Tankless Water Heaters – A No Brainer?
If you are looking for a water heater for your home getting a tankeless water heater is almost a no brainer. They may be more expensive but they also save between 30% and 50% on your power bills. The difference between the two is also because of the kind of heater that you use. You can either go with the electricity powered ones that do not give you much of a saving or for the Natural Gas, Propane or LPG powered ones that can give quite a bit of savings. Even here, the Natural Gas ones are much more efficient than the LPG ones.
Although you may think that having a burner within your home is not safe, these models are actually quite safe. As long as the ventilating system is good in the room where they are installed you need not worry because they will have to be vented outside anyway. Of course if the vent develops a leak then the exhaust gases will escape and may result in a dangerous rise in Carbon Monoxide, and you may also get hit by a truck when you are crossing the road. The risk is always there, but it is not as high as made out to be. For the really paranoid ones, you get outdoor units.
The best tankless water heater depends a lot on what exactly their use would be. For example, if you are looking for a heating solution for your entire house you should go with a different heater from if you are only looking to install one for your shower. Depending on the use that they will be put to we at tanklesswaterheatersreview have given you out opinion on what we think is the best for you.
Small Capacity Heaters
If you are only looking for a heater to install for your sink a really small one should do. Even if you use the sink quite a bit the outlet is usually not very large and a capacity of 0.5 Gallons Per Minute is quite sufficient. Our choice would be the Stiebel Eltron Mini 3. This model gives you the same output which is 0.5 GPM as all other models in this range but costs only $130.
Compare this to $200 or $250 that other manufacturers charge and you will know why this is out first choice. Stiebel is also very good quality so no worries there either. Getting a gas powered one is useless here and only an electricity powered one would be suitable.
Medium Capacity Heaters
Medium capacity heaters can either be installed for the entire house if the household is small enough or for only the bathroom or the kitchen. These heaters can be gas powered as as long as they are installed in your basement and connected to your piping. These heaters typically give you between 2.5 to 6.5 GPM depending on how hot you want your water. If you want it really hot the flow rate will drop while if you want it comfortably warm you can get a good flow rate.
A 6.5 GPM is sufficient for most nuclear families as it can support two showers at the same time along with one appliance at a pinch. Our recommendation would be the Rheem 53 series. At only $500 they are much cheaper than most and although they give you only a 5.3 GPM that is all that is required of medium sized heaters.
Large Capacity Heaters
These heaters are the most popular of all simply because of their large capacity. If you are going for a medium sized one at around $550 or $600 you might as well pay a couple of hundred dollars more and go for one that will give you up to 9.5 GPM and costs anywhere between $800 and $1100. If you include the tax breaks that can come to 30% of the cost and installation their price just dropped a couple of hundred dollars. This means that you can get a much larger heater for the same price effectively as a medium sized one.
Such a large flow rate is really not needed by most families which means that this will be a waste most of the time. Their usefulness will come out only in winter when the temperature drops and you need hotter water. At this time the flow rate will come down drastically and unless you have a little excess capacity as reserve you will be having to organize your baths. Getting a heater looking at the maximum GPM is a bad idea because when winter sets in it will not even be sufficient for one shower, far less anything else.
Our recommendation would be the Rheem 95 series here. They give you a 9.5 GPM and cost only $950 and although this might be more than what you are looking to pay, their usefulness will show once winter sets in. Even companies like GE that sell at a comparable price do not offer this kind of a flow rate.
Obviously the final choice is up to you, our reader. We have tried to give you a very impartial assessment of all the tankless water heaters and have given out verdict. Out criteria has been first and foremost value for money with performance and reliability following a close second. Even here we are not forcing our choice on to you. Just use what we have said as a guideline and make the decision yourself and if you feel that some other model is better go for it. Our view is to educate not market