In need of a new water heater for your home? It’s important to consider all of the factors that go in to selecting the right water heater ( fuel type, storage type, space budget). However, one of the biggest considerations that should be made is water use in your home and, in turn, how to size it right.
When selecting a water heater, it is important to note the first-hour rating, or the FHR. The FHR should be equal or close to equal the sum of your household’s “peak-hour demand.” This is determined by adding up the amount of hot water that is used, on average, during the busiest hour of the day. For example, if all members of your household are early risers and you each take a ten minute shower between 7 and 8 A.M., than how much water is being used during this time frame? This would be your “peak-hour demand” and, in turn, should be equivalent or close to the FHR on the water heater you select.
A more basic way to look at it is simply based on family size.
For 1-2 people the minimum gallon capacity is typically 30 for gas & electric water heaters.
For 2-3 people the minimum gallon capacity is typically 40 for gas & electric water heaters.
For 3-4 people the minimum gallon capacity is typically 40 for gas & 50 for electric.
For 5 or more people the minimum gallon capacity is typically 50 for gas & 80 for electric.
**The differences in gas & electric as family size increases is due to the fact that gas heats up more quickly than electric.
Keep in mind that if your family are heavy users of hot water you may need to bump up to a water heater with a higher gallon capacity. If you have two full baths, a very large bathtub, or an over-sized whirlpool bath, you may need a larger water heater than one typically appropriate for your family size.
For more information on choosing the right water heater or for a professional installation, visit our website.
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