Best Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips
How to find the best water heaters among a variety of gas and electric storage tank and tankless water heaters? Compare Rheem, AO Smith, Bradford White, Rinnai, Noritz, Bosch and other top-ranked manufacturers and brands. Check out the list of the best selling models.
In order to get the best unit for your home, it is very beneficial to know the fact that between 20 and 25% of home energy consumption goes toward water heating, making it the second largest energy consumer in the North American home.
And this is the reason why I wrote these articles... to help you find the best electric and gas models, or top rated tankless and storage tank type.
After reviewing hundreds of water heaters, I have figured out that it is not easy to find one particular brand or model, which truly stands out from a wide range of available heaters on the market today.
So how to find the best water heaters?
When looking at the North American market - US and Canada, there are several brands that are major players in water heating industry:
- AO Smith
- Bradford White
Other, also popular names in water heating, such as Whirlpool, GE, Kenmore, American, Reliance, Ruud, State, Richmond are either produced by the above-mentioned manufacturers or owned by them.
The quality and versatility of models they offer are great, and their heating products have similar material quality, available features, longevity, efficiency, warranty...
All of them are making good products, but before you buy the best gas water heater or the top-rated electric model, be sure to know what you are looking for.
Top selling models
Reviewing the best types
Electric water heater
The article provides information what to look for when buying the best electric models and gives the example of the top ones. Top models that are reviewed are Marathon, Bradford White, and AO Smith.
Best gas models
Gas water heater
This article reviews the best gas models and selection criteria with features for sufficient supply of hot water during the peak time, for efficient heating and savings on energy bills. The article includes reviews of AO Smith Vertex and Polaris.
Best tankless models
The article is about top gas powered tankless water heaters such as Rinnai, Noritz and Navien that come with the advanced features, high-quality elements and superior energy efficiency, often found on condensing models, such as this popular model.
What to look for when searching for the best water heaters
Decide on the fuel type.
and gas water heaters
will have different initial purchase and installation cost, operational cost and based on the type, the size, and
energy efficiency will be different. Keep in mind that water heating is
the second highest energy user after home heating, so keeping your
costs low is one of the priorities.
- Top features. Either buying a tankless
or storage tank type
selecting the best water heaters depends on many factors and
unit has a higher initial cost, but it is smaller, usually wall-hanging,
providing hot water on demand and as much as you need it, where one large
supply up to 3-4 fixtures simultaneously.
The best tankless water
heater is condensing,
environment-friendly (green), has high EF
factor over 0.9 and can last for many years.
Storage tank type on the other
side can supply multiple fixtures at the same time with no "cold water
sandwiches" - no fluctuation in the temperature. Hot water
always ready. The best one lasts for over ten years, heats the water
efficiently (look for EF 0.67 and higher) and meets your needs during
the peak time.
Selecting the right size
will provide enough hot water, maximize the efficiency and
savings. The 50 gallons model is the most popular size as it delivers enough hot water to a household with four people easily.
Buy a high-efficiency unit
for great energy and money savings.
The best water heaters
are Energy Star rated or at least high
efficiency. Check the EF factor as it defines the quality of the
insulation, tank and burner design, ignition system... Thicker
insulation, or higher R-value, the better. Buy the heater with at least R-16 as the heat energy
loss (stand-by heat loss) through the tank walls is reduced.
efficiency on electric units is higher than found on gas models. The most
efficient and Energy Star qualified electric models are electric heat
pumps while condensing gas type among gas-powered
Price and length of the warranty
will be one of the first criteria used in selecting the best hot water
heater. Cheap heaters usually come with the lower quality and
shorter warranty while
the more expensive (advanced models) offer advanced
engineering, higher efficiency, and durability.
Most of the heaters come with the 6-year warranty (better ones have 9 and 12), while the
extended coverage (9 and 12-year warranty) is also available but with
the additional cost. The main difference between models with the short
and long warranty is in the anode
rod. A larger anode is added
heaters with the longer warranty (often more than one or powered type). Some
say that it is not worth it to pay extra money as you can replace the
anodes by yourself costing you less.
the other side, brands such as Whirlpool offer very useful features for
best water heaters, which are those with the 12-year warranty. These
include a self-cleaning system, high recovery rate, and stainless
If you are still not sure where to look for the best water heaters, use a simple formula - recommendations and reviews, and get the water heater that has the trusted name with the proven history and quality.
Best water heaters review