Choose the Right Size Water Heater
Learn some handy numbers to help you meet your water needs.
Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to choosing the size of a water heater. If you install a tank that's too small, you'll run out of hot water before finishing the shower. And if you get a tank that's too big, you're wasting money on heating water they won't use.
The good news is that just by following a few guidelines, you can find the perfect size water heater:
Determine the home's FHR, or first hour rating. That's the measure of how much hot water the heater will deliver during a busy hour, such as first thing in the morning. The FHR is always on the heater's yellow EnergyGuide label, but if you want to double-check it yourself, use the following formula and a four-bedroom house as an example:
Step 1: Allot 12 gallons of hot water per person in the household.
Step 2: Figure the home's maximum occupancy as the number of bedrooms plus 1. In this case, we have 4 bedrooms, so we add 1 and get 5. Now multiply this amount times the 12-gallon allotment and you end up with an FHR of 60. That's the minimum FHR that this home should needs on its water heater.
Consider the energy factor, or EF. The higher the EF, the more efficient the tank is. In our example, you'd want to find the highest EF rating available for a tank with an FHR of 60.
Until the creation of the FHR by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, contractors had to use complicated tables and building codes or the minimum standards set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But now it's easy to determine exactly the best size to have enough hot water as cost-efficiently as possible.
Installing a Tankless Water Heater
Technology provides for adequate supply while saving energy.
Maximum Value Energy Efficiency Projects: Water Heater
Water heaters that are more than 10 years old are doing your home more harm than good.
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating
Cut energy bills with the green alternative to electricity and natural gas.
Get Hot Water Circulating
A circulation pump will keep heated water at the ready.
Reusing Household Water With Graywater Systems
An efficient graywater system conserves water and can cut costs for homeowners.
Replace Old Heating and Air Unit With New Efficient HVAC System
A superior HVAC unit balances humidity and boosts efficiency.
Stop Home Energy Hogs
From thermostats to drafty windows, get tips for saving energy and money around the house.
How to Vent a Water Heater to a Chimney
Guard against carbon monoxide poisoning with these step-by-step instructions.
Installing an Energy Recovery Ventilator
An ERV allows the home to maintain air circulation while minimizing energy loss.
Choosing an Irrigation System
Learn how to choose a good system for your watering your landscaping.
Copy This Room: 7 Stylish Dorm Room Decorating Ideas
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 27, 2015 by Shannon Petrie
The Votes Are In! Tour This Tiny + Charming Cottage
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 23, 2015 by Farima Alavi
What’s Your Yard Art Spirit Animal? Take the Quiz!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 22, 2015 by Kayla Kitts
10 Minute DIY: Upcycle Glass Bottles Into Citronella Torches
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 22, 2015 by Chelsea Faulkner
Can I Come In? Yes! Step Inside Some of NYC’s Quirkiest Spaces
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Jul 21, 2015 by Liz Gray