Living without a water heater in a modern home is odd, costly and perhaps even unnecessary.
Circumstances get worse when it’s winter and you have to heat water using old-school methods every time you want to bathe, wash dishes or even wash your hands.
These outdated water-heating options will expose you to numerous challenges.
That’s why it’s important you get a reliable water heater that does all the instant heating for you anytime you need to use warm or hot water.
But choosing a reliable water heater can become challenging, especially now that there are numerous water heater brands in the market.
You need to understand what options exist before you step out to shop for reliable natural gas or electric water heaters.
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The Top 7 Water Heater Brands – Which One’s the Best Brand for a Water Heater?
It’s easier choosing a product from the market when there are only a few options to choose from. The case is different when choosing a water heater brand when there are so many brands to choose from.
Now that you know what types of water heaters exist and the conditions you should meet to make an excellent water heater choice, you can easily make an informed buying decision.
Here are some of the leading water heater brands you can consider when buying your next heater.
1. A.O. Smith Water Heaters - Best Overall Brand
If you are seeking a prominent water heater brand in the North American market, plumbers will always quickly recommend A.O. Smith.
Founded in 1874, the company has been in operation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since it was established to this day.
In the onset years, A.O. Smith kicked off its operation as a hardware shop but started making steel car frames in the following years before finally shifting to water heaters.
Today, they sell a range of products through plumbing wholesalers and contractors. Some of their product ranges include:
- Tankless water heaters
- Tank water heaters
- Hybrid water heaters, and
- Solar heaters
A.O. Smith is popularly known for its excellent gas heaters, which are among the most reliable and highly efficient gas heaters available in the market today.
It also produces a range of highly efficient electric tankless heaters that you can look out for when shopping for electric heaters.
If you’re looking to cut on costs, in the long run, their efficient solar-powered heaters are a great option. They are eligible for rebates and tax credits and could save you some money in the long run if you invested in them now.
2. Kenmore Water Heaters - Best for Wide Variety of Hot Water Heaters
Kenmore is not only popular for making excellent commercial water heaters, but it is also one of the renowned manufacturers of household appliances like vacuum cleaners, kettles, and coffee machines.
Over the years the company has done an excellent job diversifying its product range since it was founded in 1913.
For water heaters alone, the company has specialized in producing a great hybrid, natural gas, propane, and electric heaters. You can always choose your fitting heater option from the wide selection they offer.
Kenmore water heaters are built to last and serve you efficiently throughout their lifespan. Their electric models are particularly excellent energy savers. They retain heat and resultantly consume less power.
If you’re buying a current model, you can easily control them with the Kenmore app, which allows easy operations and efficient use of energy.
Almost 1/3 of American households will agree that Kenmore is the best water heater brand in the country today.
3. Bosch Water Heaters – Best for Energy Efficient Electric Heaters
Different from the rest heater companies in the list, Bosch traces its origin back to Stuttgart, Germany. It is arguably the best water heater company in Germany and is quickly spreading its quality products across the globe.
You must have come across Bosch products when shopping for home appliances and power tools. But those aren’t the only products Bosch produces and distributes.
Its water heaters are also remarkable as they offer solid and reliable performance that you can trust.
Despite being costly, these electric heaters are energy-efficient and will help you save money in the long run. They are an excellent investment to make for better future returns.
You will not have much to worry about when it comes to maintenance thanks to the heaters’ low maintenance demands.
Bosch remains the best water heater brand if quality, performance, and reliability are three features you’re looking for in a modern water heater.
4. Rheem Water Heaters – Best for Long-Lasting Low Maintenance Tanks
In 1925, two brothers, Richard and Donald Rheem had the idea to start Rheem Company and with the financial backing of their other brother, William, they founded the company.
When starting, the company majored in galvanizing steel drums. However, this changed as years passed by, which saw the company diversify into other areas including water heaters.
In 1973, the company split into two with one half specializing in HVAC units and the other going for water heater units.
Since this division and specialization, the company has never looked back on its progress. It has manufactured and distributed high-quality tankless units, large capacity tank units, exceptional customer service, and the continual incorporation of new-age technology.
Whether you need a solar, gas, electric, heat pump, or tankless models, Rheem is the best water heater brand you can look for.
The tankless models they manufacture are among the most durable and sought-after in the US.
They also distribute the most reliable and low-maintenance storage tank heaters.
The company has built a reputable name and a majority of plumbers will quickly recommend this brand anytime you ask for the best water heater brand in the market.
