How to Size a Water Heater Properly

How to Size a Water HeaterSizing the water heater for your home will help you meet the energy demands of you and your family, without overspending on extra heating and water you don’t need. Properly sized units heat a home efficiently, so it’s important to identify the size you will need to effectively heat the home before you buy a water heater. Here are some tips for selecting a heater that will efficiently heat your home.

“First Hour”

You need to use a water heater’s “first hour rating,” which is a measure of how effectively the tank can provide hot water if it is full. Specifically, first hour looks at how many gallons of hot water a tank would provide per hour if it were full.

Sometimes called the capacity of a tank, the first hour rating is listed in the top-left of the water heater’s label. In some cases, you may have to rely on literature from the manufacturer to determine the tank’s capacity. A water heater repair technician can help you identify the first hour rating on your own heater if you are unsure.

Estimating Peak Demand

The best thing you can do is to get a water heater that is within one or two hours of your peak hour demand. So, it’s important to determine what that peak is and when it occurs. Peak water usage relies on our habits to help determine when we use the most water.

You can determine peak usage by reviewing the common water guzzlers in your home. For instance, a shower is about 10 gallons worth of water. Take two in an hour and you’re wasting 20 gallons before 7 AM.

You need to look at your peak usage times throughout the day, like morning, noon or night. It’s also important to keep the number of people in your home in mind because that informs how much water you’re likely to use in a given hour or day.

Say your peak hour demand is somewhere around 36 gallons. You would need a water heater that is designed with a peak hour usage of 34-38 gallons to sufficiently heat your home. Remember, this is not how much water you would use in a day. This is the peak water usage your house is likely to use in at the busiest hour of the day.

Sizing your tank in this way helps you avoid heating too much unnecessary water, and will help your family get the warm water it needs within a reasonable time.
Payless Water Heaters is a Los Angeles water heater service and sales group located in California. To order water heaters for your home, visit Payless Water Heaters online.

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