The most energy-efficient water heaters on the market are usually the tankless variety. Not only do they conserve space, they only heat the water when it’s needed, and that at an exceptionally fast rate.
That said, there are a number of hybrid water heaters out there that are also extremely efficient. Two tankless heaters and one hybrid will be reviewed in this article.
Best High Efficiency Tankless Water Heater
Rheem has a number of water heaters on the market today, and has one of the best tankless heaters you can find. The Rheem EcoSense Indoor Tankless Water Heater has a yield of 8.4 gallons per minute, a durable 157,000 BTU burner, runs on natural gas but has an ultra low Nox, is an indoor device, and is designed for the highest efficiency.
PVC venting makes for installation that is less difficult, and since the water is heated on demand, there is an inherent energy conservation over many standard options.
The electronic controls and sensors are easy to use, and “intelligent”. For a number of different residential hot water needs, the EcoSense is ideal. With Energy Star qualification, savings are reliably quantified through a known agency.
Furthermore it’s relatively inexpensive when compared with conventional tank-based water heaters. Their low end is around $1000, which is the cost of the Rheem EcoSense. Though, among tankless water heaters, there are some exceptionally affordable options in the $500 range, so Rheem’s machine is on the higher end from that perspective. It earned a respectable 4.5 out of 5 stars from Amazon.com reviewers, and write-ups of the product came across quite pleased with its performance.
Best Electric Hybrid Water Heater
On the tank-based water-heater side of the spectrum, Electrolux Energy Star Water Heater, Stainless Steel is probably the highest rated energy-efficient option you can find. It’s a hybrid, meaning it uses several methods of heat production which conserve energy.
It is re-circulation compatible, and has a condensate overflow drain with a 3/4 inch threaded hose connector. It also has an exhaust vent that is 6 inches in diameter, and threaded 3/4 inch water inlet/outlet connectors. It uses a heat-pump and is equipped with dual vent technology.
In the end, 70% less energy is used in comparison to traditional tank-style water heaters that are only electric. Also, there is a stainless steel exterior for added long-term durability.
The Electrolux Energy Star is also known for its exceeding of the Northern Climate Tier 2 Certification. Ergo, it goes beyond contemporary Energy Star Standards via cogent provision of efficient, versatile service. According to the manufacturer and a variety of reviewers, this machine is also very quiet. The tank will hold 66 gallons, which is 16 gallons more than conventional tank-based water heating systems.
Finally there are three operating modes. Automatic, or auto; economy, or econ, and heater–this allows users to more closely personalize the machine to meet their needs. It gets 4 out of 5 stars based on the reviewers at Amazon.com. Also, it has a steep cost at $2310, but includes free shipping. You can tell a product is good when despite being twice the cost of other options on the market that provide the same thing, reviewers still enjoy their machine.
Best Energy Efficient Water Heater to Buy
Eemax has an entry in the electric tankless water heater market that offers 99% thermal energy efficiency. Truly, this device has been designed to pay for itself. The Eemax Thirty-Six Kilo-Watt Electric Tankless Water Heater has heating elements that have been engineered easily replaceable, and of durable construction. T
here’s a heat exchanging device made of copper with a top made of brass, a temperature display in the digital convention, and a control knob for adjustment of temperature in increments of a single degree, for supreme user control. Stand-by heat loss is deliberately minimized via tankless design. Why should you be paying for the storage of heated water?
Furthermore, this retention of energy through Eemax’s machine represents a reduction of an individual’s carbon footprint. As with any offering, this machine will save about ninety percent of the space a tank-based water heater would regularly occupy.
It can really go anywhere, which is another plus. Dangerous temperature spikes and levels are no problem with scald prevention, and the computer controlled micro-processing technology ensures temperature remains controlled. You can set it yourself! No venting is required, and there is no danger of poisoning from the ingestion of carbon monoxide.
The manufacturers state that a user can expect to have decades of hassle free performance. They boast when compared to a conventional tank heater, theirs can last up to twice its operating life. Finally, it’s the cheapest energy-efficient water heater on this list at only about $960. Reviewers on amazon.com gave it a solid 5 out of 5 stars, so apparently the machine delivers. As far as electric water heaters go that are tankless, it is certainly one of the strongest options on this list.
There are also a bevvy of options that are even less traditional than these; from condensation hybrid water heaters to solar panel heaters. Many of these kinds of options aren’t generally used by the average consumer, and the end effect of that is that most of these offerings aren’t very well reviewed.
Solar panels, for example, provide great energy; and they can even store it–but your region is an important factor. Seattle is a very “progressive” city, but there’s not a lot of solar panels there because it doesn’t make sense to have sun-based electric technology in a city that’s rainy almost any day of the year. That said, some areas really benefit from water-heating based in solar energy, and more panels can always be added for greater efficiency.
There are also a variety of tankless water heaters that are much less expensive than those in this article, but they aren’t quite as energy efficient. If you can save several hundred a year on energy from a tankless water heater that costs a little more, eventually the imbalance evens out. What’s sure is the modern world has more options all the time.