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Best Electric Hot Water Heater

Finding the perfect electric water heater is difficult, especially when one considers the variety out there. But just focus on your needs, and you're sure to find one that suits you best. Here are some tips to help you choose...
Aarti R
Water heaters are an indispensable part of any home, and it's only fitting that people do a lot of thinking before buying them. The main factors to be considered while making this purchase are, the size of your family, your requirements, and finally, your budget. Which is to say that the climate you live in, the quantity of hot water you consume and the frequency at which you consume it, must be given a thorough thought before buying a water heater.

If you happen to live in a region with warm sunshine all year, your best bet would definitely be a solar water heater. Those living in colder climes have to choose between installing a gas or electric water heater. When compared, electric water heaters are easy to maintain and they can be installed in houses, both big and small. They come in storage (ones that have a tank) and tankless variants.

Before you go on to reviewing the different types of water heaters available, answer these questions to understand your needs. Use this information to zero in on the right water heating appliance for you.
  • How many members are a part of your household?
  • How many bathrooms does the house contain?
  • How many fixtures/taps will the heater supply water to?
  • Are there any space constraints regards to fixing a new water heater?
With these points in mind, you can now move on to consider the types of electric water heaters available.

Types of Hot Water Heaters

Storage Heaters
Storage water heaters are quite popular. They have a storage tank that can be easily installed. Also, this electric water heater is inexpensive, which explains its popularity. On the downside, it requires periodic maintenance. Energy efficient models include an insulated storage tank, a good heat exchanger, and a heat trap to efficiently transfer heat to the water. Using energy-efficient models help in conserving energy and cut down your energy costs. Mentioned here are three storage heaters which have garnered fairly decent reviews. Of course, these may not suit everyone's requirements, but are worth a look.

Kenmore 55 gal. Tall 6-Year Electric Water Heater | $329.99
Tank Capacity: 55 gal.
Tank Diameter (In.): 20.5
Tank Height (In.): 60.25

Kenmore 32656 comes with a 55 gallon tank, perfect for a warm tub bath. It is efficient in terms of heating, and is effortlessly quiet. It works well for a family of 4 to 5, providing hot water non-stop for individual showers lasting 10-15 minutes. In other words, this water heater is a good product for a regular sized family with average hot water requirements. As far as the installation is concerned, it is not too tough if you're the DIY type.

GE GeoSpring™ hybrid water heater GEH50DEEDSR | $1299
Tank Capacity: 50 gal.
Tank Diameter (In.): 22.25
Tank Height (In.): 60.50

One might flinch at the cost of this product, but it's not called a hybrid for nothing. Massive on energy savings, this water heater promises big savings on your electricity bills. It is virtually noise-free, and provides hot water for all your household requirements, irrespective of the weather. It comes with 5 operating modes, helping you to switch from hybrid to vacation, with ease. Installation is kept simple as well. It is Energy Star-certified and eligible for a federal tax credit along with other rebates and incentives.

Rheem Marathon MSR50245 | $1000 approx.
Tank Capacity: 50 gal.
Tank Diameter (In.): 23.5
Tank Height (In.): 66.75

This water heater is leak proof, and rust-free, since it is made of fiberglass and plastic. The price is on the higher side, but those who have used it, do recommend it as a long-term (think: 10 years) investment. The performance of this water heater is also at par with the best, even with a more-than-average usage.

Tankless Heaters
The tankless electric water heaters, as the name suggests, do not have a storage tank and provide hot water instantly. In this type, water comes in contact with the heating element inside, which performs the task of heating it. Though you get a supply of hot water faster, the volume is limited. The best electric tankless heaters last longer, and require less maintenance as compared to the storage type. The tankless variety is perfect for smaller homes, with limited usage. Mentioned below are three products that could be tried, depending on your requirement.

Stiebel Eltron 4.6 GPM 24.0 kW Whole House Tankless Electric Water Heater | $799
Tank Height (In.): 14.5
Tank Width (In.): 16.625
Maximum temperature: 140 °F

It does seem pricey, but makes up for the cost through its efficient performance. This water heater is recommended for small families with basic requirements. It provides hot water within seconds, and comes with a temperature adjustment valve on the panel, adding to its functionality.

EcoSmart 18 kW Self Modulating 3.5 GPM Electric Tankless Water Heater | $439
Tank Height (In.): 18
Tank Width (In.): 4
Maximum temperature: 140 °F

Economical and compact, this water heater is probably the best deal on the market at the moment. Its self modulating flow sensor technology makes water heating very energy efficient. The temperature control panel on the device has options in increments of one degree. You can purchase a remote control as an accessory.

Rheem Tankless RTE 27 | $650 approx.
Tank Height (In.): 10.50
Tank Width (In.): 11.25
Average temperature: 105 °F

A simple water heater, this is a good product for point-of-use application. Its compact size and performance will satisfy people with limited requirements of hot water. It heats small quantities of water at a time, thus saving on energy. It is a good product for a small space where one does not need continuous supply of hot water.

Choosing Electric Water Heaters: Points to Remember
  • Energy efficiency is a very important aspect to be considered while buying any home appliance, and water heaters are no exception to it. Not only are they environment-friendly, but they also leave you with lower electricity bills.
  • Always opt for a water heater that is easy to install. Professional installation will unnecessarily increase the amount you're spending.
  • The annual operating cost of each type of heater must be considered before buying one for yourself.
  • Carefully consider the dimensions of the heater, and match it with the space available in your bathroom. Also, if you anticipate your requirements to increase over the next few years, ensure that there is enough space to upgrade your water heater.
  • Check for the warranty that comes with every model, so as to make sure you get a good deal.
  • Finally, do not forget to check online reviews of products that you have in mind. It always helps to have user reviews, assisting you in coming to a decision.
Remember to consider all these aspects before you choose a water heater. Hasty decisions could lead to you being saddled with a product that does not match up to your expectations.