3 Tips for Choosing the Right Size Water Heater

Water heater services

Choosing the wrong size water heater for your home impacts much more than your comfort. It also influences your home’s energy efficiency and overall functionality. Water heaters that are too small experience insufficient hot water during peak usage. This turns into running out of hot water when taking showers and doing laundry. Water heaters that are too large tend to overheat the water, which can cause serious injury through scalding. In addition to all these problems, improperly sized water heaters consume more energy than necessary, leading to higher energy bills. To ensure you pick the right size water heater for your home, use these three helpful tips.

1. Verify First Hour Rating

The first hour rating (FHR) considers how much water the heater needs to heat during the busiest parts of the day and the system’s recovery rate. To calculate the FHR, you count the number of people living at home, add one and then multiply that number by 12. For example, if you have five people living in the home, you need a water heater with a minimum FHR of 72. You can find the system’s FHR on its yellow EnergyGuide label.

2. Do You Prefer Baths or Showers?

There’s a big difference between taking a shower and taking a bath. The Environmental Protection Agency says filling a bathtub full of water takes about 70 gallons compared to taking a shower, which usually uses 20 to 25 gallons of water. You can easily see the difference. With this in mind, you need to consider whether you or anyone else in the home prefers taking baths. If so, you may need a larger water heater to keep up with your increased heating demands.

3. Consider the Local Climate

The colder it is outside, the harder the water heater has to work to heat the water. This means Charlottesville’s cold winters can significantly impact the water heater’s capacity to compensate for the lower incoming water temperature. Some homes require larger tanks to address this issue.

We help homeowners in Charlottesville with drain cleaning, leak detection, water heater repairs, and many other plumbing options. We also offer a complete range of HVAC services, including heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair as well as duct sealing. Call us at Beck Cohen today to speak with a qualified professional about choosing the right size water heater for your home.