Navien Vs. Takagi: Which Tankless Water Heater Is Better?

If you’re in the market for a new tankless water heater, Navien and Takagi are two of the top brands to consider. But which one is better for your home?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the pros, cons, features, efficiency, and costs of Navien and Takagi tankless water heaters to help you decide.

A Brief Comparison Table

Efficiency RatingUp to 0.98 EFUp to 0.96 EF
TechnologyCondensing onlyCondensing and non-condensing models
Capacity Range140k – 199k BTU120k – 250k BTU
Smart ControlsBuilt-in WiFi standardOptional controllers or modules
Warranty15 years on heat exchanger, 5 years on parts15 years on heat exchanger, 5 years on parts
Cost$950 – $1500 typical, $2000+ for large models$700 – $1300 typical, $1500 – $2500+ for large models

Overview of Navien and Takagi

Takagi Tankless Water Heater

Navien and Takagi are both leading manufacturers of tankless water heaters.

Navien is a South Korean company that was founded in 1978.

They are known for innovative technology and high-efficiency condensing tankless water heaters.

Navien first entered the US market in 2006 and has grown quickly to become one of the top selling brands.

Takagi is a Japanese company founded in 1952. They have over 60 years of experience in tankless water heater manufacturing. Takagi entered the US market in the early 1990s and is now one of the most recognized tankless water heater brands.

Both Navien and Takagi offer a wide range of tankless gas and electric water heaters for both residential and commercial applications. They continue to innovate and release new high-efficiency models annually.

Key Differences Between Navien And Takagi Tankless Water Heaters

  • Efficiency and Performance

Efficiency is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a tankless water heater. Tankless heaters are rated by their Energy Factor (EF), which measures how efficiently they use energy. The higher the EF, the more efficient the unit.

Most Navien tankless water heaters have efficiency ratings of 0.96-0.98 EF. Their most efficient model is the Navien NPE-240A with a 0.98 EF rating.

Takagi tankless heaters range from 0.81 to 0.96 EF across models. Their highest efficiency unit is the Takagi T-H3-DV-N with a 0.96 EF rating.

In terms of real world performance, both brands deliver consistent, endless hot water. However, independent tests have shown that Navien units tend to have slightly faster flow activation and recovery times.

Many Navien models use an advanced secondary heat exchanger to extract more heat and boost efficiency. Takagi units utilize a single heat exchanger.

So when it comes to efficiency and performance, Navien edges out Takagi slightly with higher ratings and real world results.

  • Condensing Vs Non-Condensing Technology

One key difference between Navien and Takagi is the technology inside the units.

Navien water heaters are condensing tankless units. This means they extract so much heat from the exhaust that the water vapor condenses and drains out, recycling some of the heat. This condensing technology is more efficient.

Takagi offers both condensing and non-condensing models. Condensing units will be more efficient, while non-condensing models may have lower costs.

Navien only offers the more efficient condensing technology on all current models. So if maximizing efficiency is your priority, Navien may be the better choice.

  • Available Sizes and Capacities
Navien Tankless Water Heater
Navien Tankless Water Heater

Navien and Takagi offer tankless water heaters in a range of sizes and capacities to meet the hot water demands of any home.

Navien units range from 140,000 BTU to 199,000 BTU inputs.

This translates to a hot water delivery capacity of about 2-5 gallons per minute (GPM).

Takagi models offer 120,000 BTU to 250,000 BTU inputs and can deliver 2-8 GPM flow rates.

So Takagi has greater size and capacity options on the low and high ends. Navien offers a more focused range best suited for average residential needs.

Make sure to size your heater appropriately based on your household size, peak demand, and flow rate requirements. Both brands provide sizing guides to help you select the right model. Oversizing or undersizing can decrease efficiency.

  • Smart Technology

Navien and Takagi both offer advanced monitoring and control features for their tankless water heaters.

Many Navien models come with built-in WiFi. This allows you to monitor performance, change temperatures, set recirculation schedules, and receive maintenance alerts all from a smartphone app.

Takagi units can be paired with optional remote controllers or WiFi modules. This enables similar remote access and control functions.

