No home is a happy home without a water heater.
Seriously, try taking a shower or doing the dishes without a water heater!
When it comes time to install a new water heater or to replace your current one, there are many directions you can go in terms of size, fuel, and type. Choosing the right factors depends on your own needs, but in the meantime, we’ll explain what some of those factors are and how they can help you make a decision.
Sizing for Your Family and Home
To ensure that you’re not overtaxing your water heater, it’s important that you install the right sized heater. Getting this part wrong means you’ll be stuck with a heater that can’t fulfill your needs, and it can even cost more in the long-run.
Tank Water Heater Sizing
If you’re going for a normal tank water heater, then you’ll be looking at sizing in terms of gallons. The breakdown roughly goes like this:
- 1 to 2 people: 30 – 40 gallons
- 2 to 3 people: 40 – 50 gallons
- 3 to 4 people: 50 – 60 gallons
- More than 5 people: 60 – 80 gallons
Of course, this is just an estimate that you can use as a reference. You’ll need an expert of residential water heater services to do the calculations for you since these figures are not always 100% accurate.
Tankless Water Heater Sizing
With a tankless water heater, you won’t be dealing with galloons since all the hot water is created on-demand. Instead, what you need is to ensure that the water heater is powerful enough to provide that hot water for all the appliances that need it.
One tankless water heater for a small family might be perfect. Larger families, on the other hand, might require a more powerful tankless water heater or even two of them in the same house. This will ensure that everyone is able to use hot water at the same time. There’s no easy estimate for this one, so you’ll need to speak with a professional.
Gas or Electric?
The two most common kinds of fuel types for water heaters are natural gas and electricity. Both fuel types are available for both tank and tankless water heaters alike.
The cost of natural gas is inexpensive in almost every part of the nation. The exception to this rule is if your home is unequipped to run a gas line. The cost of installing one can make your water heater installation much more expensive than you originally planned. Otherwise, natural gas is an efficient and effective fuel type.
Electricity, on the other hand, has its pros and cons. Electric systems are going to be much easier to install since they simply need to be integrated in your home’s electrical grid. There are rarely any issues with their installation. Heating via electricity is also generally more efficient. The issue, however, is that the operational cost of electricity can be expensive.
It’s essential that you do some research to find out which fuel type is best for you in your area.