If you are currently planning to buy the best water heater, then you are not alone. In September 2018, there were more than 6.4 million shipments of residential storage water heaters in the United States. That is just for one month and only for water heaters used in the home.
Most people, however, do not pay much attention to their water heaters until they have to replace it. That is quite surprising since the United States Energy Information Association estimates that water heating typically makes up 18 percent of your utility bills.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical American family spends more than $2,200 per year on their utilities. By not paying attention to your water heater, you are practically ignoring close to $400 a year. The best water heater can cut down on your heating costs by up to 25 percent.
The Considerations You Should Have When Buying the Best Water Heater
So, how do you choose the best water heater for your home? The United States Department of Energy has some tips.
Types of water heaters
Conventional storage water heaters can heat a tank full of water, while a tankless variety only warms water when you use it. Meanwhile, there are also heat pump water heaters that do not directly generate heat but moves heat from one source to the other.
Further, solar water heaters use the sun to make your water hotter. Then there are the indirect water heaters that use your home’s heating system to give you hot water.
Things to consider
When you are trying to decide on the best water heater to buy, you should first think about the fuel type that the heater uses. There are areas where one or more types of fuel are not available, so check with your local utility company first before you buy.
You will also need to measure your demand. Do you need hot water only for bathing? Or do you use it for doing the laundry or washing the dishes? Getting the right-sized water heater will help you save on heating costs. Imagine boiling a tank full of water when you are going to use it only for taking a bath.
Further, buy a water heater that does not use up too much energy to give you hot water. You should also have a good idea of how much your preferred water heater will cost you for the whole year.
Warranty for the best water heater
It is always advisable to choose a water heater that gives you the most extended warranty on repairs and service.
One of fastest ways to cut down on your utility bills is to check the efficiency ratings.
You can first check if your selected heat has Energy Star certification. According to Energy Star, getting a certified water heater can help you save up to $3,500 over its lifetime. To see if the water heater you are considering is Energy Star certified, check this list of accredited heaters.
You can also look for the energy factor, which will tell you how much hot water is produced by burning a certain amount of fuel. The higher the EF is, the better.
Nice to have features
There are several features that you might want to see in the best water heater.
For instance, there are water heaters that have glass-lined tanks, which helps to minimize rusting. You can also buy those with digital displays that allow you to operate and monitor your water heaters, or those with anti-scale mechanisms, which reduce mineral build up.
How much can you expect to spend on the best water heater?
Pricing for water heaters varies widely. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,800 for these heaters.
How We Reviewed
To put together this review of the best water heater models you can buy right now, we checked the product information page of different water heaters. We also scoured their listings on Amazon, The Home Depot, and other online retailers. In addition, we read what actual customers had to say in their reviews so that you can know how they function in the real world.
Getting the Best Water Heater: The Shortlist
Itching to start saving while remaining comfortable? Here are the water heaters that you should consider.
EcoSmart ECO 11
The EcoSmart ECO 11 is an electric and tankless water heater that comes with a lifetime warranty. The ECO 11 features a digital temperature control that allows you to get the right temperature with one-degree increments. You can now shower comfortably with the right level of heat for your hot water.
The EcoSmart ECO 11 can heat water at a flow rate of 0.3 gallons per minute. It guarantees that you will not run out of hot water while showering. It measures 11.5 by 8.0 by 3.8 inches, so it does not take up too much space on your bathroom walls.
More than 2,000 customers on Amazon give the EcoSmart ECO 11 an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews talk about how much they save from using the ECO 11. This water heater will not use electricity when there is no water flow, unlike with other heaters that heat your water around the clock even when you are not at home. Some reviewers even say that this works better at providing hot water than those devices with storage tanks. They also love how this unit self-regulates when it is in use.
However, there are negative reviews that talk about how the EcoSmart ECO 11 broke down in just months of use, and customer service has been rather slow in responding to their complaints. Others did not like how unreliable the water heater was, sometimes sprouting out hotter water than they preferred. Also, you will need to have this heater professionally installed so that the lifetime warranty will be honored.
The EcoSmart ECO 11 has pricing that ranges from $210 to $280. You can buy it from Amazon and other online retailers.
