Tank vs Tankless - Best Water Heater Showdown

Water heaters are indispensable for carrying out our day to day activities. There are many brands of water heaters available in the market today created by some of the best water tank manufacturers. Each of the brands comes with their own specifications and features. Earlier, only a limited model and design of water heaters were only available but now thing have changed drastically. Tankless water heaters have gained huge prominence in the past few years as it comes with many advantageous features. Many water heater companies are coming up with both tank as well as tankless models.

You can find electric water heaters, gas powered water heaters, battery powered water heaters, solar water heaters, hybrid water heaters and more. There is no dearth for variety when it comes to indoor water heaters and outdoor water heaters. Outdoor water heaters are best for small cabins, camps and other such spaces. Water heaters come in various sizes, design and capacities. It is important that you check for the product description and specifications before buying one so that you are able to get the best out of it. By buying the ideal model, you would be able to fulfil the hot water requirements of the entire family.

If you are wondering what are the best water heater models available, you will get to know here by reading the best instant water heater reviews.

tankless water heater
tankless water heaters

Things to consider when buying a tankless water heater

  • Anticipated requirement and water usage GPM
  • Size of tankless heater required
  • Personal priority
  • Readily available source of energy in your locality (natural gas/electricity)
  • Installation cost
  • Comparison between the cost of both type of heaters
  • Location where you want to install the heater
  • Price Comparison of Electric vs Gas

    In terms of initial cost comparison between gas and electric heaters, it is the electric one that is more expensive since a whole house electric heater costs around $500 to $700. On the other hand, a full size gas powered heater can be bought within $1000.

    Don’t just give up on tankless heaters due to high price. If you have bought after reading the tankless water heater reviews from a reputed brand then you will never regret your decision regardless of the type of heater because you will save much more on your utility bills. Very soon your heater will recover its cost and therefore, it is a safe and wise investment option.

    Resource Allocation

    It is a common assumption that gas is the cheapest form of energy and in a majority of appliances this judgment is correct. However, efficiency wise, gas powered heater is less efficient than the electric one. A gas tankless heater’s efficiency average is 85% whereas electric tankless heater’s average is 98%. Therefore, electric heaters are more efficient and their lifespan is generally longer.

    Electric tankless water heater’s operating cost is also lower than gas powered heaters. Also, electric heaters get installed cheaply and this means people spend at least 15% more on gas heaters after buying. Another point to remember is that gas prices always fluctuate and therefore, the operating price of gas powered heaters may rise or fall. Conversely, electricity process seldom fluctuates and generally it stays stable. However, this estimate may vary according to your geographic location. There may be regions where natural gas supply is way cheaper and readily available than electricity. For such locations, gas tankless water heater would be a feasible choice.

    The Installation Phenomenon

    Natural Gas: These are generally more complex to install and require more investment, care and caution. Before buying a gas powered heater you need to make sure the location where you will be installing because it will require ventilation space to fulfil air supply requirement for combustion. Do find out beforehand if your existing gas supply line and venting duct can be used or not because in many cases it cannot be used.

    Electric: These present a rather favorable option because such heaters are generally 1/3 the size of a gas tankless heater and can be installed just about anywhere. Electric heaters do not require ventilating ducts and you can easily place it anywhere closer to where you are supposed to need hot water. This means, electric heater installation will be cheap and less complex. There is no particular requirement for air supply system or intricate ventilation in electric heater installation. However, you may need to inspect your existing electrical supply system before installing an electric tankless heater.


    In comparison with the gas powered tankless water heater, electric models require less maintenance. The only factor that needs to be checked in electric tankless heaters is its inlet filter which requires cleaning occasionally. Other than that, electric models are free of upkeep.

    Conversely, gas models require thorough inspection every year that is conducted by a trained professional only for ensuring safe and reliable usage.

    Water Usage Efficiency

    Since gas models of tankless water heaters usually are larger in size than electric ones therefore, these have bigger capacity and can easily fulfill higher demand of hot water. These heaters are best for large families and extensive business setting. Typically, an average family requires 4 to 8 gallons of water/min, which an electric tankless heater can easily fulfill.

    What Should Homeowners Prioritize?

    Lastly, the most important question.. what to prefer an electric or gas model?

