When purchasing or replacing your water heater there are several factors to consider when selecting an appropriate size. The number of people living in your home, their water usage habits, the number and types of appliances you own, and the overall hot water production of the water heater all play a significant role in size selection.
The number of people living in your home can give you a ballpark figure on what size unit to purchase. One to two people will only require a 30-40 gallon tank. Two to three people will need a 40-50 gallon tank. As the family grows a 50-80 gallon tank will be needed and five or more members require an 80-gallon tank.
The next consideration is the peak hot water demand, over a one-hour period, for your family requires. Each family has its own unique water habits. Will two people be showering in the morning while a load of wash is being done? There are usage charts available online that list the number of gallons of water needed for particular activities. Add up your family’s water usage during peak demand. This number will be used in sizing your water heater.
Water heaters have a rating system known as First Hour Rating. A First Hour rating indicates the total number of gallons of warm water the heater is able to produce over a span of one hour. Make certain the heater you are purchasing has a higher number of gallons produced than the highest demand from your family members. This way you are ensured of having adequate hot water even under the highest demand.
These suggestions all pertain to standard tank hot water systems which keep a set amount of water heated at all times. You may decide to buy a tankless system that heats water on demand and requires no tank. A tankless system sizing requires a different set of considerations. When choosing a tankless system your flow rate or the maximum number of gallons used in a home at one time. In addition, the Temperature Rise needs to be calculated. This is the number of degrees your water needs to be heated from when it enters your home to reach your desired temperature at the faucet. For example, if the water entering your home is 57 degrees and your desired water temperature is 120 degrees, your temperature rise is 63 degrees.
Knowing these numbers you can determine what size heater will best serve your family.
A water heater that is sized too small will be frustrating and you will be taking a lot of cold showers. A heater that is too large for your family’s needs can waste energy and become costly over time. It is important to make an effort to educate yourself and choose the correct size of water. Your home will function efficiently and your family will appreciate the peace of mind.
Thinking of replacing or adding a new water heater that’s just perfect for you and your family? Contact us today! We are water heater specialists in Newport Beach, Orange County, and the surrounding areas.