Most of the time, your water heater should be out of sight and out of mind. However, it’s hard not to notice when your shower runs way too cold — especially if other people need to use it after you. If you’ve noticed issues like this one, your heater may not have the right capacity for your home.
If you’re not sure how to determine what water heater size you need, we’ve got you covered! At Blanco AC, Electrical & Plumbing, our technicians put your comfort first with customer-friendly plumbing services in the Blanco area. Read on to learn how to choose a water heater that suits your situation!
Tanked vs. Tankless Heaters
Beyond different sizes, there are two main types of heaters to pick from — tanked and tankless. To decide what type you should choose, consider these factors:
- Amount of space available — Tanks are large vessels that are usually stored in a basement or closet, while tankless heaters are smaller and attach to the wall
- Amount of energy saved — Tanked heaters store and heat water constantly, while tankless models heat water only on-demand when you need it
- Amount of investment — While traditional units cost less to install, tankless models save money over time in energy and replacement costs
Once you’ve decided which type to invest in, the information below can help you determine what size you need.
Tanked Water Heater Sizing
When selecting a tanked heater, it’s important to understand how much hot water you use at the busiest time of day. If multiple people need to shower in the morning, you may need a bigger tank. Try your best to estimate the maximum gallons of water your house uses per hour before looking into what options are available.
Once you have your number, pay attention to the first hour ratings (FHR) of your options. FHR measures how many gallons of hot water a tank can supply per hour without running out, determined by its size and energy source. Make sure the FHR of the heater you choose meets or surpasses the amount of hot water your house needs.
Tankless Water Heater Sizing
If you don’t have space for a large tank or want hot water on-demand, a tankless heater may be for you! Deciding what size you need requires a few quick calculations.
Before looking into your options, try to estimate how much hot water your house needs at the busiest time of day. If you wash your dishes and your clothes at the same time, you may need a more efficient heater.
Once you know how much water you need, the next thing to learn is how hot you want it to be. Most households require a maximum water temperature of 110-120 Fahrenheit. By taking this number and subtracting the temperature of your house’s unheated water, you can learn how much work your heater needs to do.
After you know how much hot water you need and how much your heater has to warm it up, focus on the maximum flow rates of your different heater options. Maximum flow rate represents the gallons per minute (GPM) of hot water your heater can provide. Most tankless models provide a chart you can use to judge if it meets your requirements. To use this chart, all you need is the household information you gathered earlier!
In Cold Water? Call A Professional!
If choosing the right water heater sounds complicated, you’re not alone. Consulting an expert opinion can help you judge what your needs are and how you can meet them. Blanco AC, Electrical & Plumbing’s experienced water heater technicians not only offer advice — we also provide outstanding repair, replacement and installation services.
Blanco AC, Electrical & Plumbing Has Your Back
For quality service in the Texas Hill Country area, look no further than Blanco AC, Electrical & Plumbing. We guarantee satisfaction and make your comfort our number one priority. Call now to make sure your water stays as hot as Texas weather!