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How Do You Know What Size Water Heater You Need?

what-size-water-heater-fits-your-arizona-space-best-is-it this conventional tank in black and white by prefocus solutions in surprise az?

What do you do when your water heater stops heating water like it used to? If you’re like most Phoenix homeowners, you’d probably do your best to deal with it. Nobody enjoys making a large unexpected purchase – especially right before Christmas. But it’s only a matter of time before you lose hot water altogether. Moving the temperature to the highest setting may help but it’s only a temporary solution. By the time you get around to buying a new water heater, it may be too late. So how do you know what size water heater you need?

The Water Heater Selection is Vast, Can Be Daunting.

Like most inconveniences, buying a new heater is a lot harder than it ought to be. Unlike a new fridge or washing machine, there are a handful of variables to consider. The amount you’re willing to spend and how soon it needs to be replaced are important first steps to the decision. From here, you can begin to look at the types of water heaters and, most importantly, what size fits your home or commercial space best.  

Over the past few years, water heating technology has drastically changed. What was once efficient for your family may no longer be your best option. Moreover, moving into a larger home or to a new climate should cause you to measure sufficiency differently. Even piping systems should play a role in your decision. 

Once these variables are set and understood, you can begin to identify which sort of heating system best suits your current environment. If you’ve expanded your family since the last water heater installation, then water consumption needs to factor into your judgement. The same can be said for empty nesters with drastic decreases in their usage. Shoppers should also be careful to trust retail salespeople for advice.

gleaning water heater from below newly installed after following arizona company's guide to finding the right sized water heater image by prefocus solutions

Know How to Find the Right-Sized Water Heater.

All of these things need to be ironed out before you start worrying about what size water heater you need – and any problems occur, if possible. If you’re still looking for more guidance with sizing your water heater, here are some additional pointers to make a confident decision. If you’d like us to ask BlueSoft to create an infographic guide for your reference, leave us a comment below.

1. Know and Understand the Types of Water Heaters.

Before you can make a decision, you’ll first want to settle on which style of water heater you want to use. Conventional storage tanks are what most Arizona residents think of when the term “water heater” is used. Up until the last few years, most new construction projects in Phoenix came equipped with one of these. They’re large, cheap to purchase, and can handle a lot of water. The only downside is that they’re nowhere near as efficient as newer alternatives. 

signage inside canyon state ac heating plumbing showroom in sun city west az showing tru tankless water heater benefits for guide blog

Tankless water heaters are by far a more efficient option. These systems heat water as you need it; rather than heating water and storing it in a tank (constant reheating during the winter). In other words, tankless water heaters don’t waste energy keeping water warm. Additionally, they’re far better for homes with limited space. When you don’t need a tank, you can easily fit them into any nook or cranny. At the same time, if you have a large family, it can create some sibling conflict – and dad may pay the price. 

The final type worth your consideration is a hybrid water heater. These are also known as heat pump heaters as they use electricity to pull hot air in from the surrounding environment. In turn this allows the system to use up to 50% less energy than a conventional water tank heater. At the same time, like a tankless model, if you have a large family, a hybrid heater may not be up for the task.

2. Know What Your Family or Co-Inhabitants Need.

Generally, you should size a new water heater based on how many people live in your household. For a conventional tank-style heater, the size of your household correlates directly with what you’ll need. For a Phoenix household of 1-2 people, you’ll probably only need a tank that holds 23-36 gallons of water. This should sufficiently satisfy all of your bathing, laundry, and dishwashing needs. 

looking up at shower head with bathing rack on curtain rod in surprise az home during water heater and water pressure repair by canyon state photo cred: prefocus solutions

While it’s difficult to forecast your personal water usage, there are some general guidelines you can follow. Households or spaces with 2-4 people normally use 36-46-gallon tanks and those with 3-5 people should be okay with anything up to 56 gallons. For a simple formula, add another 10 gallons of water per family member. If anything, this should open your eyes to how much water we consume daily.

3. Know Space Restrictions and Optimal Needs.

The next thing you ought to consider is how much space you have in your home. If you are limited to a small apartment, a massive water tank heater will probably be more than you can manage. A smaller tankless or hybrid heater may be more suited to your situation. Of course, if you live in a large house with many family members, you will likely have space that requires some sort of full conventional tank system. 

Try to find the perfect balance between the space you have available and your family’s needs. Consider habits of the past and determine if there are areas of opportunity that may help you save water and money. If you happen to have questions, you can always reach out to one of our plumbing specialists for insight or a free estimate. 

4. Know Your Local Climate and Geography

Your final consideration should be the local desert climate. Arizona is a land of astonishing temperature variation. In the summer, temperatures can reach past 120°F by day and then drop below freezing in the winter. Speaking of the dry cold, it’s not that fun without a working water heater. While you should definitely know what size water heater you need, knowing whether it can withstand the Arizona heat and cold is crucial.  

cold and hot water valves for washing machine at surprise arizona home during photoshoot for water heating systems by canyon state photo cred: prefocus solutions

For instance, groundwater plays a significant role in how much work your heater will have to do. Here, conventional tanks don’t have to work very hard for 8 months out of the year. Water seems to be boiling beneath us. But because of this, many homeowners neglect maintenance. In turn, some systems fail to handle the rapid usage in the cold. 

Case in point, if you buy a hybrid heater during the summer, make sure it’s going to perform well in the winter. Understanding these elements will not only help you choose what size water heater you need but extend the life of your equipment.

Know Who You Can Ask and Trust For Help.

If you’re still not sure what size water heater you need, don’t feel as if you have to scour the Internet for answers. The professionals here at Canyon State are more than willing to help you find the answers you’re searching for. We now have over 31 years of experience in the industry and are prepared to help you find the right sized water heater for your family, home, and climate. If you’re in the West Phoenix area, feel free to stop by our showroom to learn more!

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