An average U.S. household forks out $400–$600 each year for water heating alone.
Now, what if I told you that — according to Energy.gov — an electric tankless water heater can save you over $100 annually?
What’s more, a tankless water heater can lower your costs even further if you’re careful about your spending.
“For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy-efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.
But you can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a heater at each hot water outlet.” Source: Energy.gov
This makes perfect sense, as tankless heaters warm only what runs through the pipes. There is no energy wasted heating the water that’s left unused — like conventional tank heaters.
When compared to their gas counterparts, electric tankless water heaters are more efficient. They also come with a more affordable price tag.
But how do you pick the one that’s best for you?
I did the hard work for you — here are the best electric tankless water heaters available in 2020.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Best Electric Tankless Water Heater in 2020?
- How Do You Choose the Best Electric Tankless Water Heater?
- Wrapping Up
What Is the Best Electric Tankless Water Heater in 2020?
So, how did I come up with my lineup of tankless water heaters? I’ve zeroed in on the key features you should look for in the product.
Check out the table below to see those features at a glance:
(3 to 5 people)
(3 to 5 people)
(up to 3 people)
(up to 3 people)
Read on — I’ll bring you the key specs, the pros and cons, and the Amazon rating for each model.
The Ecosmart ECO 27 is a whole-house heater — efficient even in the coldest of climates.
Its 1-degree increment temperature control allows you to adjust the temperature with precision.
This powerful water heater can replace a 60-gallon tank and save up to 50% on your water heating costs.
- Configured for colder climates, this model is a great option for households in the northern U.S.It can run at 3 gallons per minute (GPM), even when you need to heat the incoming water at temperatures as low as 37°F.
- In the Southern U.S, the unit can cover even more demanding water usage applications.This electric tankless water heater can run at 6 GPM. So, you’ll be able to run four showers and a sink — all at once — without running out of hot water.
- This model features up-to-the-minute, self-modulating technology. The on-demand heating system heats water only when you need it, saving you on energy.
- When sized accurately, this heater is all you need for an endless, on-demand hot water supply.
- It’s more compact than other units on the market and is 90% smaller than a conventional storage heater. Thus, making it the unit of your choice will free up plenty of valuable floor space for you.
- There’s a 15-second delay from the moment of turning on the faucet to when the hot water starts flowing.
- Although it comes with a high flow rate and is able to handle cold water temperatures, I wouldn’t push it too hard if I were you. The unit might not be able to serve you comfortably if you’re part of a larger household (5+ people).
The heater is designed to power through colder temps, but larger households might need to watch their hot water schedule — especially during the colder months.
One of the industry leaders, Stiebel Eltron presents this top-quality heater. It comes with a slightly higher cost than the ECO 27, but it’s a good fit for those who want guaranteed quality.
The Tempra 24 Plus is a powerful whole-house water heater. Its sleek German design is married with top-notch German engineering.
This electric tankless water heater can meet most domestic hot water needs.
The heater has an updated temperature display with memory buttons. Its ability to provide endless hot water to your household depends on your groundwater temperature.
- If your groundwater temperature is 52 °F, you can expect a 3.1 GPM hot water flow rate. Which means you can safely run 2 showers simultaneously.
- If your groundwater temperature is 62 °F, you can expect a 3.8 GPM hot water flow rate. So, you can safely run 2 showers and a sink at the same time.
- The Advanced Flow Control feature slightly lowers the water flow when your hot water demand increases.
- A microprocessor monitors the inlet and outgoing water temperatures. This ensures the unit uses the least amount of energy possible to heat the water.
- The heater allows you to limit the temperature to a safe temp of 109 °F.
- Installation can be costly as the unit’s heavy-duty.
- Comes with a lower GPM than other electric tankless water heaters on the list.
You have to pay a sizable upfront cost for this electric tankless water heater, and — compared to the ECO 27 tankless water heater — it delivers slightly lower pressure streams.
Bosch WH27 Tronic is one of the best tankless water heaters on the market.
It boasts a compact design combined with high-grade materials, and these work together hand in hand to ensure a space-saving and durable product.
This model has a solid heating capacity and can provide hot water supply to houses with up to 2 bathrooms.
