heaters For Home Use

Should I replace my water heater before it fails?

Don’t just wait for the catastrophe. You should look for signs to replace your heater before it creates a mess.

An average lifespan of a heater ranges from 8 to 12 years. If your unit is approaching the old age, check for indicators of a new one. It could be the rattling noise that you hear every time it runs, or discolored water and even leaks.

Is a tankless water heater worth it?

Tankless water heaters are the ultimate choice for those who want a long-term solution for their hot water demand.

These units are famous for the continuous supply of hot water. They heat water instantly, allowing you to indulge in luxury hot baths without delay. What’s more, tankless models offer a longer lifespan. Some can stay as long as 12 years or more.

How long should a hot water tank last?

The durability of a water tank depends on many factors. A well-maintained tank can last up to 15 years. The construction and maintenance can significantly affect the longevity of a heater.

Most tank water heaters can only survive between 8 to 12 years.

How much does it cost to have someone install a water heater?

The cost to install a water heater professionally varies from types and regions. You have to pay between $1000 to $3000 for a water heater installation.

How often should you flush your water heater?

There is not a fixed period to flush your water heater. However, most manufacturers and experts recommend that flushing should be done once a year.

The bottom line

The quest for the most efficient water heater could be daunting if you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, this piece of writing has given you a glimpse of what options are available in the market and how you can start shopping for your heating unit.

Top 7 Most Efficient Water Heaters For Home Use – 2019
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