water heaters

How to Select the Best Water Heater for Your Home

August 14, 2022

Your water heater is one of your home's most important and frequently used appliances. Despite having an average lifespan of 10 years, there are a number of reasons why you may need to replace your water heater sooner.

Before replacing your water heater, consider the following questions.


If your household's water consumption hasn't changed significantly, the size and type of water heater you had previously may be exactly what you need now. However, because your hot water needs may change in the future, it is critical that you have a system that will meet both your current and future needs. Take a few minutes and think about the following questions:


Will a new water heater unit, even if it holds the same amount of water, fit in the same space?

Industry regulations were updated in 2015 to require that all standard tank water heaters with capacities ranging from 20 to 55 gallons have at least 2 inches of insulation on the sides and up to 4 inches on the top, making them wider and taller than before.


Will you be updating your current heating system?

If you are converting from an oil heating system to a gas heating system or upgrading to a heat pump system, it is best to replace your water heater while updating your heating system.


Is the water in your home hard or soft?

Calcium buildup in hard water causes copper pipes to corrode faster. This can reduce the lifespan of your water heater. Installing a water softener may also be something you want to think about.


Do you intend to remodel or build any additions to your home?

It is possible that you will need to increase the size of your current water heater.


Will the number of people in the house grow or shrink over the next decade, and how much hot water will you require on a daily basis?

See how to anticipate your household's hot water needs below.


Standard tank water heater systems are measured in gallons. The number of gallons required to meet your hot water demands is determined by a few factors:

  • How many people are currently in the house, and do you expect that number to change?

  • Is everyone on the same schedule, or do they use hot water at different times?

  • Do you use your hot water for multiple purposes at the same time? For example, running the dishwasher and washing machine simultaneously.

  • Do you have enough hot water when you need it right now? If you have cold and infrequent showers, your current system may not be large enough to meet your current needs.

Your responses above will assist you in selecting a unit with a high enough gallon per minute (GPM) flow to meet your hot water requirements. A standard tank system can also have heating problems if the first-hour rating (FHR) is too low for your requirements. The following is a simple guide to ensuring you have a water heater with sufficient GPM:


The capacity of a household hot water heater

1 or 2 people: 23 to 36-gallon standard tank

2 to 4 people: 36 to 46-gallon standard tank

3 to 5 people: 46 to 56-gallon standard tank

Over 56-gallon standard tank for 5 or more people (add 10 gallons per additional person)


Consider upgrading to a tankless water heater system that uses less energy.


While standard tank-based water heater systems are becoming more energy efficient, they may not reduce your utility bills sufficiently to meet your monthly budget. Tankless water heaters only heat water as needed, as opposed to repeatedly heating and storing water in a tank. This could also be a good option if you don't have enough space for a larger standard tank system. Tankless systems are the most energy efficient and may be the best choice for your needs.


Before making the switch, you should think about the installation costs. New tankless systems are more expensive and may require additional installation work. Lower monthly utility bills, on the other hand, will recoup the initial costs over time. Another advantage of tankless systems is that they last longer than standard tank systems, saving money in the long run due to less frequent replacements.


Do you want to replace your current home heating system?

If you are thinking about switching from oil to gas, you can save even more money by converting your oil-based water heater system to a gas-based water heater system. Similarly, if you are considering installing a hybrid heat pump system, now is a great time to install an energy-efficient tankless water heater that works in tandem with a hybrid heat pump system. Check out heating systems from Navien and Rheem, two of the top heating system brands.

We are here to assist you.


Discuss your options with a certified heating system technician from Home Mechanics. We can make an informed recommendation to assist you in determining which water heater system will efficiently reduce your costs while also providing the best water heating capacity for your needs.


Read more about Water Heaters and Boilers' Unseen Dangers

FAQ / Tips


Whether you require simply deplete cleaning or a whole pipes registration.

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Why call Home Mechanics?

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Whether you require simply deplete cleaning or a whole pipes registration.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate.

Whether you require simply deplete cleaning or a whole pipes registration.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate.

Whether you require simply deplete cleaning or a whole pipes registration.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate.