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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

How Big a New Water Heater Should I Get?


The answer to this might sound simple: why not get the biggest water heater that you can afford and which fits in your house? 

However, when it comes to water heater installation, a water heater that is too large and powerful for a home will turn into a problem because it drains energy. If you have a water heater that heats up more water than your household uses, that’s energy going to waste. You’ll have a water heater you paid too much to purchase and which consumes enormous amounts of power nobody is putting to use. 

The best way to determine the right size of water heater to install is to work with professionals. You’ll need professionals for any service for a water heater in your house, so involve them from the start when you’re getting a new one. Our technicians work with many types and sizes of water heaters in Maryland, and we can see you have the ideal new system for your home.

Sizing a Storage Tank Water Heater

The most common type of water heater uses a large tank to store water, which is heated and ready for use. Finding the right size of tank water heater requires that our technicians know what’s called the first hour rating of the water heater and match it with daily peak one-hour demand in the household. 

The first hour rating equals the number of gallons of hot water the heater can supply per hour, considering it starts with a full tank. The first hour rating is not only a measure of the capacity of the tank of the water heater, but also on how the heat is applied and how strong the source of the heat is. For example, gas burners are more powerful in general than electric heating elements, but a gas water heater may have smaller burners that will not as rapidly heat the water.

The technicians next determine the daily peak one-hour demand: this is the time of day when the household consumes the most water. For most homes, this occurs during the morning, and the technicians add up the various water uses (showering, handwashing, cooking, shaving, etc.). When they know the gallon amount for the one-hour peak, they match it to a water heater with the same first hour rating.

Sizing a Tankless Water Heater

Because tankless water heaters don’t store water, sizing them requires the technicians to know two factors: the flow rate of the various appliances that will put demand on the water heater, and the temperature difference between the incoming water and what the water heater must raise it to. The water heater is sized so it can handle the full demand put on it by the flow rate of the appliances that may be on at the same time and creates enough energy to raise the water temperature to the desired level. 

This all may sound complicated, but you won’t need to worry about our team of installers getting it right. We’ll see that you have a new water heater that meets your household needs so everyone enjoys hot water when they need it.

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. “We Take Pride in Your Comfort.” Schedule water heater installation service with us today.

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