If yours is a typical family, daylight brings about a multitude of showerers and bathers preparing for the business day, child and home care day, and school day. Invariably, this entails a lot hot water hogging while various family members stand outside the bathroom doors shouting “Hurry up! I’m late!” Financial-conscious fathers mutter “What’s she doing? I could have bathed a baby elephant with that much water.” Woe to the last person in the bathroom line; he or she is the most susceptible to having to make do with a barely-tepid hasty dowsing. Showers, shampoos, baby baths, make-up applications, hair styling, even coffee-making all involve the strenuous use of the family home’s water heater. Thus, the water heater’s gallon capacity and the rapidity of its ability to heat much-needed water are of serious priority. Consider: even after family members depart for school or work, stay-out-home spouses still have laundry to do, dishwashers to fill, and floors to mop. Again, the water heater’s dependability and capacity is sorely tested. By the end of the day, when dinner dishes are washed, baby is bathed, and faces are washed, your water heater is the un-noticed hero; when you turn on the hot water faucet, you usually get what you expect and only notice this appliance when it’s not working.
What Kind Of Water Heater Is Best For Me?
That depends. If you and your partner are the only ones in the home, you will likely do well with a smaller water heater that has “instant demand” capability. This means that the heater turns cold water into hot water very rapidly. These water heaters need to be fairly small – around 20 gallons – to heat up quickly.
However, a family of four will do much better with a water heater with a capacity of 50-60 gallons to meet the morning, daytime, and evening needs of personal hygiene, cooking and cleaning. Once the hot water supply is depleted, it usually takes about an hour for the hot water to appear in your faucets.
Expense is another thing to consider when purchasing a water heater for your home. You can buy a good-quality heater for $300-700 depending upon how many gallons you require to meet the needs of your family and whether you also purchase a warranty (recommended).
Finally, your water heater uses a variety of heat sources; natural gas, electricity, even solar power. With electric heaters you don’t have be concerned about losing the pilot light as with gas heaters, nor does your hot water availability depend upon the strength of the sun. Electric water heaters are a bit more expensive; you pay extra for the assurance that barring an electrical failure, your family’s needs for baths, showers and clean dishes is assured.