Bosch Tronic 3000 T Series
The Bosch Tronic 3000 T Series is a point-of-use water heater that you can use to have hot water where you need it. You can install it in your bathroom, on the patio, or in your RV, among other places. Unlike the EcoSmart ECO 11, the Bosch Tronic 3000 T Series comes with a mini tank, so that you do not have to rely on its capacity to heat water that passes through the heating elements. It can store anywhere from 2.5 gallons to 7.0 gallons of water.
What’s more, this water heater is very easy to install with all the needed mounts and brackets already included in the package. You only have to tap it into a water line and then plug it into a 120-volt power outlet to start enjoying hot water immediately.
The Bosch Tronic 3000 T Series gets a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. People who bought this water heater love how they do not have to wait too long for hot water to pour out from their faucets or shower heads. They also like the low annual cost of using this heater. However, some customers complain that water sometimes leaks from the bottom, and how it fails only after a short time of use.
Pricing for the Bosch Tronic 3000 T Series depends on the mini-tank capacity you want. It will cost you anywhere from $150 to $300 for the 2.5-gallon model, while the biggest 7-gallon version will set you back anywhere from $190 to $230.
Rheem Performance Plus 40 Gallon Water Heater
The Rheem Performance Plus 40 Gallon Water Heater is ideal for small households with up to four people. It has two elements that deliver 5,500 watts of heating. The water heater is covered by a nine-year limited warranty for the tank and the parts, with two years of in-home service and repair warranty.
With an automatic thermostat that ensures that you get only the temperature you want, the Rheem Performance Plus has a temperature range of 90 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This water heater also takes up less space when compared to the competition. It measures only 20.3 by 48.5 by 20.3 inches.
The Rheem Performance Plus gets a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on The Home Depot. Satisfied buyers love it for the easy installation and the long warranty. This water heater works as advertised and it does not cost too much. Pricing for the Rheem XE40M09EL55U ranges from $400 to $500.
However, there are complaints that the product has a known defect in which the lower heating element develops a leak that causes the product to steam. Plus, while customer service is responsive, they do not offer much help. There are also complaints about the LED indicator lights being confusing. Others warn potential buyers that the unit breaks down only after a short period of use.
Westinghouse 52 Gallon Electric Water Heater
The Westinghouse 52 Gallon Electric Water Heater uses stainless steel for its body, ensuring that it will not get rusted over time. The manufacturer claims that this heater does not use too much energy. The Westinghouse 52 Gallon directs cold water to the bottom, where the heating element is. This set up ensures that the mixing of cold and hot water is minimized, thereby lessening the need to heat more than necessary.
More than that, the tank is heavily insulated, further minimizing heat loss. It is easy to see why this heater has a 0.95 energy factor. Also, the Westinghouse 52 Gallon Electric Water Heater comes with a lifetime warranty, and it resists the build-up of scales even when you do not put anode rods in it. This water heater gets a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on The Home Depot.
Positive reviews talk about how well the heater works and the high-quality construction. They like the high capacity of this heater, giving them all the hot water they need. They are also impressed with the brass inlet and outlet, as well as the stainless steel tank. However, some reviewers warn potential buyers about how the tank leaks after a short while. Others report that their heaters stopped working in a matter of months.
Pricing for the Westinghouse 52 Gallon Electric Water Heater ranges from $750 to $900.
The InSinkErator HWT-F1000S features a built-in filtration system and a water tank. While Chinese made, the HWT-F1000S is very durable with its stainless steel tank. This tank holds about 0.67 gallons of water, which is enough to make up to 60 cups of coffee in an hour. Also, it features an adjustable temperature control so that you get the right temperatures.
On Amazon, the InSinkErator HWT-F1000S receives a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Verified buyers love the ready access to hot water and the ease of installation. Others like this heater because they no longer have to wait for hot water if they want to drink tea or coffee.
However, some complain that the heater is incompatible with faucets from other manufacturers. There are also some warnings about the weak flow of water, which is typical for water heaters at this price range.
