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Hot Water Needs
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
A home's hot water supply often gets taken for granted. Unless of
course, something happens one day and you realize that hot shower is
no longer available. In order to maintain a sufficient hot water
supply, you need to take the time to consider your system. By doing
so, you will also learn ways to cut your energy cost.
Traditional water heaters use a storage tank to hold heated water
until it is needed. They typically run off of natural gas, but
electric and propane heaters are also common. In addition, tank less
water heaters are available. They operate by routing water to where
it needs to be instead of storing it.
When installing a hot water system, it is important to take into
account your family's needs. Size does matter when it comes to hot
water. Not only should you consider the amount of bathrooms, but
also dishwashers and washing machines. Seriously consider your
Generally, the size of your heater depends on the amount of
bathrooms in your home, the size of your bathtubs, and the amount of
people that will be using water. 30 to 40 gallon heaters will
typically supply a one bathroom home. As the amount of bathrooms
increase, the size of your heater needs to increase.
Keep in mind that electric water heaters require more time to heat,
and will therefore need a larger tank to store the water, as opposed
to gas heaters. For this reason, homes that would require a 50
gallon gas heater will need an larger electric one.
If you are noticing that there isn't enough hot water during your
showers and such, you may need to upgrade to a larger tank, or
install a second water heater to provide more storage space.
In addition, there are some easy tips to conserving energy and saving
on cost. Below are a few suggestions:
• Do your best to adjust the thermostat to the lowest temperature.
Generally, 60°C is a comfortable temperature for the entire family.
• Make sure to replace washers on leaking tabs so that water is not
• Replace shower heads with “shower saver” heads. They use less
water then traditional shower heads.
• Run full loads on washers and dishwashers.