    This decision must involve considering a few factors such as the pros and cons of both kinds of heaters, evaluating purchasing cost and personal budget, installation expenses, operating costs, general maintenance requirements, efficiency and approximate water usage per day. Generally, electric tankless water heaters are perfect for small and medium-sized families. On the other hand, if you have a large family and larger capacity of water is required then a gas powered tankless water heater will be most suitable.

    Either way, a tankless water heater is always a better choice than an energy-consuming tank model. So, make a long-term investment and play a defining role in eradicating environmental pollution.

    What are the advantages of a tankless water heater?

    If you are thinking of switching to a tankless water heater, we have here the major benefits you will enjoy when you make that switch.

    The first and foremost advantage is that on demand water heater never ever run out of hot water. This “on demand” feature is where all the other benefits fall in as well. Because they do not have standby heat loss as the traditional heaters do, tankless water heaters can cut down your water heating bill by around 20% as the hot water supply is instantaneous and doesn’t have to be heated up constantly to keep it at the desired temperature.

    As far as installation is concerned, instant tank heaters are small and take up very little space in your home. Point-of-use tankless water heater can be installed near the outlet such as a kitchen cabinet and larger ones can even be placed on walls or even outdoors if you supply them with an anti-freeze kit. Most models come with a remote control so that you can operate them from a distance and they also have a panel where you can choose the settings that best suit you.

    In terms of safety, the electric models do not emit greenhouse gases and switching to tankless water heaters means you never have to worry about your home flooding due to a ruptured tank.

    Finally, and one of the major advantage of an instant water heater, they can last up to 10 years longer than the traditional tank water heaters.

    Disadvantages of a tankless water heater

    Though the advantages well outweigh their disadvantages, it is only fair to point them out, for more information read the reviews.

    Tankless water heaters cost up to 3 times as much as a standard tank water heater and installation and servicing are also a consideration. If you are choosing a gas model, you may need to upgrade your natural gas line to make it larger so that you will have a bigger supply. These units may also need expensive stainless steel tubing for installation and annual servicing. Electric models, on the other hand, may need an additional circuit.

    If you are worried about the environment, you have to keep in mind that the gas-powered instant water heaters will produce greenhouse gases while the electric ones require energy to operate, but much less than a traditional tank water heater.

    Finally, you will notice that your hot water output needs to be shared between all your household outlets but you need to keep that in mind when choosing your tankless water heater, that is why you have to pay attention to the flow rate when reading the reviews.

    Most Popular Tankless Water Heater Brands

    AO Smith

    Started in the year 1874, AO Smith is one amongst the prominent and trusted brands globally. The top notch water heater company manufactures some of the best and interesting models of water heaters worldwide. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it turns out to be world’s leading residential and commercial water heaters. The company is operating successfully across 60 countries globally. AO Smith is highly revered for its innovative and high tech water heaters of different ranges. It is an established brand across the United States, Canada, Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Turkey and more.

    AO Smith has got some stunning residential electric storage water heaters, air2heat system as well as electric instant water heaters. Its range of commercial water heaters includes condensing gas fired commercial water heaters and oil fired commercial water heaters. Effex, ProMax and Vertex are the gas water heater ranges available with AO Smith that are packed with some exceptional features. Promax, Cosnservationist and Voltex range of electric waters are popular on a global level and are known deliver exceptional performance. AO Smith has come up with warranty sheets for each of its product which are categorized under residential hybrid gas, residential hybrid electric, residential gas, residential electric, solar, storage tanks and tankless.


    Rinnai is a popular water heater brand that was found in the year 1920 by Hidejiro Naito and Kanekichi Hayashi. The brand has got its headquarters in Japan and has its branches all over the world. The water heaters manufactured in this company meet up with high quality standards. The manufacturing factories are ISO 9001 and/or ISO 14001 certified. The products manufactured in Rinnai adhere to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements.

    Being the largest gas appliance manufacturers, the company has got sales office in over 13 countries. It provides for Ultra series, Luxury/Value series and much more. You can find advanced models of indoor and outdoor water heaters in various capacities. The brand is also known to offer extended warranty labour coverage for specific tankless water heater models. You need to register within 30 days to avail this facility.

