How to Choose the Right Water Heater for Your Home

Homeowners search for the best water heater brand but often have a hard time choosing the right one. Because there are many options, homeowners may struggle to decide on a water heater brand and model. In reality, the best water heater brand is a personal decision depending on the needs of the homeowner.

Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Louisville, Kentucky, helps homeowners sift through the information and find the best water heater brand. We go over the most important information you need when you purchase a new water heater. We also cover some of the most popular brands to give you a better idea of what’s out there. At the end of the day, only you are able to choose the best water heater brand for you.

When to Purchase a New Water Heater

No one wants to waste money replacing a water heater that still has good life left. Know when to replace and make a smart investment.

There are a few signs to tell homeowners their water heaters are on the way out. These are the most common indicators of impending water heater failure:

  • Age. Water heaters often lose functionality as they age. The older the unit, the more issues pop up. Of course, with regular maintenance the life of the water heater is slightly longer, but tank units around 8 to 12 years old usually require a replacement (about 20 years for tankless models). If you’re unsure how old the water heater is, be on the lookout for spikes in problems as this usually indicates an aging system.

  • Water discoloration. Water discoloration happens for a few different reasons. However, water heater problems only discolor hot water. If you experience brown or reddish cold and hot water, the issue isn’t with the water heater. Rust in the unit usually causes hot water discoloration, which warrants a new water heater.

  • Noises. Noises from the water heater indicates larger problems. Water heaters don’t make much noise, so if you notice rumbling or other loud noises, check the system. Noises point to problems with deterioration, sediment collection, or age, which all require a replacement.

  • Tank leaks. Leaks in the tank of the water heater are particularly difficult to deal with because they mean you need a new water heater. Some leaks only need minor adjustments to the system or repairs, but tank leaks aren’t one of those. If the tank has a crack, the only course of action is to replace the unit. Make sure your leak comes from the tank itself before you invest in a new heater, or you end up paying for a new unit when you only needed to tighten loose parts.

  • No hot water. If the water heater doesn’t produce hot water, you likely need a new unit. Some problems with hot water have easy solutions—like faulty thermostats or broken heating elements—but if the unit is too small for your household’s hot water demand, an upgrade is necessary.

What Is the Best Water Heater Brand?

The best water heater brand is widely debated, but there are a few worthy of the title. Those with little experience with water heater brands likely don’t know what each brand has to offer. However, every water heater company has its own specialization, mission statement, and history. Every brand has its pros and cons, so take into consideration your needs and wants before you make a decision.

The brands below are all viable options for homeowners. Carefully look through each and decide which brand is the best for you.


With Navien’s rich history in water heating, they are a good candidate for the title of best water heater brand. In 1978, Navien entered the water heater business in Korea. Since then, they have expanded their market to Oceania, South America, Russia, Europe, and North America.

Their selection of water heaters includes only tankless units because they are the more energy efficient. With every year, Navien makes improvements to their tankless water heaters to provide homeowners with the most efficient units for a good price. They offer a few series of units to accommodate the needs of every homeowner.

Navien product lines include condensing and non-condensing models. Non-condensing water heaters remove exhaust gases from the home immediately, while condensing units use the exhaust in the heating process. In general, non-condensing units have less corrosion, and condensing units are more efficient.

Bradford White

Many also consider Bradford White to be the best water heater brand because of how long they’ve been in the business. Since 1881, the company has produced water heaters for the American population. They started in Pennsylvania and continue to manufacture their products locally. The company has expanded sales to the international market, which only furthers their popularity.

Bradford White sells both tankless water heater and tank units. In the Infiniti Series, the tankless water heaters are highly efficient and come with warranties on the heat exchanger and other parts. Bradford White wants homeowners to feel secure in their purchase, so they offer extensive limited warranties for added protection. Their tank water heaters use as little natural gas as possible to power the system, which lowers energy usage and utility bills.


Rinnai water heaters are also one of the more popular brands. The company started in Japan in the 1920s. They started selling in America during the 1970s when they opened an office in Los Angeles, California. Some consider Rinnai to be the best water heater brand because of their international reach and affordable options.

Rinnai manufactures tankless water heaters with high-efficiency ratings. They also produce hybrid water heaters that use both a storage tank and a heat pump to make and hold hot water. The company prioritizes affordability in their mission statement. Rinnai believes every home deserves energy-efficient products, so they make their water heaters budget-friendly.


Most homeowners recognize the Kenmore name because of the kitchen appliances they have offered since 1913. They manufacture refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and more. Many don’t know that Kenmore also produces water heaters. Some even consider them the best water heater brand.

Kenmore’s water heaters utilize both tankless and hybrid technologies. Homeowners are able to choose the best fit for them because their water heaters are affordable for everyone.


Some think of Rheem as the best water heater brand because of the diversity in their product range. Since 1925, Rheem has offered heating, cooling, water heating, pool and spa heating, and commercial refrigeration to homeowners and commercial properties.

Out of all the water heater brands, Rheem offers the most unit types. They include tankless, tank, and hybrid water heaters in their range. Their main goal is to supply homeowners with reliable products that lower the price of utility bills the longer the system is in use.

Choose the Best Water Heater Brand for You

All water heater brands have their positives and negatives, but there are a few key features to search for when you need a new unit. The best water heater brand offers a range of units, so every homeowner is able to find an appropriate fit.

The features below all give homeowners better insight into what the best water heater brand looks like for them. Before you make a purchase, consider these characteristics with care.

  • Tank vs. tankless. One of the biggest debates is over tank and tankless water heaters. Some swear by tankless options, while others only invest in tank units. What’s the difference? Tank water heaters hold hot water for use, while tankless models heat water on demand for better energy efficiency. Tanks are less efficient, but tankless units are often more expensive. Consider the needs of your home. Do you need more hot water available, or do you want more energy efficiency?

  • Anti-scale devices. Another factor to consider is if the tank water heater you choose has anti-scale devices. These devices keep mineral collection to a minimum. If you clean the water heater regularly, you are able to help prevent sediment collection. If you are someone who forgoes cleaning, then an anti-scale device is a better choice.

  • Warranty. The best water heater brand offers extensive, long warranties for their products. Warranties ensure the homeowner doesn’t rack up expenses if problems occur in the system. Regular maintenance checks are often stipulations for any warranty, so make sure to schedule annual visits.

  • Capacity. Unit capacity impacts the quality of hot water use at home. If you purchase a unit too small for your household, you don’t receive enough hot water. Seek professional guidance to ensure you properly size your new water heater to fit your home. Good water heater brands offer a range of sizes to help everyone access the right fit.

  • Glass-lined tanks. In tank water heaters, glass linings help prevent corrosion. Because glass doesn’t rust like metal does, having it on the inside of the tank prevents cracks. However, the glass linings do crack when the water temperature is too high or if excessive amounts of sediment collect on the bottom of the tank.

  • Digital displays. Lastly, look into digital displays for your water heater. The best water heater brand keeps up to speed with advancing technologies, so look for units that allow for digital control systems. They lower bills, increase efficiency, and improve comfort because the homeowner has greater control over the system.

Jarboe’s Helps You Find the Best Water Heater Brand

Homeowners who want to know the best water heater brand need to consider their own needs before they invest in a new unit. The characteristics described above lead homeowners in the right direction, so take them into consideration as you search for a new water heater.

In Louisville, Kentucky, homeowners rely on the advice Jarboe’s has to offer. For more information on scheduling water heater services, give us a call today!

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