Tankless water heater quickly garners many homeowners attention as there is quite some buzz, reporting that it is far more efficient, in comparison to conventional tank-style heater. Mind you, based on the tests carried out by ConsumerReports.org, its efficiency is rated as high as 22% or equal to $70-$80 per year judging from the data of 2008 national energy costs. Moreover, since it does not come with any tank, it helps homeowners save the space for other tools and installations. In terms of longevity, many found that this typical water heater lasts for 20 years on average, which is longer than the tank-style type. Additionally, since the water is not contained in a closed storage, it helps minimize the breeding of bacteria, allowing for healthier bath.
Nevertheless, tankless water heater is not a perfect tool. You’re bound to deal with several issues if you’ve decided to go with it. First, the initial investment can go all the way to $3,000 for a high end model, which is clearly not a cheap deal. Also, you will probably need to fix the entire plumbing system to facilitate the tool to function properly, which also translates to extra costs. Tankless water heater is also not the best solution if the groundwater flowing to your resident has a temperature below 50F. The heat exchanger will need longer time to heat the water, giving you unpleasantly slow flow rate. All that being said, it’s always a good idea to consult these shortcomings with a reputable contractor before you start the project.
Best Tankless Water Heater Ratings
1. Navien NR Condensing 98
With thermal efficiency of 0.98, this tankless water heater is said to be the most efficient model ever manufactured in the industry. The secret lies on the built-in condenser which is designed to “preheat” incoming water with the help of flue gases. Such a technology is capable of minimizing – if not stopping completely – the wasted cold water that precedes the hot one, which is normally found in many tankless installation. The warranty for this model is valid for 15 years and along with the tankless water heater, consumers are also given the accompanying buffer tank and recirculating pump which can help decrease the rate of cold water burst during shower.
2. Rinnai R75LSiN
Capable of providing a flow rate of 7.5 GPM of hot water, this gas powered heater deserves all the attention. Besides, it has received Energy Star rating, meaning not only is it energy efficient but you can also claim the federal tax credit and state rebate which will cut down the installed cost drastically. Note that the tax credit and rebate are only valid if you install the heater on your existing primary house. You can’t apply for them if the installation is dedicated to your new or secondary resident. Another good thing to point out from this model is its impressive build quality and 12-year warranty. Sadly, this tankless water heater comes with neither buffer tank nor recirculating pump, so expect to see some burst of cold water when you have a shower.