So in terms of connectivity and smart capabilities, Navien may have a slight advantage for those wanting streamlined, integrated controls. But Takagi also offers plenty of options to modernize your tankless water heater.

  • Warranties

The warranty coverage provides an indication of the expected reliability and durability of these tankless water heater brands.

Navien offers an industry-leading 15-year limited warranty on heat exchangers and 5 years on parts. Limited lifetime warranties are also offered for some models.

Takagi provides a 15-year warranty on heat exchangers and 5 years on parts. Some models have 10-year comprehensive warranties.

Overall, both Navien and Takagi offer excellent warranties that are on par with one another. This suggests both are high-quality, reliable brands that stand behind their products.

  • Installation Considerations

Proper installation is key to maximizing the performance and longevity of any tankless water heater.

Navien and Takagi units must be installed by qualified professionals. Improper installation can void warranties.

Both brands offer contractor training programs to ensure optimal setup. Navien also provides an online certification program for installers.

Some key installation considerations include:

  • Sizing for adequate gas supply and venting needs
  • Following all clearance requirements
  • High-quality venting materials specifically for tankless heaters
  • Pipe sizing for optimal water flow rates
  • Water treatment systems if water quality is an issue

Reputable local contractors experienced with tankless water heater installation should handle the job. Be sure to get multiple quotes.

  • Cost Comparison

Let’s break down the costs for Navien and Takagi tankless water heaters:

Equipment Costs:

  • Navien units range from $950 to $1,500 for most models. High-capacity units can be $2,000+.
  • Takagi prices range from $700 to $1,300 for residential models. Larger commercial sizes run $1,500-$2,500+.

Installation Costs:

  • Installation typically runs $1,500 to $3,000 or more depending on your site requirements.
  • Costs are similar between the two brands. Get multiple installation quotes.

Lifetime Costs:

  • Lifetime costs are lower for tankless systems compared to tank heaters due to higher efficiency and lower maintenance.
  • Navien’s higher efficiency ratings could result in slightly lower lifetime costs for energy usage.
  • Both will save significantly over a traditional tank over a 10-15 year period.

Overall, the upfront equipment and installation costs can be slightly higher for tankless systems. But reduced energy usage and maintenance costs over their lifespan make them cost-effective investments.

Key Takeaways

To recap the key differences:

  • Efficiency – Navien has slightly higher efficiency ratings
  • Technology – Navien uses only condensing, Takagi offers both
  • Capacity – Takagi has wider sizing range options
  • Smart Controls – Navien has integrated WiFi standard
  • Warranties – Both offer strong 15-year heat exchanger warranties
  • Costs – Navien tend to run $100-$300 more for equipment

For most homeowners, either Navien or Takagi represent excellent choices that will provide endless hot water, energy savings, and long-term reliability. Focus on proper sizing, installation, and maintenance, and either brand will serve you well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Navien and Takagi tankless water heaters:

Is Navien a good brand?

Yes, Navien is considered one of the top tankless water heater brands. They are known for high-efficiency condensing technology, innovative features, and excellent reliability.

Which tankless water heater is best?

While both Navien and Takagi make excellent tankless heaters, Navien stands out for having the highest efficiency ratings and most advanced technology like built-in WiFi monitoring and control.

Is Rheem better than Navien?

Navien tends to edge out Rheem in terms of higher efficiency and better smart connectivity features. However, Rheem is also a very reputable brand used by many homeowners with good reliability.

Is Navien better than Noritz?

Navien and Noritz are top tankless brands with comparable performance and features. Key advantages of Navien include higher efficiency ratings, secondary heat exchangers, and WiFi capabilities on all models. Noritz offers both vented and vent-free models.

Final Thoughts

When choosing between Navien and Takagi tankless water heaters, consider your budget, efficiency needs, capacity requirements, and desire for connectivity features. Consult with qualified local installers to determine the best model and sizing for your home.

Both Navien and Takagi deliver reliable, on-demand hot water for homes and businesses. With proper installation and maintenance, you can enjoy endless hot water and energy savings for years to come.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision to find the best tankless water heater brand for your needs.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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