Water Heater Size: Why It Matters When It Comes to Your Water Heater
The size of your water heater matters significantly in its performance. If you have a unit that is too small or too large, you may run into problems. How do you know the right water heater size to get? As a professional, who will carefully calculate the number of gallons you need to provide hot water for your whole household.
Problems Caused by an Undersized Water Heater
An undersized water heater will not produce enough hot water for all your needs. You may find your showers running cold after a while. Or, you cannot run the dishwasher at the same time that you take a shower and have hot water for both.This problem frequently happens when people move into a home with a small water heater but their water use needs grow over the years. For instance, a young couple may purchase a home with a small 20-gallon water heater tank installed, but by the time that tank is five years old, they may have added pets or children to their family which would increase their laundry, dishwashing, and bathing needs for hot water. The only solution in this instance is replacing the water heater.
Issues from an Oversized Water Heater
If too small is bad, bigger must be better, right? Not always. Larger water heaters require more time to heat the tank and more space to store it. In fact, some people who require very large water heater tanks of more than 56 gallons may not have the space inside for the appliance.Plus, an oversized water heater can waste money because you will pay to keep water that you won’t use hot the entire time. Getting a properly sized water heater can prevent this situation.
How to Calculate the Right Water Heater Size for Your Home
While most people only look at the capacity of a water heater, this is not the best way to determine the size your home needs. To calculate the right water heater size for your home, you need to consider the maximum amount of water that you use in an hour. Compare this number to the first hour rate (FHR) for various water heaters to find the unit that will supply you home with enough hot water for peak use.For instance, a shower uses 20 gallons per use. So, if your family needs to take three showers in the morning before work or school, your family would use 20 x 3 = 60 gallons. Just to keep up with the showers in the morning, your water heater should have a FHR of 60. However, if you also need to wash your hands, you’d use an extra 3 gallons per person. Shaving takes another 2 gallons per person. Factor these and other water-using appliances to find your one-hour peak. A plumber can also help with this calculation.
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