    Bradford White

    Headquartered in Philadelphia, Bradford White is one of the largest water heater manufacturers in America that was found in the year 1881. They come across as best and reliable residential, commercial and industrial water heater manufacturers. The water heater ranges of this brand are made out of cutting edge technology and are known to deliver excellent performance for a longer period of time. The Bradford White ICON System Intelligent Control turns out to be an innovative technology that is known to control water temperature and save energy consumption to a great extent. The water heater manufacturer has also come up with the Eco-Defender Safety System® Ultra Low NOx Series, a range of eco-friendly water heaters. The limited warranty for Bradford would cover both component parts in case of leakage and glass lined water heater. It also covers the defect caused by workmanship and material defect.


    Noritz is the first brand to come up with the modern, electronic water heaters for producing hot water way back in the year 1981 which makes them industry leader in this space. They are known to top when it comes to tankless water heaters. Their ecoTough lines of heaters are known to be efficient and reliable. ProTough range of water heaters are highly durable sustaining heavy duty usage and if you are looking to cut down your energy costs than it would be best to go with ValueSolution range of tankless water heaters. Noritz offers 12 years replacement on heat exchanger and 5 years replacement on commercial products.


    Bosch is a renowned brand that was founded by Rober Bosch in the year 1886. It has its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany and leads in engineering electronics of highest standards. Known to manufacture some of the best range of commercial and residential water heaters, Bosch definitely turns out to be the most sought after brand that has been able to gain the trust of global consumers. The domestic water heating system includes Bosch electronic high flow, 4000 S Internal, Condensing range, 32 series, Internal compact and External HydroPower. The commercial range include 32C, Manifold Packs 32, Manifold Packs 32C, 32 Series, and Dairy Gas Hot Water. The Bosch AquaStar Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is known to bring down water-heating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Bosch offers different type of warranty on its gas tankless water heater, electric tankless water heater, storage tanks and much more.


    The popular Asian company was founded by KyungDong Navien in the year 1978 that came out with excellent, environmental friendly, reliable condensing boilers. It later extended its sphere of business to other areas which includes Water Heaters, Boiler, Zone Control System, Air Conditioners, Home Network System, Energy Recovery Ventilations and other mechanical products. The brand has been operating with high success across 30 countries across the world and this includes China, Russia, America and other such countries. They are known to be the market leaders when it comes to tankless water heaters and are quite popular in the North American region. Their models NPE 180A, NPE 210A and NPE240A are known to deliver great performance by making use of less energy. Navien is known to offer Limited Warrant on its water heaters.


    Ruud is the brainchild of a Norwegian mechanical engineer, Edwin Ruud, way back in the year 1889. He is the inventor of the automatic storage water heaters. The brand is North America’s leading water heater manufacturers on both domestic and commercial front. The Ruud residential water heating range includes gas water heaters, electric water heaters, heat pump water heaters, solar water heaters and tankless water heaters. Their range of tank water heaters includes Ultra, Achiever, Achiever Plus and much more. You can register for warranty online for your specific product.


    Ecosmart is a prominent tankless water heater manufactures that has expertise with creating on-demand water heaters. The brand offers extensive range of water heaters which includes point of us water heaters to whole house water heaters. The brand has a line of gas powered, electric powered, indoor and outdoor tankless water heaters to support making it the best choice for point of use tankless types. The patented self modulating technology that the brand makes use of in all of its water heaters assures for a great output of hot water consistently. Known to be one of the best energy efficient brands, it assures to bring down energy costs up to 50%. Residential heaters offer limited lifetime warranty on exchangers, elements and electronics, POU 3.5 and POU 6 offers one year warranty on electronics, elements, exchangers and more.


    Takagi is well known for its extensive range of indoor and outdoor gas powered tankless water heaters. The water heaters run based on propane or natural gas. There are both condensing and non condensing tankless water heater models available with this brand. The high tech brand supports a wide range of features which includes LED based water heaters, easy link, multi-link water heaters, energy star certified water heaters and remote control based water heaters. You can also choose between Low Nox and Ultra Low Nox water heaters based on your requirements. The Japanese brand is best Low NOx Emission water heaters you can find. TH3 DV-N, TH3 OS-N and TH3 DV-N are some of the prominent models you can find with this brand. Takagi offers a limited warranty of 5 years on parts, 10 years to 15 years based on models and 1 year on labor.


    Rheem water heaters are founded together by Richard Rheem, Donald Rheem and Edwin Ruud and it has got is headquarters in Georgia, United States. There is no dearth for variety and choice when it comes to Rheem water heaters as you can find both tank and tankless water heaters available with the brand. Its tank type water heaters includes hybrid heat pump, electric, commercial and gas water heaters. Under tankless water heaters you can find condensing, electric, commercial and mid efficiency water heaters. By way of registering your Rheem water heaters, you can get warranty benefits which include extended warranty coverage option.

