Purchasing the wrong water heater for your home causes no shortage of troubles. Buying a smaller water heater leads to shortages of hot water, forcing you to deal with ice cold showers and faucets. On the other hand, owning a larger one drives up energy costs to heat more water than you need.
The right water heater provides you with the right amount of water at an affordable price. The information below provides a guideline for determining the right water heater for you.
First, you need to determine if you prefer a tank or tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters use tanks, and they operate through maintaining a large volume of hot water to dispense throughout the home. Water heaters with tanks typically keep water around 120 degrees Fahrenheit constantly.
On the other hand, tankless water heaters only heat water as needed. This makes them more energy efficient – however, you can draw more water than it can heat, making hot water less consistent.
Next, determine the amount of water you need for your choice of a tank or tankless water heater. For ones with tanks, we suggest using the chart below created by the Home Depot:
|No. of People in Household||Gallon Capacity|
|1 – 2||23 – 36|
|2 – 4||36 – 46|
|3 – 5||46 – 56|
|5 or more||56 or higher|
For tankless water heaters, we suggest you add up the gallons per minute (GPM) that every individual fixture and appliance needs and find the total GPM your house needs. The Home Depot’s chart below can give you an idea of how to rate each fixture and appliance in your home:
|Fixture/Appliance||Typical Flow Rates|
|Bathroom Faucet||0.5 – 1.5 GPM|
|Kitchen Faucet||3.0 – 7.0 GPM|
|Shower||1.0 – 2.0 GPM|
|Dishwasher||1.0 – 2.5 GPM|
|Clothes Washer||1.5 – 3.0 GPM|
Finally, you need to consider the types of energy available to you. Water heaters typically use either electricity, natural gas, or propane as their energy source. Not all areas of the United States give access to all energy sources, so check with your local energy provider to determine the availability of the energy source for the water heater you want.