Are you looking for the best electric tankless water heater for cold climates? This unit is a necessity for those who live in locations where winters are cold. Unfortunately, in such areas, tankless water heaters need to have some features tankless water heaters for warmer climates don’t have. This is because they need to be able to rise temperature by more degrees than regular heaters. Without this, they won’t be able to offer you warm water all day long.
As such, choosing the best electric tankless water heater for cold climates is nowhere near as easy as selecting a water heater for warmer climates. Cold can severely damage not just the pipes but the heater itself, especially when they don’t have a decent protective system.
To help you out, we’ll offer a buyer’s guide to those looking to find the best electric tankless water heater that can withstand cold weather. Not just that, but we’ll give you our top three picks for the best products out there.
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Best Value for Money
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Best Electric Tankless Water Heater for Cold Climates
- Silent operation
- Helps save energy
- Great control panel
- Doesn’t provide constant hot water
- Instruction manual isn’t clear
- Temperature dial could have been designed better
Stiebel is one of the best products for people looking for a premium product. This product will give you exactly what you paid for with its superior performance. This is a 24kW 240V model that offers you a water temperature of 68 to 140 degrees F.
When it comes to quality, the only thing we need to say is that this water heater is designed in Germany. It has one of the leading positions in the industry, and many professionals swear upon this model.
It has a compact shape and elegant design. Not only will it not be a bother to have, but it will add a feeling of modern home décor – all the while saving space for some other gear. LED control panel shows the precise temperature, and if you need to adjust it, it will be as straightforward as possible.
This model has great protection thanks to the electronic control that will not only prolong the products life span, but also helps you save energy. The water is heated only when you need it, so there will be little standby heat loss.
To top it all off, this heater comes with a 3-year part warranties and 7-year leakage warranties.
- Great safety features
- Instant hot water
- Remote control
- Rather weak
- Low flow rate
- Short cord
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly point-of-use hot water heater, this might be the model you need to try. It has several protection options to make sure the device is protected from the cold, so it can withstand very cold weather. In fact, this is a prime example that an affordable product doesn’t have to be bad. This heater is approved by UL and ETL and guarantees at least ten years of service.
One of the best unique features this heater has is that it works on remote control. You don’t have to get up to adjust it – you can do it from your sofa without ever moving to the heater. The set temperature can be seen on the digital display, which also displays error codes. If something goes wrong, you’ll know it immediately!
This heater can give you hot water almost instantly, and it supports up to 116 degrees F, which is about average.
- Energy saving
- Easy installation
- Works flawlessly on up to four elements
- Requires installation of a sediment filter
- Doesn’t provide hot water instantly
- Not the best warranty
If you want to get a cost-saving product, then this electric heater by Ecosmart might be the best option for you. Not only is it worth every cent, but it will help you save money in the long run as it’s energy-efficient. As its recommended breaker usage is only at four by forty amperes, it runs on an extremely low electric supply, meaning your utility bills won’t be large.
This is one of those water heaters that can provide hot water for your entire household. It comes with very precise temperature rise control mechanisms. Even changes smaller than one degree F will be detected and the water heater will show this on its display.
Not just that, but this is a compact unit that can fit most of your rooms. Even if you have the smallest of bathrooms, you can be certain that you will be able to install it.
Best Electric Tankless Water Heater for Cold Climates Buyer’s Guide
While choosing a good water heater is always a must, this is especially important when you live in cold climates, where every single mistake can end up costing you greatly. If you buy a heater with poor performance, you might only end up wasting your money and time.
But how can you know you’ve chosen the best product out there? Here are some features you really should think about:
There are a few things you need to know when choosing the right size for a water heater. This includes the flow rate and the temperature rise.
- The flow rate indicates how much hot water is needed.
- The temperature rise is the difference between the output groundwater and the temperature of the water inside your household.
A general rule of thumb is this: The more heating devices you run, the higher temperature rise and flow rate is required.
But, what’s ideal?
Overall, if you have a shower, a good flow rate should be 3 gallons per minute, and for a sink it should be 1.5 gallons per minute. As such, if you run one shower and two faucets on one heater at the same time, the said heater should have flow rate of at least 6 gallons per minute.
