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What size water heater do you need?

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Posted September 2, 2022
Water Heater Size

Are you in the market for a new hot water heater in your Houston-area home? Have you noticed that you’re running out of hot water during your morning shower, especially if you happen to have teens at home who believe a Hot Water Fairy delivers infinite steamy goodness while they’re using an expensive hair treatment? Have the teens grown and flown the nest, leaving you to wonder if you really need the huge water heater you invested in when they were small?

Air Specialist A/C Heating Plumbing & More has your answers. Read on to find out what you need to consider when investing in a new water heater for your home.

Family size matters

Most plumbers can offer you an estimate of what size water heater you’ll need for your family. These numbers are just rough estimates – your family may need something bigger or smaller depending on your hot water usage:

1-2 people – 30 gallons

3-4 people – 50-60 gallons

5-7 people – 60-80 gallons

8 or more people – add 10 gallons per person

Consider how you use hot water

You want a hot water heater that can keep you in hot water during your busiest hours. Each family is different, so consider when your hot water is in the highest demand. For some families, it’s the morning hour. Others may want to shower at night, competing with the dishwasher and washing machines. Again, let’s look at the rough estimates:

Showering – 20 gallons

Shaving – 5 gallons

Washing hair – 6 gallons

Washing dishes by hand – 6 gallons

Running a dishwasher – 14 gallons

Doing a load of laundry – 30 gallons

Add up all of the activities during your home’s busiest hour to determine your peak hourly usage.

Look at the water heater’s first-hour rating

Water heaters often have what’s known as a first-hour rating, or FHR. The FHR tells you how much water a tank can produce in an hour when you’re starting out with a full tank of hot water. That’s because your water tank is constantly working to produce more hot water even as your son insists on recreating a sauna in the bathroom after football practice. You want a hot water heater with an FHR that exceeds your family’s peak hourly usage. Otherwise, someone’s going to be taking a cold shower.

What about a tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters live up to their name by heating the water as you need it. While they take up less space than their storage tank counterparts, they may be more expensive upfront. Talk to your Air Specialist plumber about the pros and cons of tankless hot water heaters.

You deserve to enjoy a hot bath or shower, regardless of who else is trying to use the hot water in your house. Air Specialist can help you determine what size and type of water heater you need, and we’ll follow up with expert installation and our 100% satisfaction guarantees and warranties. If you’re tired of cold showers, or if you’re ready for an upgrade, call Air Specialist or contact us online. You can count on Air Specialist for all your family’s plumbing, heating, and cooling needs!


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