We’ve all been there: no hot water! Whether you found yourself in the shower or washing clothes, it can be frustrating for families of all sizes. If you are considering installing a new hot water heater, you may want to investigate the perfect size for your home. One that’s too big may increase your utility bills, and one that’s too small may not provide enough hot water to fulfill your needs. Here’s how to determine what size and product type hot water heater your family needs.
Before we determine what size and style of hot water heater is right for you, let’s start by discussing the tank features. it’s important to understand the five types of residential water heaters that are available on the market. Each type of water heating system has its own benefits, drawbacks, and price points, and choosing the right system can make a huge difference for your household’s hot water demands.
- Storage Tank /Traditional Water Heater
This is the most common type. These traditional water heaters have an insulated tank that stores hot water until needed. Electric and gas models are available. Overall, they feature low upfront costs and are suitable for larger households. Gas models tend to cost a little more to purchase, but most homeowners find the operating cost to be less than that of electric models.
- Tankless Water Heater
This newer type of water heater is typically more expensive up front, but more energy-efficient in the long run. Gas and electric models are available to produce hot water on demand, but they can only supply a limited amount of hot water per minute. Columbia Gas offers rebates on an installation of a gas tankless model.
- Hybrid Water Heater
A hybrid water heater, or heat pump water heater, uses heat from the outside air. Like a tankless water heater, a heat pump water heater does not run all the time, making it more efficient than a standard water heater. AEP customers also receive rebates for installation of the hybrid model.
- Power Vent Water Heater
“Power vent” is simply a term used to describe the way your water heater pushes out harmful combustion gases out your home. For some homeowners, depending on where your water heater is located, a power vent may be your only option. Although they tend to be more expensive than direct vent water heaters, Columbia Gas offers a rebate on installation, and a power vent water heater may be a new consideration to improve exhaust capabilities. The venting system must comply with the local codes, and installed per manufacturer and safety guidelines. For safe, worry free installation, contact a certified expert.
- Solar Water Heating System
This type of water heater includes a storage tank and a solar collector. There are two types of solar water heating systems to choose from: active solar water heating systems, which have circulating pumps and controls; and passive solar water heating systems, which do not use pumps or controls.
What tank size water heater do you need for your home?
The recommendations vary from household to household. The general rule of thumb says a 30- to 40-gallon water heater will easily accommodate a one or two-person household. A family of four needs a 40- to 50-gallon water heater. With five or more people in the house, nothing smaller than a 50-gallon water heater will do. There are larger water heaters than that, but they are rarely installed in residential homes.
To find out how many gallons your current water heater holds, look for the manufacturer’s label on the side of the water tank. That will tell you how many gallons your current water heater holds, and should help inform your decision about the size of your future water heater. In addition, you may want to think about daily and season use, including laundry, number of showers per day, etc.
At The Waterworks, we keep several sizes of water heaters in stock in our warehouse for our residential and business customers. Thus, if you have a hot water emergency, our technicians are at the ready to maintain the comfort of your home and family. For these and other plumbing issues, we are available 24/7.