What Size Hot Water Heater Do I Need?

This is the second article in a series of three about hot water heaters and water usage. The first one outlined when you should consider replacing your hot water heater. This is the second and focuses on how to determine how much hot water you use and what type and size of hot water heater you need. The last article highlights the differences between what we consider traditional hot water heaters with tanks and the more European-style tankless hot water heaters.

If the time has come to replace your hot water system, you may be asking yourself “just how much hot water do we really need?” We’ve created this blog post to help you determine your water usage, so you can make an informed decision concerning your hot water heater and where you might be able to save.

Check your water bill

water meterEach period, the water company reads your usage meter and charges you accordingly. To find your daily water consumption, divide the number of gallons on your bill by the number of days between readings. This should give you a general idea of your daily consumption.

Determine your First Hour Rating (FHR)

Your First Hour Rating (FHR) is a necessity when determining the appropriate size of hot water heater you need for your home. By calculating how many gallons of water you use during the peak hour of consumption in your home, you will know the largest size of heater you need.

For example, if during your home’s peak usage time, your family takes 3 showers (at 20 gallons of water each) and you run the automatic dishwasher (at 10 gallons), your FHR would be 70 gallons.

Check out these FHR calculators if you need help adding up your home’s FHR.

water heatersTake a Good Look

Now that you know your FHR, you may be motivated to know just how much water your family is using in total. Are your thrifty ways adding money to your pocket and life to the planet? Or are you watching your savings go down the drain?

H2O Conserve has created a step-by-step water calculator that helps you determine your home’s total water usage. It only takes a few minutes and can be the key to enlightenment – well at least water enlightenment. The site also showcases several water saving tips that range from pricey fixes to free ones.

The more informed you are as a consumer, the better decisions you’ll make. And that translates into years of cost savings and hot showers.