According to Consumer Search, the Whirlpool N40S61-403 and the Rheem 42VR40-40F are the best gas water heaters for the home. These energy efficient models offer well performing machines for the cost.
The Whirlpool N40S61-403 features a 40-gallon storage tanks. This is sufficient to meet the hot water needs of an average family of four. Installation of this model takes less than two hours and does not necessarily require professional assistance. Consumers of this model report post-installation reduction in monthly energy bills.
The main problem with this model is longevity. Reviewers claim that occasionally component parts malfunction. The Whirlpool N40S61-403 comes standard with a six-year warranty.
For those with a slightly larger budget, the Rheem 42VR40-40F is well known for durability. Builder Online surveyed more than 3,400 building contractors and Rheem heaters came in second as most used brand. This model also features a 40-gallon tank. Owners of the Rheem 42VR40-40F state that their energy consumption decreased significantly after installation.
The two drawbacks to the Rheem 42VR40-40F are energy rating and size. This model just barely failed to meet the requirements for Energy Star certification. For homes with shorter overhead spaces, the extra height of this model may be a disadvantage.