Best Water Heater

The best water heater for your home or business

Get your crash course on water heaters here

Years ago when it came time to replace a water heater, the options were simple. You would choose from a gas or electric conventional storage tank heater and select the best capacity options for your home or business.

Today, there are numerous types of water heaters to choose from: electric water heaters, solar models, on-demand water heaters, conventional storage tank water heaters, gas heaters, tankless systems for heating water, and high-efficiency units.

If you’re in the market for a new one, you may not know which type of water heater is best for your needs. Or you may have your heart set on a tankless water heater because of its endless hot water, but you may not know which brand is the best.

Don’t worry. We’ll give you a crash course now, then we suggest you call us at (262) 331-0661 afterward to discuss water heater types, brands, pros, cons, and prices in more detail.

We highly recommend Bradford White water heaters and have divided water heater types into three categories to make things easier for Wisconsin residents. There are other types available, i.e., solar — but for Wisconsin, here are the top categories:

1. Atmospherically-vented conventional storage-tank water heater

Recommended for Wisconsin

This is the most popular type of water heater. The storage tank holds a set capacity of water. The tank is insulated so that after the water is heated, it stays warm until hot water is needed.

Regular maintenance should include cleaning out sediment and mineral scales twice a year to avoid erosion, although most home and business owners do not do that.


  • Least expensive (unless the water heater requires power venting to vent the exhaust through a chimney or flue, which could make it as expensive as a tankless)
  • Easy to install
  • Variety of capacities
  • The average life expectancy is 10 -12 years


  • Limited water capacity, heated water will run out
  • It can take an hour or more to refill the hot water
residential water heater (atmospheric vent)

2. Tankless Water Heater (On-Demand Water Heater)

Recommended for Wisconsin — Note: climate can make a difference in performance

Tankless water heaters have become increasingly popular over the last ten years. That’s because, as the name implies, there is no tank, and owners have an endless supply of water all the time (providing the water heater is sized appropriately for hot water consumption).

The wall-mounted heating system consists of heated coils that heat water in seconds as needed. Like conventional water heaters, it is advised to clean a tankless water heater of mineral scale to avoid corrosion.


  • Endless hot water on demand, if sized right
  • Heats water quickly
  • Extremely energy efficient, only heats water when needed
  • Smaller footprint takes up less space
  • Works best in homes that use natural gas


  • Significantly more expensive than conventional models
  • Cleaning can be more complex, and parts are harder to access
  • Larger capacity heaters may require you to increase the electrical capacity of your home or business or install more extensive gas lines
  • Life expectancy of 8-10 years is shorter than a conventional water heater
tankless water heater

3. Heat Pump Water Heater (Hybrid Water Heater)

Recommended for Wisconsin — Note: climate can make a difference in performance

Heat pump water heaters use electricity to pull in heat from one place (the air or the ground), heat it, and then dump it inside the water heater to heat it again. They work like the reverse of a refrigerator, which draws heat out.

Heat pump water heaters use 60% less energy than conventional electric models. You can retrofit a heat pump to work with a traditional storage tank water heater or purchase a stand-alone heat pump water heating system. Since it is a tank, it should be cleaned annually.

To discuss water heaters in greater detail, call us at (262) 331-0661 or contact us here.

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