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  • Writer's pictureLeslie Stoltzfus

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Size Tankless Hot Water Heater for Your Family

When selecting a tankless hot water heater for your family, it’s important to choose the right size for your needs. A tankless hot water heater can provide an endless supply of hot water, but it needs to be the correct size to ensure you get the performance you expect. In this blog post, we’ll provide five tips on how to choose the right size tankless hot water heater for your family.


1) Assess your family's needs

When looking for the right size tankless hot water heater for your family, it is important to assess your family's needs first. Start by calculating the temperature rise between the winter groundwater temperature and the preferred set temperature of the tankless water heater. Then, determine the peak hot water demand for your home by estimating the maximum number of services that might be drawing hot water at any point (e.g. shower = 2 gpm, kitchen sink = 1.5 gpm, dishwasher = 2 gpm). Based on this information, you can then choose a tankless water heater from a company such as Rinnai that fits your needs. The Rinnai website offers helpful calculation tables and online calculators to help you make an informed decision about which tankless hot water heater is best for your family.


2) Determine the gallons per minute you need

When selecting the right size tankless hot water heater for your family, it is important to consider how many gallons per minute (GPM) you will need to provide enough hot water for your household. Generally, a household of two people will require between 2-3 GPM while a household of four may require up to 6 GPM. To determine the specific GPM your family will need, consider what appliances will be running simultaneously and the typical number of occupants in your home. It may also be helpful to consult with a professional when determining the GPM you need. Rinnai offers a helpful sizing calculator that can help determine the right size hot water heater for your family.


3) Consider the climate

When selecting a tankless hot water heater, it’s important to take into account the climate of the area in which you live. The colder the climate, the more power you will need to effectively heat the water. In warm climates, you may be able to get away with a smaller tankless heater because you don't need as much power to heat up the water. However, if you live in a cold climate, you will need a larger tankless heater with more power to ensure that you get an adequate amount of hot water. A plumber can help you determine what size and power you need based on your geographic location. You should also consider how many people are in your family when making a selection. If there are five or fewer people in your family, then a medium-sized tankless hot water heater should suffice; however, if there are six or more people in your family, then you should look at purchasing a larger unit. Additionally, you should consider how many appliances use hot water regularly. If multiple fixtures are using hot water at once, then you should select a unit that is powerful enough to meet all of those needs.


4) Choose the right model

When selecting a tankless hot water heater, it’s important to choose a model that will fit your family’s needs. Depending on the size of your home and the number of people in your household, you may need more than one unit to provide hot water throughout your home.

When considering a tankless hot water heater model, there are several factors to consider:

1. The size of the unit. Tankless hot water heaters come in various sizes and capacities, ranging from small single-room units to larger whole-house models. Make sure you select a unit that can provide enough hot water for your entire home.

2. The energy source. Tankless hot water heaters typically use either gas or electric power. Gas models tend to be more powerful and efficient, while electric models are easier to install and operate.

3. The features. Some tankless hot water heaters come with special features such as digital controls, recirculating pumps, and self-cleaning functions. Consider the features you need before making a purchase.

4. The warranty. Most tankless hot water heater manufacturers offer warranties on their products. Be sure to check the length of coverage and what is covered before making a purchase.

Selecting the right model of tankless hot water heater is essential for providing an efficient and cost-effective way to heat your water. Taking the time to evaluate your family’s needs and researching the best models for your home will help ensure you get the most out of your purchase. Another important factor to consider when selecting a tankless hot water heater is the cost. Prices can vary widely depending on the size of the unit, type of fuel used, and features. However, tankless hot water heaters typically cost less to operate than traditional storage tank heaters due to their higher efficiency. And when it comes to tankless hot water heaters, you really do get what you pay for. Investing in a higher-quality unit now can save you money in energy costs over time.


5) Get professional help

When it comes to choosing the right size tankless hot water heater for your family, it's always best to seek professional advice. A plumbing contractor or HVAC technician can assess your needs and recommend the best unit for your home. They will take into account your family’s needs, the climate in your area, and other factors to determine the most efficient and cost-effective solution. They will also ensure that your tankless hot water heater is properly installed, which will help you avoid any problems with water flow or other issues down the line. By seeking professional help, you can rest assured that you're getting the most out of your investment and that your hot water heater will provide you with years of reliable service.


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