On the other hand, when thinking about the temperature rise, you need to consider the difference between the temperature you want your water to be and the temperature of the outside groundwater. For example, if the output temperature is 5 degrees F, and the set temperature is 130 degrees F, you’d want your temperature rise to be at least 125 degrees F. You can always check the average groundwater outlet temperature in your state to make sure what temperature rise you’ll need.
Various models are there to fit various purposes. The same goes for any product, not just for water heaters. In their instance, you can find some models that are ideal for doing dishes, some are made for showering, some are for indoor use, while others might even be a great choice for traveling!
Think about how many faucets will be connected to the water heater and what are you using it for. If you have a large family and you’ll be using many faucets at once, you need a heater with a higher flow that could withstand such a task without losing hot water too fast. On the other hand, if all you plan on using it for is for one kitchen sink, you might want one that doesn’t have such a good flow, but can provide you with hot water all day long.
Your heater needs to fit the existing plumbing. This is why you should always check its installation points. One of the key things is to look whether the heater is made for outdoor or indoor installation, as these two have different installation points. The same goes for the type of tank.
While natural gas heaters require venting facilities, the best electric tankless water heater for cold climates won’t require them.
However, because of that, most heaters for colder climates are designed for indoor use. As they are compact, they could fit most rooms, so there is no need to install them outside. Not just that, but inside is warmer than outside, and this is always a bonus. In fact, keeping a heater indoors will keep it from corroding and creating pinhole leaks in copper pipes or causing even more damage.
This is where electric tankless water heaters are a bit tricky.
Gas or propane water heaters have a higher flow rate. They are overall much more powerful compared to the electric ones, which means that the water temperature doesn’t really protect them. Not just that, but they also come with integrated safety systems to keep the heater protected from burnouts or from damage. These systems also keep them from freezing.
Not all electric devices, however, have these protective systems. While they are safe enough to be used in warm climates, they are not safe from freezing. This is why, if you live in colder climates, you have to find heaters that have proper protection systems.
How to Keep an Electric Tankless Water Heater from Freezing?
Even if you get the best electric tankless water heater for colder climates, some precautionary measures are still a necessity. Just like you need to learn how to thaw frozen pipes underground, you also need to protect your electric tankless water heater.
One thing you likely don’t know is that all tankless water heaters, from cheap to luxurious ones, have an interior made out of steel. Steel can easily corrode in wet environment – especially if the weather is cold and everything is moist. This is why you need to make sure your heater is protected from freezing.
Most of the freezing damage is the result of the water freezing inside the tank. As ice takes up more space than water, it can damage the essential components. 
Even the heaters that have protection have a few flaws. For example, these protection systems work only when the heater is plugged in. Without a power source, the heater won’t be protected from the cold.
Here are a few things you can do to protect your water heater in cold weather:
- Make sure your heater is installed in a warm and dry place. Make sure they are indoors, free from the wind or draught.
- If you don’t plan on using your heaters for a while, drain them of any water. This is similar to winterizing a hose bib. Without any water, there will be nothing to freeze, and no damage shall be done.
- Keep the heater plugged to the power source while the weather is cold.
- Use a recirculation system, as this will make sure the water in the pipes and in the heater is constantly warm.
- Make sure your pipes are properly insulated. As most protection systems keep only the core components of the heater protected, the other parts are still endangered, even when the heater is plugged in. If the pipes are insulated, everything is less likely to break.
- Keep the water running when you’re not using a heater, such as overnight.
The Bottom Line
The best electric tankless water heater for cold climates can help your house feel more comfortable no matter the weather outside. Whether you love to have warm baths or you simply need to do the dishes, you need hot water to complete some daily tasks. This isn’t possible if your pipes are frozen, or if the heater gets broken every few weeks (or even days!) due to frost damage.
A tankless water heater doesn’t take up much space, so you won’t have problems installing it indoors. Sure, it is an investment of a sort, but it will pay out in the long run. Once you notice the cold weather can do nothing to you and your hot water source, you won’t regret the money you’ve spent on it.
Just remember to look at the features we’ve listed in our buyer’s guide, and make sure to check out the tree best electric tankless water heaters for cold climates we’ve listed. You won’t be sorry with either of them.