Best gas water Heaters

Choosing a New Water Heater
December 24, 2014 – 10:22 am
Annual savings by type

Tankless water heaters

Instead of keeping 40 or 50 gallons of hot water on call 24 hours a day—which wastes energy—a tankless unit heats water only when you need it. A flow sensor detects when you open the faucet. Then the gas valve opens and the burners fire up. The heater measures the incoming water temperature and calculates how quickly the water should flow past the burners. So, if the incoming water is 65 degrees F (typical summer temperature), the heater will provide its maximum flow rate. But if the water is only 35 degrees, the heater will throttle back the flow rate by almost 50 percent. Check with your local utility to find out the water temperature. The average home center price for a tankless heater is $1, 000, plus about $200 for a stainless vent.


  • Nothing beats a tankless heater for putting out lots of hot water—it never runs out.
  • A tankless heater saves about 30 to 50 percent in energy costs over a conventional gas heater (minimum EF of .82 vs. .54 for conventional).
  • A tankless heater is small and hangs on the wall, freeing up floor space.


  • With tankless heaters, there's a lag time of three to eight seconds to fire up the burners and heat the water to the set temperature.
  • Installation can be a major project.
  • Tankless heaters must be flushed annually with special chemicals to remove scale and maintain energy efficiency. You can do this yourself or hire a plumber (about $125).

What to look for:
Shop for one with the highest EF and the best flow rate.

Condensing gas water heater You can install it yourself—if you can run a new gas line, follow the venting installation instructions to the letter (and to your local code), install an electrical outlet, and reconfigure the water pipes. It's a big job.

Is it for you?
If you want an endless supply of hot water for long showers or to fill a gazillion-gallon spa, this heater's for you. Just be aware that you may not be able to run several showers at the same time in winter. The payback on a professionally installed tankless heater is 16 to 22 years, or six years if you install it yourself.

Tankless Water Heater Details

Tankless water heaters are small and mount on a wall, because they don't have a storage tank for hot water. They operate off gas and require a special vent.

Tankless water heater
Electric heat pump combined with storage tank Point-of-use water heater
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Popular Q&A
How to Choose the Best Gas Water Heater?

There are certain things you need to look out for, which will separate the best gas powered water heater from average ones. It also won't hurt you if you know the installation of a gas water heater, in case you have to do it yourself. However, problems with these heaters are best left for professionals to solve, as there is a much complicated machinery involved.
Here is a list of things you must check out before you buy.

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