What Size Water Heater Does Your Home Need?

There is nothing more enjoyable than a long, hot shower. It can be relaxing and rejuvenating after a long day at work. However, if you run out of hot water in the middle of your shower, it can be aggravating and shocking when cool water suddenly hits your skin.

If you are replacing a water heater or installing one in a newly constructed home, you will want to determine the size you need to avoid running out of hot water. Don't assume that a larger capacity water heater is what you need. It will take more energy to heat the water in a larger tank, water you may not end up using. This guide will help you determine the correct water heater size for your home.

Research the First Hour Rating

The Federal Trade Commission requires an EnergyGuide label on all regular water heaters. This yellow label will have a First Hour Rating, FHR, on it. This rating tells you how much hot water the water heater will deliver during a busy hour, such as when everyone is getting ready for work and school in the morning.

It is easy to figure out what the FHR for your new water heater should be. To do this, you should allow 12 gallons of hot water for every person in your household. Just count the number of bedrooms in your home and add one to that number. If you have a three-bedroom home, you would multiply four times 12 to get the FHR. Four times 12 is 48, so you would round that up to 50 for the minimum FHR that is needed for the water heater in your home.

Look at the Energy Factor

To keep from spending too much on energy to heat the water in a tank, you should look for the Energy Factor, or EF, on the water heaters you are considering. The higher the EF rating, the more energy efficient the water heater will be. For our example, you would want to find the highest EF rating on water heaters with a FHR of 50.

Consider Going Tankless

A tankless water heater will provide your household with as much hot water as you need without the need for a large holding tank. The water is heated as it moves through the water heater, so your family will always have hot water at their disposal for all of their needs.

For more help making your decision, contact a local plumbing company like Brother's Plumbing