So, instead of buying 2 point-of-use units, you can get the Bosch WH27 to cater to all your hot water needs.
- This tankless water heater allows you to run 1–3 major applications at a time.
- To make sure you never run out of water, even at peak use, consider the required temperature rise for your area. The unit will give you 2.4 GPM output at 75°F, 3.0 GPM output at 60°F, and 3.5 output at 45°F temperature rise.
- The built-in flow sensor ensures a constant output temperature across all applications.
- Up to date scale-prevention technology helps with maintenance and guarantees durability.
- The water heater is lightweight and an excellent space saver.
- With this unit, you may experience a 30-second delay in hot water flow.
- This water heater is on the expensive side. As such, it’s a less acceptable option for budget-conscious consumers.
The Bosch tankless water heater hits the upper price range, and, like with any purchase, you have to weigh your options. It’s a great pick for those who put reliability and durability front and center.
The Rheem RTEX-13 is the smallest and the cheapest unit featured on this list.
There’s a stand out feature that puts this tankless water heater on the map (and on our “the best” shortlist) — it’s the most compact unit out there, and it still has the power to heat multiple applications.
- The heater is recommended for single-bathroom houses and apartments. It’s ideal for one-shower households.
- You can also use it to power through 2 showers with 1.5 GPM low flow showerheads. Or use it as an on-point-unit for single bathrooms in larger houses.
- For a price this low, the model comes with a solid flow rate of 4 GPM.
- You can fit it virtually anywhere — even under a sink or cabinet in your home or office.
- You can control the water temperature from the front LED display.
- Not optimal for the coldest climates.
- This small tankless water heater can’t handle a large number of fixtures.
The RTEX 13 is by far the cheapest unit listed, but it offers a decent flow rate for the price. It’s a low-cost water heater that can pay for itself in less than two years.
How Do You Choose the Best Electric Tankless Water Heater?
So, now you have some of the best electric tankless water heaters on the market.
But how do you know which is the best water heater for you?
It’s not something you decide on the spur of the moment. Here’s what you need to know before you go and purchase one.
What Size Electric Tankless Water Heater Do You Need?
First, you need to figure out whether the size of a unit suits your hot water needs. The key here is to count all your hot water applications and check the manufacturer’s sizing charts.
The first thing to check is the flow rate, which is measured in GPM. This is how much water a unit can heat effectively while running different appliances at the same time.
Here’s a table with typical flow rates of different hot water appliances.
With this in mind, how large a capacity unit do you need? It’s advisable to play it safe and get a strong enough unit that can support all of your appliances.
Let’s say the total of your fixtures is: one standard showerhead, a faucet, a high-efficiency dishwasher, and a standard washing machine. Here’s the maths: 2 + 1 + 1.5 + 2.5 = 7 GPM
The bottom line? To run all the applications at once, you’ll need a heater with 7 GPM.
How to Determine the Temperature Rise?
Inlet water temperature is a major factor to consider when choosing your water heater. If you live in the U.S. North, your inlet water temperatures will be significantly lower than those in the South.
So, for people in colder climates, the best option is to settle for a more powerful heater so it can get them through the coldest months. Your heater will need to work full blast to heat your low inlet water temperature.
So, it’s very important to figure out the temperature rise. Let us illustrate:
120°F (Desired output water) – 50°F (Incoming groundwater) = 70 °F
In this example 70 °F is your temperature rise. All heater manufacturers have charts you can use to help you find the best fit for you.
Use this chart to figure out your groundwater temperature.
To sum up, electric tankless water heaters are great for those who want an energy efficient water heating solution. They can make a huge difference in your spending in the long run.
This makes them a good alternative to electric tank heaters. But they stack up well against gas tankless heaters too, as they’re more cost-effective.
What you want is a heater that provides an endless supply of hot water for your unique needs. But then there’s also the reliability and the cost issue.
One thing’s for sure, only the best and the most popular models were allowed on my list. Now it’s up to you to weigh your options and choose the best electric water heater for your needs.
Most importantly, you’re always welcome to drop by! For years now, I’ve run a reliable one-stop-source for anything water heater-related.