Camplux 5L Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
Life takes you everywhere, so why can’t you take a water heater with you wherever you go? With the Camplux 5L Outdoor Tankless Water Heater, you can now have a hot shower while on the beach, on your patio, at a campground, or even in your RV. This device is portable, with a foldable handle that makes it easy to carry around.
The Camplux 5L uses two D cell batteries to power the ignition and propane gas for heating, allowing you access to hot water even when there is no convenient power source where you are. You can also use this water heater when you are in an area with low pressure. This Camplux heater can work with water pressures as weak as 2.0 pounds per square inch.
The Camplux 5L Outdoor Tankless garners a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Verified buyers love how they can easily control the temperature by adjusting the water flow or turning up the heat. It can be placed on just about everything that is sturdy enough to support its weight.
There are, however, reviews that warn interested buyers that the Camplux 5L Outdoor water heater has components that might break off easily. There are also warnings from buyers whose Camplux water heater caught fire. A 1-pack package from CampLux will cost you anywhere from $100 to $150.
Eccotemp i12-LP Water Heater
Despite its sleek design, the Eccotemp i12-LP Water Heater is a powerhouse capable of heating water for your entire home. With a rating of 4 gallons per minute and on-demand, zero-pilot light operation, this water heater saves energy while still providing hot water when you need it.
As for looks, the Eccotemp i12-LP features a black tempered glass front with an easy-to-read LED display and controls. As for the user interface, all temperature controls are fully automatic and even come with a child lock system.
This water heater plugs into a 110V outlet and uses standard water fittings for a quick and hassle-free installation. However, the Eccotemp i12-LP does require a propane tank, as well.
With a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars from Amazon customers, this water heater is pretty popular. Most critical reviews either mentioned pinhole leaks forming after a year or the water heater dying after about a year. You can purchase this Eccotemp heater for between $300 and $400.
Duda Solar Water Heater
If your primary concern is saving more in the long run, then you should check out the Duda Solar Tube Water Heater Collector. The Duda Solar water heater uses sunlight to give you hot water. It has a high sun absorption efficiency at up to 96 percent.
The Duda Solar Tube Water Heater Collector delivers consistently hot water no matter when you need it. It is made with durable materials that are both winter- and hailstone- resistant. It can also last for up to 15 years.
The Duda Solar Tube Water Heater Collector gets a perfect 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. Pricing for this system ranges from $770 to $1,300, depending on the number of tubes you buy.
Ecosmart ECO MINI Electric Water Heater
Choosing a small water heater doesn’t have to mean opting for a tankless model. The Ecosmart ECO MINI Electric Water Heater is a compact water heater that comes in four different sizes: 1-gallon, 2.5-gallon, 4-gallon, and 6-gallon.
These water heaters are manufactured in the United States and feature a digital output temperature display for quick and easy readings. While this heater isn’t Energy Star-Rated, it does operate at 99.8-percent efficiency.
The Ecosmart ECO MINI Electric Water Heater isn’t just great for apartments, cabins, or small houses. If you find your kitchen sink or shower seemingly takes forever to get hot, this water heater can actually supplement your full-sized model. Just install it directly below the water source that needs a little extra heat, and you’re all set.
This water heater has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars from Amazon customers, with most negative reviews focusing on the lack of installation instructions provided with the heater. You can purchase one of these heaters for between $160 and $225, depending on the size tank you choose.
What Is the Best Water Heater According to Your Needs
If you live in a small house or apartment, or if you only need hot water for showering, then the best water heater for you is the EcoSmart ECO 11. Or you can try the InSinkErator HWT-F1000S that has a filtration system built in, making it perfect for people who are coffee or tea addicts.
If you have a small family and do not like the point-of-use systems offered above, you can save money with the Rheem Performance Plus. This water heater provides enough water for households with three people, yet has a mid-range price tag plus a nine-year limited warranty.
Meanwhile, if you need the best water heater for your RV, you can get the Bosch Tronic. With its mini tank, you can easily enjoy a hot shower when you are on the road. Meanwhile, the Westinghouse 50 Gallon might be the best water heater for larger households with four to five people.
Lastly, if you do not mind the high upfront costs, you should also consider being greener and buy a solar water heater such as the Duda Solar.