5. EcoSmart Water Heaters - Best for Innovative Water-Heating Solution
It’s agreeable that finding the best water heater brand that meets all your needs is challenging if not impossible.
However, buying an EcoSmart water heater is likened to buying the best water heater brand in the market today for many reasons.
Their heaters are environmentally friendly and are known for their durability and energy efficiency.
These electric tankless water heaters are also far much affordable than the other available options in the market.
Regardless of selling at cheaper prices, they also perform better than any other existing unit because of their unique and innovative SmartBoost Technology.
The technology can help you save up to 60% on your total monthly electricity bills.
What’s more, the products are made to last and this is displayed by the confidence the company is throwing in these products’ warranty terms. You are always given a limited lifetime warranty anytime you purchase a new water heater from EcoSmart.
This is the best water heater brand if you’re looking for a new water heater that can save you some cash, last longer, and offer you innovative water-heating solutions in the long run.
6. Bradford White Heaters - Best International Water Heater Distributors
If you asked your plumber for the best water heater brand in the US and beyond, they’d probably direct you to Bradford White tankless units among other water heating units.
Bradford White has been selling its products via authorized plumbing wholesalers, which restrict your shopping freedom. You can’t get the products in any dealer shop you visit in the US and beyond.
By limiting their products to specific dealers, Bradford White can easily monitor the movement and quality of their products more closely.
If you buy a heater from the company, they will offer a 10 years warranty if the unit is installed by a certified plumber.
The only thing most customers complain about is the high initial costs that are associated with Bradford White heaters.
However, the high costs are well reciprocated with the quality of these products, and once you buy them you’ll always enjoy the value for money.
The company offers both tankless and tank units to meet every buyer’s needs. If you are willing to pay more for an excellent electric or gas heater, then this is a brand you won’t easily pass.
7. Whirlpool Water Heaters - Best for Multiple-Sized Water Heaters
In its first years, Whirlpool manufactured and distributed washing machines among other household appliances.
Its first product, a washing machine, didn’t have a completely successful year. However, the founder, Lou Upton, managed to bring it back into a successful company.
Today the company produces some of the best propane, gas, and electric water heaters. If you’re going for the gas and propane units, you’ll have to contend with the available sizes ranging from 30 to 50 gallons.
For the electric options, the size range is wider as they come in sizes between 6 and 50 gallons.
You will always have the best deals when you buy whirlpool heaters. Their warranties range from between 6 and 12 years.
Common Types of Water Heaters
Before you settle for a particular brand of water heater, it’s best if you understand the types that exist so you can choose a brand that manufactures what you want.
Here are the three most common water heater options you can consider.
a) Tankless Water Heaters (On-Demand Water Heaters)
Tankless water heaters are quickly taking a significant space in modern homes. Everyone is looking for a convenient water-heating solution that will take minimal space in their homes.
Tankless water heaters employ a slightly different principle of heating water. They heat water anytime you demand hot water, thus the name on-demand water heaters.
Anytime you open a hot water tap, cold water will flow into the tankless water heater via a pipe and then heats it quickly to release hot water.
Depending on the energy source, you can either buy natural gas or electric tankless water heaters. Either option will give you an endless supply of hot water anytime you need it.
The only thing you have to worry about when using a tankless water heater is its speed and flow. They barely surpass a flow rate of 5-6 gallons per minute.
b) The Conventional Tank Water Heater
They are the first types of water heaters and, for a long time, the most common options in the market. These water heaters come with an insulated tank that stores water for heating. Water in the tank is heated up using electric or natural gas power sources.
Hot water in the tank will retain its current temperature and anytime you open a hot water tap, you will get a supply from the stored water.
Upon depletion of the hot water in the tank, you’ll have to wait for about an hour for the water to get reheated again.
This is one of the challenges you’ll have to contend with when using a tank water heater. Energy efficiency is also another topic you would want to discuss before buying a storage tank water heater.
c) Hybrid Water Heaters (Heat Pumps)
These water heaters work with the concept that it’s easier and cheaper to heat water using heat that already exists rather than producing heat to heat water.
A heat pump water heater will take heat from the air and use it to warm the water.
It compresses the surrounding air, forcing out the cool air and retaining the warm air that it uses for heating the water.
When hot water demands are high, this pump switches to using electrical coils for heating water. The name, hybrid water heaters, rose from the fact that they use two water heating systems to heat water; the warm air and the electrical coils systems.
