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Plumber | How to Choose the Right Water Heater for Your Home: Advice from a Plumber

Mar 13


Having hot water readily available in our homes has become necessary for modern living. Therefore, choosing the right water heater for your home is a critical decision that can impact your daily life and long-term energy costs. With so many options available in the market, selecting the right one that suits your needs can be overwhelming. That’s why we have compiled this comprehensive guide on choosing the right water heater for your home, with advice from a professional plumber. This blog will discuss the factors you should consider when selecting a water heater, the different types of water heaters available, and how to calculate your hot water needs to determine the right capacity.


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Understanding Your Water Heater Options 

Understanding your water heater options is essential when choosing the right one for your home. Several water heaters are available, each with advantages and disadvantages. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you understand your water heater options.

  1. Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters: This is the most common type of water heater in homes. It has a tank that stores hot water until you need it. These water heaters are available in electric and gas models and can hold 20-80 gallons of water. They are typically less expensive upfront but have a shorter lifespan than other options.
  2. Tankless Water Heaters: As the name suggests, these water heaters don’t have a storage tank. Instead, they heat water on demand as it flows through the unit. They are more energy-efficient than storage tank water heaters because they only heat the water when needed. However, they are more expensive upfront.
  3. Heat Pump Water Heaters: These heaters transfer heat from the air or ground to the water. They are the most energy-efficient option but are also the most expensive upfront.
  4. Solar Water Heaters: These water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat water. They are the most environmentally friendly option and can provide significant energy savings. However, they require a lot of space and depend on sunlight availability.
  5. Hybrid Water Heaters: These water heaters combine the benefits of a conventional storage tank and heat pump water heaters. They are more energy-efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters but less expensive than heat pump water heaters.

When choosing the right water heater for your home, it’s essential to consider your household’s hot water needs, energy efficiency, and budget. Consulting with a professional plumber can help you make an informed decision and ensure your new water heater is installed correctly.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Size Water Heater

When choosing the right size water heater for your home, there are several factors to consider. The size of the water heater you choose will depend on your household’s hot water needs, the number of people, and your daily hot water usage habits. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right size water heater:

  1. Household Size: The size of your household will play a significant role in determining the size of your water heater. The more people in your home, the larger your water heater must provide enough hot water for everyone.
  2. Daily Hot Water Usage: Consider how much hot water your home uses daily. This includes activities such as showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry. If your home uses a lot of hot water, you’ll need a larger water heater to meet your needs.
  3. Water Heater Efficiency: The efficiency of your water heater is also an important factor to consider. A more efficient water heater can provide the same hot water as a larger, less efficient model. This can help you save money on energy bills while meeting your household’s hot water needs.
  4. Type of Water Heater: Different water heaters have different hot water delivery capabilities. For example, tankless water heaters can deliver a constant hot water supply, but they may need help to meet the hot water demands of larger households.
  5. Climate: The climate in your area can also impact the size of your water heater. Living in a colder climate may require a larger water heater to compensate for the colder water temperature.

How to Calculate Your Hot Water Needs and Determine the Right Water Heater Capacity

Calculating your hot water needs and determining the right water heater capacity is crucial to ensure you have enough water to meet your household’s needs. Make a list of all the activities in your home that require hot water, such as showering, washing clothes, and washing dishes. Estimate how much hot water each activity requires in gallons. For example, a shower may require around 2.5 gallons per minute.

Once you have the hot water usage of each activity, estimate how many times each activity is performed in a day. Multiply the usage per activity by the times performed daily to get the total hot water usage per day. For example, if a family of four takes a 10-minute shower daily, the daily hot water usage for showers alone would be 100 gallons (2.5 gallons per minute x 4 people x 10 minutes).

Calculate the peak-hour demand. The peak-hour demand is the maximum amount of hot water needed during the busiest hour of the day. To calculate the peak-hour demand, add up the hot water usage of all activities during that hour. For example, if everyone in the family takes a shower within two hours, the peak-hour demand would be the total hot water usage of all showers during that period.

Finally, Once you have determined your peak-hour demand, choose a water heater that can provide enough hot water to meet that demand. A good rule of thumb is to select a water heater with a capacity of 1.5 times your peak-hour demand. For example, if your peak-hour demand is 60 gallons, you should choose a water heater with at least 90 gallons.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and your hot water needs may vary depending on your household’s specific circumstances. Consulting with a professional plumber can help you determine your home’s right water heater capacity and ensure that it is installed correctly.

The Benefits of High-Efficiency Water Heaters: Saving Money and Energy

High-efficiency water heaters offer many benefits to homeowners, including saving money and energy. Here are some of the benefits of high-efficiency water heaters:

  • High-efficiency water heaters use less energy to heat the same amount of water as less efficient models. This means homeowners can save money on their energy bills over the long term.
  • High-efficiency water heaters use less energy to operate, producing less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. This makes them a more environmentally-friendly option compared to less efficient models.
  • High-efficiency water heaters are often built with higher-quality components, meaning they have a longer lifespan than less efficient models. This can help homeowners save money over the long term by reducing the need for repairs and replacements.
  • High-efficiency water heaters often have advanced features that can improve their performance. For example, tankless water heaters can provide a continuous hot water supply. In contrast, heat pump water heaters can extract heat from the air to heat water, making them ideal for warmer climates.

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The Importance of Professional Installation for Your Water Heater

Professional water heater installation is important to ensure that it is installed correctly and operates safely and efficiently. Here are some reasons why professional installation is crucial:

  1. Safety: Water heaters can be dangerous if not installed correctly. A professional plumber has the knowledge and experience to install the water heater safely and in compliance with local building codes and regulations. This helps prevent gas leaks, fires, and other safety hazards.
  2. Efficiency: A water heater installed incorrectly can operate inefficiently, leading to higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan. A professional plumber will ensure that the water heater is installed correctly and running efficiently, which can help reduce energy consumption and save money on utility bills.
  3. Warranty: Many manufacturers require that water heaters be installed by a licensed professional to maintain the warranty. The warranty may be voided if the water heater is installed incorrectly or by an unlicensed installer. Hiring a professional plumber ensures the installation is done correctly and maintains the warranty.
  4. Proper Sizing: Choosing the right size water heater for your home is important to provide enough hot water to meet your needs. A professional plumber can help you determine the right size water heater for your home based on your hot water usage and other factors.
  5. Peace of Mind: Professional water heater installation provides peace of mind that it has been installed correctly and will operate safely and efficiently. If any issues arise after installation, a licensed plumber can troubleshoot and repair the water heater, ensuring it works properly.


Consulting with a professional plumber can help ensure that you choose the right water heater for your home and that it is installed correctly and safely. At Advantage Plumbing and Drain Solutions, They have the expertise and experience to help you choose and install the right water heater for your home. Contact them today to learn more about their services and how we can help you with your plumbing needs.


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