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How to Choose the Right Water Heater for Your Home

When old units just aren’t able to keep up, homeowners search for the best water heater brand to provide their homes with hot water. Before choosing a new water heater, it’s important to determine if one is needed in the first place. There are several aspects homeowners need to consider as they shop for a new water heater. 

In Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas & Galbraith helps sift through water heater brands to provide homeowners with the best options. Plus, we cover signs of a failing water heater so you know when to invest in a new unit. There are also a few tips to keep in mind when searching for the best water heater brand, which we clue you in on.

When to Invest in a New Water Heater

Homeowners wonder whether it is time to invest in a new water heater or simply perform repairs to their current unit. However, there are a few telltale signs a water heater needs replacement. Keep an eye out for these common causes of water heater failure to determine if you require a new unit. 

  • Water discoloration. Several reasons are possible when the water in your home changes color. However, if only the hot water has a new color, then the water heater is likely to blame. This discoloration is usually brown and indicates rust on the water heater. Rusty water heaters have no repair solutions and require replacement.

  • Tank leaks. Water heater leaks are common, and some are fixable. Leaks on the tank itself are not in this category. If the tank itself experiences a leak, the whole water heater requires a replacement. Check to make sure the leak isn’t coming from loosened components on the water heater before you invest in a new unit.

  • Age. Even with the best water heater brand, age causes the unit to experience more malfunctions. The older the water heater, the more often problems typically occur. When the unit reaches the end of its life, replace it to get ahead of potential issues. If your tank water heater is about 8 to 12 years old, it is at the end of its lifespan – 20 years for tankless water heaters.

  • No hot water. The purpose of a water heater is to heat your water and provide ample volume for your demands. If the unit doesn’t perform this duty, at the very least it requires repairs. Thermostat issues or a broken heating element are potential causes of this issue and both need repairs but don’t necessitate a new water heater. However, if the water heater is too small for the home, then it’s time to invest in a new unit. 

  • Noises. In general, water heaters are quiet pieces of equipment. Loud noises and rumbles usually indicate something wrong. Age, deterioration, sediment collection, and more cause noises. Take a close look at your water heater to determine if any noises are signs of issues that are bad enough to warrant a new water heater. 

Best Water Heater Brand in Cincinnati

With so many water heater brands to choose from, it’s hard for homeowners to know which brand is truly the best. Honestly, the best water heater brand depends more on the homeowner than the water heater itself. Every brand has its pros and cons. The homeowner knows what they need more than any brand could, so it’s important to keep in mind your priorities when you choose a new water heater. 

Still, the amount of brands available makes homeowners question which one to choose. Here’s a list of brands, each of which is able to hold the title for best water heater brand.


Many consider Navien to be the best water heater brand because they offer some of the best tankless units on the market. Because they’ve been in the hot water business since 1978, they know a thing or two about how to heat a home’s water. The company started in Korea and has since expanded to Russia, Europe, Oceania, South America, and North America. 

Navien prioritizes efficiency in their tankless water heaters. Because tankless water heaters are more efficient than tank units, Navien puts their energy into developing the best quality tankless models on the market. Their high-efficiency, money-saving water heaters in the NPE-A Series, NPE-S Series, NPN-U Series, and NPN-E Series all keep the homeowner in mind. Many worry about the switch from tank water heaters to tankless, but the company ensures new buyers of the quality of their heaters with years of experience. 

Finally, Navien offers both condensing and non-condensing tankless models. Condensing heaters use exhaust gases to contribute to heating. These are more efficient than non-condensing models for this reason. Non-condensing water heaters vent the exhaust gases outside, which reduces corrosion. 

Bradford White

Bradford White is also considered the best water heater brand by many. Founded in 1881, Bradford White is one of the oldest water heater manufacturers in America. They sell their products internationally, but they got their start in Pennsylvania. They know exactly what homeowners want from their water heater and have been providing homes with hot water for years. 

