How to Select the Right Water Heater Size for Your Home

If you’re preparing to replace an aging water heater in your home, it is important for you to select one that is the right size for your household. You should not just assume that you will select a water heater that is the exact same size as your outgoing model—the technology has advanced since then, and there may also have been changes in your household that could result in you needing to select a different water heater size in Duluth, MN.

Here are just a few of the most important factors that will play a role in your water heater decision.

Household size

Perhaps the most important indicator for a tank-style water heater is the number of people you have in your household. The general rules are as follows:

  • For one or two people, a 23- to 36-gallon tank should suffice
  • For two to four people, seek a 36- to 46-gallon tank
  • For three to five people, choose a 46- to 56-gallon tank
  • For five or more people, go with 56 gallons or higher, adding 10 gallons per additional person

Obviously, the more people you have in your house, the more hot water you’re likely to use, because there will be more people taking showers, more laundry that needs to be washed and more dishes that need to be done.

First hour rating

The next most important consideration to take into account is the first hour rating (FHR) for the water heater. FHR measures the amount of hot water a tank can produce in a single hour at full temperature. You’re going to want an FHR figure that is equal or greater than the number of gallons of hot water you’d need for all the activities that might happen at the same point in time during the busiest part of the day at your home.

For example, you’ll want to reserve 20 gallons per person for bathing or showering, six gallons for just washing hair (per person), two gallons per person for washing hands, six gallons for washing dishes by hand, about 30 gallons for running a standard laundry machine and about 14 gallons for running a standard dishwasher.

Tankless varieties

Space constraints might prevent you from getting a larger water heater tank to accommodate your household. In such a circumstance, you may wish to add a tankless water heater to your home. These heaters are able to fit into small areas, and usually will be hung on the wall.

You’ll use different information to select a tankless model, and will primarily base your decision on when you experience peak hot water usage and the flow rate of hot water at certain temperature rises.

These are just a few examples of some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a new water heater for your home. Choosing the right size of water heater is crucial to ensuring you’ll be able to have a steady supply of hot water. For more information about determining the correct water heater size for your home in Duluth, MN, contact the experts at ASP today.