However, to use hybrid water heaters efficiently, you must reside in an area with a warm climate, making it a not-so-perfect choice for cold areas or use during winter.
d) Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters are also commonly known as solar domestic hot water systems.
The solar system is connected to the hot water tank to absorb sunlight and convert it to heat for heating water.
With constant sunlight, using this type of water heater can be an economical way of heating water. However, in cold seasons, you may need a backup plan to continue getting hot water flowing through your pipes.
e) Condensing Water Heater
Condensing water heaters are energy-efficient gas-fuelled water heaters that ensure you enjoy a continuous flow of hot water into your home.
They use 8 to 15% less energy compared to standard continuous flow water heaters.
They manage to be highly energy-efficient because they preheat the incoming cold water with the excess heat tapped from the flue gas escaping from the appliance.
Once the flue gas has been used to heat the cold water, it condenses into liquid, hence
the name condensing water heater.
What to Consider when Choosing Perfect Water Heater Brands
Once you have settled on the type of water heater you want, you need to consider other crucial factors before you choose a water heater brand that ultimately meets your needs.
Here are some of the crucial factors to consider when buying your next water heater.
The Source of Energy – Electric, Solar, or Gas Heaters?
More often the decision to either settle for an electric, solar or gas heater depends on your home’s design.
Most homes use either gas or electric water heaters. These two only have a slight difference in the cost of installation and operation.
Changing from electric to gas water heaters is fairly affordable and you’ll need licensed and authorized dealers to perform the conversion.
If you’re thinking of using a solar heater, then you should pick it as a secondary option. It should supplement an already running electric or gas water heater.
Solar water heaters are more reliant on weather patterns. When the weather isn’t favorable, you can easily switch back to the electric or gas water heaters for a continual supply of hot water.
The perfect water heater brand is the one that sells water heaters that use the energy option of your choice.
The Presence of Digital Displays
With everything striving to go digital, water heaters are no exception.
If you are looking for a reliable water heater that’s easier to operate, then you will go for a brand that incorporates digital displays in its water heaters.
Water heaters with digital displays will make it easier for you to monitor energy usage and easily control the settings to fit your needs.
Reliable water heater brands will sell water heater that has the best latest features including digital displays.
You should check if the brand you want to buy from incorporates this feature in their water heaters before paying for one.
Is the Water Heater Brand selling Glass Lined Tanks?
If you’re opting for tank water heaters you will need to optimize your specifications to get the best deal in the market.
One of the most attractive and admirable features of tank water heaters is their glass-lined finish. This unique glass-lined tank is made when glass and steel are fused to form a more durable outer layer for water tanks.
Settling for such a tank also means subscribing to reduced corrosion and buildup inside your water tank.
A leading water heater brand will use this unique finish to give their tanks the glow and strength they need to beat harsh weather.
The Water Heater Warranty
While two brands may have a water heater with almost the same qualities, a warranty may sometimes differ and this can help you decide the brand to go for.
When looking for attractive water heater warranties, don’t easily go for the longer warranty periods. Find out what the warranty covers before you go looking for the warranty period.
The typical water heater warranty period runs between three and 12 years. You can settle for the option that covers most of your insecurities and lasts the longest of all the available competitors.
FAQs about Your Popular Water Heater Brand
Going by the reviews and the testimonials we gathered, it is right to say that A.O. Smith beats the other brands to become the overall best water heater brand.
It has been around for a long time since 1874 and has consistently delivered excellent water heaters. They have diversified their products to cover almost everyone’s needs and are still selling at affordable costs.
The lifespan of a water heater is determined by many factors including how frequently you use it and how regularly you maintain it among other factors. The heater’s brand also makes for a significant factor influencing the water heater’s lifespan.
Going by brands, Rheem has continually proven to be the best water heater brand when it comes to durability. This is thanks to its award-winning construction that makes it rigid and firm for the harshest conditions.
One of the most common water heart problems is water temperature issues. You’ll probably have to deal with cold water, warm water that doesn’t get hot enough, or water that is too hot than what you needed.
While some of the water temperature issues can be solved using digital control features, not all brands include the app in their water heaters.
You can always settle for brands that have digital control apps linked to their products so you can be safe when handling such heaters.
Jim has been in the construction business for over 12 years with plenty of experience working on client projects, from start to finish. From kitchens to bathrooms and more, he writes on a wide variety of topics surrounding home improvement.