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While looking for tankless water heaters, two of the options that come up are Navien and Rinnai. Most of their heaters look similar, so what sets them apart? That’s what we’ll find out here.
To settle the Navien VS Rinnai tankless water heaters debate, we’ll review each brand to see what they have to offer.
We won’t be reviewing all of their products, but we’ll use the Navien NPA-240A VS Rinnai RU98i as a reference throughout the article.
Having said that, let’s begin.
Navien vs Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters
Navien – A Reputable, Reliable Brand
Navien, as a brand, has been in the market for many years now. It originated in South Korea, and its appliances have earned a place in every household due to their efficiency. Besides tankless water heaters, Navien also produces plenty of other home equipment, such as boilers.
Overall, Navien tankless water heaters, pretty much like the rest of the appliances produced by the brand, have a high rating efficiency above 90%.
If you’re having doubts with other manufacturers, Navien is one that doesn’t disappoint, as proven by the many positive feedback customers left online.
Performance – Efficient Tankless Water Heaters
Due to the average efficiency rating of 97%, Navien water tankless heaters are tough competition.
These systems not only work great, but they will also save a lot of energy. Pretty much the entirety of the electrical power required converts into heat to heat the water, reducing heat leakages to a minimum.
By reducing the energy waste to almost zero, Navien heaters such as the NPE-240A are eco-friendly. This appliance, in particular, has a rather low NOx emission, reaching 20ppm.
Navien water heaters would also outperform many other brands when it comes to the water produced, delivering at least 10 gallons of water per minute, sometimes even more.
Related Topic: Electric Boiler vs. Gas Boiler
Features – Innovation for Everyone
If you take a look at the NPE-240A heater produced by Navien, you can quickly tell why it’d be the better pick. For example, you can set up several of these units together, which would guarantee a regular hot water flow in places that require it, specifically for commercial purposes.
Navien appliances are usually easy to install, requiring only one person to do it. Homeowners can set them up either indoor or outdoor due to the low NOx condensing tech.
Also, the package includes everything you’ll need. The mounting, bracket parts, buffer tank, and everything else come with the purchase.
Perhaps the best these appliances offer is the digital interface, which makes it easy for anyone to operate the heater and adjust it as much as needed. This feature is something that, unfortunately, not many other brands offer.
Rinnai – A Solid Competitor to Navien
Rinnai comes from Japan. This company shares plenty of similarities with Navien, such as the interest to produce high-quality home appliances. Boilers, water heats, and other appliances are some of the products this brand offers.
Tankless water heaters produced by Rinnai are highly trustable. They’re equally efficient whether you live in southern or northern regions.
Performance – Conveniently Good
The average efficiency rating of Rinnai tankless water heaters is around 82 to 98%, working on 120,000-199,000 BTUs. If you check online offers, you’ll notice the manufacturer guaranteeing that these heaters are capable of supplying four showers simultaneously.
But is that really the case? Well, partially. If you use the heater on a warm day, and for light showers, then the heater will most certainly supply water to four showers at the same time.
Again, for better performance, the environment must have a warm temperature already. In these circumstances, the heater will heat a lot of water. Of course, if the day’s feeling cold, the heater would have to elevate the water temperature, which naturally takes more time to do.
The perfect time to consider getting a Rinnai heater would be when you’re trying to replace an old appliance. Look at the Rinnai RU98i, and you’ll notice a similar design for most of their heaters: a compact unit that doesn’t consume too much space, and it will fit in well in any household.
Features – Tech of the Highest Quality
Alright, so maybe Rinnai heaters aren’t as good as Navien, but nobody can deny their quality. In fact, some people would prefer Rinnai heaters because of how convenient and easy to use they are. Also, they provide a continuous water flow, which is always pleasant.
The Circ-Logic technology guarantees a recirculating process with no interruptions. Other high-quality features are the thermal bypass valve and the built-in pump.
Homeowners can install Rinnai heaters outside or inside the wall. These units also include digital controllers, and you can schedule operating times for each day.
The RU98i heater offers a particularly convenient feature that works great, which is the leak detection system that shuts off the water inside to prevent damages.
Then, Which One to Choose?
Let’s take an overall look at the heaters produced by both brands.
Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters
Rinnai can be considered as one of the oldest and popular names in the tankless water heater industry. The manufacturer has products for all kinds of water heater usage. Here are two of the products we like the most from Rinnai:
1) Rinnai RU199iN Tankless Water Heater
For those who are looking for a powerful water heater for an endless hot water supply in a household with a demand for huge volumes of water, one of the Rinnai RU199iN Tankless Water Heater models might be the one for you. Despite being on a slightly expensive end, it is actually very popular and in-demand due to the high quality and great technology integrated into its products, making it every bit worth the money that you pay for it.
They are the top-notch and most high-end products from the manufacturer with an awesome lot of features. Apart from Wi-Fi and the ability for water-recirculation, this series pack voice activation with included Control R module.
2) Rinnai Outdoor Tankless Hot Water Heater / V65eP
In case you are looking for a more budget-friendly product from Rinnai with all the essential features that can cover your outdoor hot-water usage, you can check out Rinnai Outdoor Tankless Hot Water Heater. It has many of the basic Rinnai tankless design features, including Wi-Fi readiness and optional voice activation.
This amazing yet economic unit offers Navitech technology. Essentially, it comes with a stainless-steel heat exchanger and an advanced stainless-steel burner for low NOx level.
Main features Rinnai Tankless water heaters:
Navien Premium non-condensing series-
Navien is now the first to step into the non-condensing market with its impressive and absolutely convenient new series of tank-less water heaters. There are two products in the series:
Navien Premium Non-condensing Universal tank-less water heaters
Despite being new, Navien is a brand that has grown to stand shoulder to shoulder with the top and most reliable manufacturers in the water heater market, and for good reason. The brand has managed to bring out innovative products that give you results beyond an average expectation. The innovation and technology brought in the form of this product is truly exceptional and impressive. It is the only non-condensing model that can work both inside and outside. It is available in the options 199,900 BTU/H, 180,000 BTU/H, and 160,000 BTU/H models for either natural gas or liquid propane.
Navien Premium non-condensing External tank-less water heaters
It too is available in the options 199,900 BTU/H, 180,000 BTU/H, and 160,000 BTU/H models for either natural gas or liquid propane. Its products are known for the cost-effectiveness (yay to lower bills) and also for leaving behind a much smaller carbon footprint. These tank-less water heaters are already more convenient in terms of versatility, eco-friendliness, and ease of use.
Main Features of NPN-U and NPN E
Once we’ve reached this point, what have we learned from the Navien VS Rinnai tankless water heater review? Primarily, we learned that even though Rinnai heaters are not as efficient as Navien, their performance is still pretty good.
Rinnai heaters are also compact, though their installation is not the most intuitive for homeowners. Navien heaters, on the other hand, are easy to install and adjust if needed, which makes them superior to Rinnai in most cases.
As always, choosing between Navien VS Rinnai tankless water heaters is a decision that is only yours ultimately.