    Stiebel Eltron

    Starting with the invention of first ring type, immersion water heaters by Dr. Theodor Stiebel, the brand has come a long way over the years. The Germany based water heating company is a forerunner in the water heater manufacturing space catering to all kinds of hot water requirements for commercial and domestic needs. Their water heater range includes single point of use water heaters, whole house, multiple point of use and renewable energy water heaters as well. The whole house range of water heater includes Tempra, Accelera 220 E and Accelera 300. Known to be backed up with reliable German technology, the water heaters .would cut down energy costs up to 80%. The brand offers 7 years warranty on leakage, 3 years warranty on any defects.


    Successfully run by Atmor Industries Ltd for the past 30 years, Atmor range of electric instant water heaters are the best in this space. The brand has been catering to the tankless water heater market across the globe which includes countries like Jamaica, England, Russia, Israel, Turkey, Germany, Greece, India, Brazil, Vietnam and others. The brand uses cutting edge technology and comes packed with some high tech features like the installed thermal switch prevents the water from getting hotter than 58°C, if it reaches 58°C. New, Completa and Inline are its ranges of water heaters that are known to work exceptionally well. The brand meets up with various international quality standards requirements including BEAB, CB, UL, TUV, CE, IP 44 (anti-splash protection) and ISO 9002. The brand offers one year warranty on parts if the product is installed by Lupo recommended technician and 6 months in case installed by a certified professional.


    Eccotemp is one of the latest and most advanced brands when it comes to water heaters. The company was founded in the year 2004 by Mike Elrod and since then the brand has become hotspot across the US and Canada water heater market. The brand comes up with exceptional range of electric tankless, gas tankless, mini water heaters and other range of such tankless water heaters. Eccotemp L5, Eccotemp L7 and Eccotemp L10 are some of the best models from this brand. The brand offers one year replacement warranty package based on the cost of the water heater.


    Marey is a popular electric and gas water heater brand founded in 1955 by a Puerto Rican entrepreneur, Mariano Reyes Marey. You can find some great range of tankless gas water heaters and tankless electric water heaters available in the market. Power Gas 1L ETL LPG, Power Gas 16 L NG, Power Gas 16L LPG DP are few of them to name. The company also comes up with 5L and 10L models as well. You can get tankless water heaters in various capacities with ease. In order to qualify for warranty, it is important that you register online within 30 days from the date of purchase.

    Reliance Water Heaters

    The brand, headquartered in Tennessee, is one of the forerunners in the field of water heaters. Known to come up with some extensive range of conventional, electric and tankless water heaters, they have sustained a stupendous position in this field. It is one of the largest and extensive ranges of water heater manufacturers as the choice of water heaters are unlimited. You can find a great range of high efficiency, gas, electric and tankless water heaters found available with the brand. The brand offers Reliance Residential Electric Water Heaters, Residential Natural Gas Water Heaters, Residential Liquid Propane Water Heaters and Residential Liquid Propane Water Heaters. Reliance is known to offer good warranty period for each of its water heater category. For instance, the brand offers 6 year limited warranty on tank and parts, 1 year labour warranty on models for its residential electric water heaters.


    Started out successfully in the year 1988, Eemax provided for a range of tankless water heaters for commercial usage, .5 GPM to 1.5 GPM. It later set its foot on residential water heaters space in the year 2000. The first water heater from Eemax came out in the year 1989 and it had a flow rate of 9.5 kW Flow Control. The patented Eemax technology turned out to be quite popular as it is easy to adapt, reliable and efficient. The brand started to come out with electric tankless water heaters in the 1990s. Later, in the year 2003, Eemax came up with patented Series Six and Series Twelve family of high capacity water heaters. Eemax is known to offer limited warranty on some products and longer warranty on certain other products.


    Atwood Mobile Products, LLC is a top notch water heater brand that has been operating successfully for the past 30 years. There is no shortage for variety and choice when it comes to this brand as you can find a great deal of water heater ranges to choose from. The available water heater models includes pilot ignition, electric ignition and marine water heaters. The water heaters are able to generate 6 to 10 gallons of hot water making it best for large families. The brand offers limited warranty of 2 years on leakage, 2 years on material or workmanship.