Bradford White offers both tankless and tank water heaters. Their Infiniti Series offers a range of tankless water heaters with high efficiency and great warranties. For most models, they offer a 15-year heat exchanger limited warranty and an additional 5-year parts limited warranty. Their tank models also offer highly efficient technology that keeps natural gas usage to a minimum to lower bills and preserve energy.  


Others consider Rinnai to be the best water heater brand because of their international recognition. In 1920, Rinnai started in Japan. By the 1970s, Rinnai expanded their reach to America with the development of an office in Los Angeles. 

They prioritize energy efficiency in their tankless models. They also offer hybrid water heaters, which offer a traditional storage tank but use a heat pump to warm the water as it flows through the system. Rinnai also ensures their efficient products are available for every homeowner because of their affordable prices. They believe homeowners deserve high efficiency, no matter their budget. 


Rheem is another household name, which makes many consider it to be the best water heater brand. In 1925, the Rheem brothers—Richard and Donald—created Rheem Manufacturing in Emeryville, California. They create products in the heating, cooling, water heating, pool and spa heating, and commercial refrigeration spheres. This makes them one of the most diverse manufacturers out there.

The company wants all homeowners to benefit from hot water, so they offer a range of products. They include tankless, tank, and hybrid water heaters in their product range. They ensure homeowners never have to face the expenses of premature water heater replacement, so Rheem offers thorough warranties and reliable products. 


Kenmore is familiar to most homeowners because of their kitchen appliances. However, they also produce water heaters. Kenmore began in 1913 in Chicago, Illinois. Most know the brand for their refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and other kitchen appliances. 

They offer a range of water heaters. Kenmore offers both tankless and hybrid water heaters for homeowners. These appliances are affordable and offer homes high-efficiency hot water options. 

How to Choose the Best Water Heater Brand

The brands themselves all have their pros and cons, but there are certain characteristics homeowners need to look out for when they think about the best water heater brand. The best water heater brand for you is likely different from another homeowner. This is why it’s important to take these aspects into consideration before you make your decision.

  • Warranty. Warranties for water heaters ensure homeowners don’t pay large amounts of money for repairs or replacements when the water heater is not so old. In most cases, coverage doesn’t extend to preventable issues, so be sure to schedule regular maintenance checks. However, warranties vary in length and coverage outside of maintenance. Some warranties last 12 years, and others are a fraction of that.

  • Anti-scale devices. In tank water heaters, brands often include features to prevent large mineral collection on the bottom of the tank. While these features are attractive, they aren’t necessarily the best for homeowners. Because sediment collection has at-home fixes—cleaning the tank, for example—homeowners are better off investing in a great warranty rather than extra features.

  • Tank vs. tankless. Water heaters with tanks and without them both have benefits. However, some homes benefit more from one than the other. Tank water heaters offer more water for multiple uses, but often are less energy efficient. On the other hand, tankless units are more energy efficient but have higher upfront costs. It all depends on the needs and wants of the homeowner. The best water heater brand offers both tank and tankless units.

  • Glass-lined tanks. One feature that does actually help with deterioration is the glass-lined tank. For those who favor tank water heaters, look for ones with glass linings. These reduce corrosion because glass doesn’t rust like metal does. There are some drawbacks, though. Glass linings do crack when temperatures are set too high. Be cautious of the temperature if you invest in a glass-lined tank.

  • Digital displays. These allow homeowners to have greater control over the water heater, which lowers bills, increases efficiency, and maximizes comfort. Some technologies let homeowners set the water heater to vacation mode while they are away from the home. This means the water heater turns off and saves money and energy.

  • Capacity. Capacity is possibly the most important characteristic to consider when you choose a new unit. The best water heater brand includes units of all sizes to accommodate every home. Consider how often you use hot water, what uses hot water and when, and how many people are in your household. For larger homes with a lot of people, look into a water heater with a larger storage capacity.

Thomas & Galbraith: The Ones Who Know the Best Water Heater Brand

The best water heater brand depends on the needs of the homeowner. Take the features above into consideration when you need to purchase a new water heater in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thomas & Galbraith is here to help if you have any questions. Call us today for more information.

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