Are you in the market for an electric hot water system but need help deciding what size to choose? Selecting the right hot water system size is essential for ensuring optimal performance energy efficiency, and meeting your hot water demands.
This blog post will walk you through determining the ideal size for your electric hot water systems. By understanding your hot water needs, considering various factors, and making informed calculations, you can confidently decide to provide you with a reliable and cost-effective hot water supply for years to come.
Say goodbye to cold showers and wasted energy - let’s dive into the world of choosing the right size electric storage hot water system.
Understanding Your Hot Water Needs
A thorough understanding of your household’s typical hot water consumption patterns is crucial when choosing the right electric water heating system size. Start by considering fundamental factors like the number of permanent occupants and whether anyone lives there part-time.
From there, evaluate your daily routines that utilise hot water outlets. Conduct a weekly audit to track activities such as showering, bathing, laundering clothes and dishes, cleaning, and other miscellaneous uses.
Note how many minutes each shower lasts on average and how many loads of laundry and dishes are done in a day. Also, pay attention to times of peak simultaneous use from multiple fixtures, like busy mornings.
In addition to daily activities, account for any other periodic hot water demands. For example, do you use hot water outdoors for a garden hose or power washing? Are there hot tubs or pools that need regular temperature maintenance? Does your washing machine use hot or cold water?
Evaluate your fixtures and appliances for efficiency, as older, high-flow models require more hot water input. Also, factor in future plans, such as an increasing family size. A thorough understanding of your unique water usage profile makes factors influencing daily and weekly consumption apparent.
This information allows you to determine relative hot water needs and properly size an electric storage hot water heater or tankless water heater to closely match your household’s patterns. Proper sizing avoids running out of hot water and saves money on utility bills long-term.
Factors Influencing Size Selection
Several important factors must be carefully evaluated when determining the proper size for an electric hot water heater.
1. Number of people in the home
More occupants mean additional hot water needs from daily activities like showering, bathing, laundry and dishes. Larger families will require a larger tank than smaller households. In short, the more demand for hot water in your house, the greater the need is to heat water. Continuous flow systems may be an option, but natural gas storage units are more economical.
2. Usage patterns
The frequency and duration of pump hot water system use varies between households. Those with athletes who shower after practice or families who enjoy long baths will utilise more compared to retirees.
Suppose your chosen power source is electricity, and you’d like to keep the costs of running a hot water heater down by connecting the system to an off-peak tariff (often between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.). In that case, you’ll need to install a larger system as it will need to supply hot water to your home for the whole day and will only reheat at night (during the off-peak times). Understanding typical habits is important.
3. Number of bathrooms
Homes with multiple bathrooms allow for simultaneous hot water use, increasing overall daily demand. The storage tank system must be sized to accommodate multiple draws simultaneously. If you decide on an instant hot water system, and it’s too small, you will not be able to get hot water from multiple hot water taps at once.
4. Shower length
People taking hour-long, relaxing showers will consume far greater volumes of hot water daily than quick rinsers. Longer showers require a larger heater capacity.
5. Laundry & dish loads
How many showers and outlets will your system need to service? The number of loads of laundry and dishes completed per household each day translates directly to gallons of hot water needed. Higher numbers indicate increased sizing requirements.
6. Spa or pool
Maintaining hot tubs and swimming pools demands continuous hot water to refill and warm the water. This adds to daily usage calculations.
7. Fixture efficiency
Homes still use older fixtures with higher flow rates, lose more water (and require more heating) per use than those upgraded to water-saving showerheads and faucets.
8. Home size
In general, larger and more expansive residences have proportionally higher demands for hot water than smaller homes.
9. Future changes
It’s wise to account for potential increases in needs over time, like having long-term guests or adding family members that could evolve usage patterns.
10. Local climate
Hot water needs vary depending on geographic location. Homes in very hot or cold climates will utilise more gallons per day for temperature regulation compared to more temperate regions. This climate factor needs consideration during the sizing calculation.
Taking all of these factors into careful consideration helps ensure the selection of an adequately sized heater to meet a home’s hot water demands both currently and in the years ahead. At the end of the day, you are the best judge of how much hot water your house needs, and a good system is an important investment, so don’t feel pressured into a rush decision.
So, What Size Hot Water System Do I Need?
Calculating the proper size for an electric hot water heater requires carefully estimating a home’s daily hot water usage needs. The best place to start is to determine the daily gallons required.
Most storage hot water systems are sized based on daily gallons, with common capacities ranging from 30 to 80 gallons. As a baseline, estimate that each person in the household will use around 40-60 gallons weekly. However, this figure can vary significantly depending on individual usage patterns and household characteristics.
To accurately calculate daily gallons, it helps to break it down based on each hot water-using fixture and appliance. For example, the average shower uses approximately 18-25 gallons for a 10-minute shower. So, a family that takes two showers per day would use 36-50 gallons of showers alone. Next, estimate dishwasher and clotheswasher use. A dishwasher may require 5-10 gallons per full cycle, while front-loading washers average 25-40 gallons per load. Calculate estimated loads per week to get gallons used.
In addition to fixtures, consider other factors like simultaneous use from multiple bathrooms, a hot tub or pool that needs regular heating, the home’s number of floors, and the age/efficiency of existing fixtures. Once estimates are tabulated for all hot water appliances and activities, add 10-15% to account for heat loss and occasional higher usage periods.
Comparing the total calculated daily gallons to available heater sizes will help determine if a 40, 50 or 80-gallon unit best fits the home’s needs. Oversizing slightly is preferable to running out of hot water during morning or evening rush hours. Taking time to precisely project requirements leads to selecting the right electric water heater capacity.
Considering Additional Features and Considerations
When calculating the size of an electric hot water heater, it’s important to take into account more than just gallons needed per day. Additional features, efficiency ratings, location factors and warranties all play an important role in determining the optimal size.
The insulation level of the unit should be considered, as more highly insulated tank models can often provide sufficient hot water to meet daily demands, even if slightly undersized, due to retaining heat better. A faster recovery rate is also key, as systems that can reheat the water to its set temperature quicker after high usage periods like lengthy morning showers will perform better.
Looking closely at Energy Factor ratings will also impact operating costs over the heater’s lifetime. Higher EF units cost less to power per year. Newer heat pump water heaters have especially high EF ratings of over 2.0. Warranty durations should also factor in, as larger capacity units sometimes come with longer partial or full warranties, providing greater protection against repairs.
Where the water heater will be located matters as well. Units installed on exterior walls may need extra insulation to combat ambient heat loss. Multi-story homes could benefit from a larger size to promptly ensure hot water reaches all fixtures. Consulting with a plumber can help analyse pipe layout and fixture positioning to best optimise sizing.
Considering these extra criteria and daily gallon estimates leads to choosing an electric water heater tailored to each unique home, perfectly balancing size, efficiency, and long-term functionality.
Finding Your Perfect Fit
Carefully understanding your household’s hot water usage and calculating size requirements based on influencing factors leads to selecting the ideal electric systems for your home’s needs. Choosing the properly sized unit ensures an adequate, comfortable hot water supply without wasting energy or money.
If you need help analysing your hot water profile or determining the best water heater size, contact the experts at Enersol Electrical. As a leading provider of electric water heating systems, we can assess your home’s unique hot water demands.
We carry a wide selection of brands and models in various capacities. Enersol Electrical’s skilled technicians can install your new hot water system and ensure it works efficiently.
With many years in the industry, we aim to supply our customers with quality water heating solutions tailored to their needs. Reach out to us today to discuss your hot water system requirements. Speak to one of our representatives about choosing the right size electric hot water system for reliable and cost-effective hot water in the future.