Most Popular Sizes and Features of Gas Tank Water Heaters
Tank water heaters have an average service life of 8-12 years. So if you’re a lucky homeowner, it’s been at least two U.S. presidents since you’ve last had to purchase a new water heater. The point being, it doesn’t happen very often, so it’s understandable if you don’t know where to start when picking out a new unit. Don’t worry because today, we’re going to cover the most common sizes and features of gas tank water heaters – so you can be a more informed buyer.
Based on average household size, 40-gallon tank water heaters are the most popular size. Important features include the venting type, energy efficiency ratings, first-hour rating, and whether it’s a Low NOx or Ultra-Low NOx unit.
Sizes of gas water heaters
Gas tank water heaters come in a wide range of sizes based on the tank’s storage capacity – from 30 gallons up to 100 gallons. Choosing the correct size of water heater from your home is very important. If too small, you may not have enough hot water for your household’s needs. If the tank is too large, you will waste energy and have unnecessarily high utility bills.
Ideally, your water heater’s size is determined by your specific hot water usage (which a plumber can help you calculate). But in general, here are recommended water heater sizes based on the number of people in your household.
- 30 gallons – 1 to 2 people
- 40 gallons – 2 to 4 people
- 50+ gallons – 5 or more people
Since the average American household is 2½ people, it should be no surprise that 40-gallon tanks are the most popular sized residential water heater.
Venting types for gas water heaters
When gas water heaters burn natural gas for heat, they produce carbon monoxide, which needs to be vented outside. There are two common venting methods:
- Direct vent – The combustion gas is allowed to rise naturally and is directed vertically through a chimney or roof vent
- Power vent – A fan or blower is used to push the combustion gases through a horizontal pipe where it is released outside compare
Important features to compare
When researching or shopping for a new water heater, you’ll find several specifications and features listed with each product, which can be somewhat overwhelming. We usually recommend customers narrow their attention to these three factors.
- Energy Factor (EF) – A rating system for efficiency; the higher the number, the more energy-efficient the water heater is.
- First-hour rating (FHR) – How much hot water the unit can produce per hour, starting with a full tank.
- Low NOx and Ultra Low NOx – These are categories that indicate how much carbon monoxide the unit creates. Ultra-Low NOx units are better for the environment and required in certain states.
Water heater installation in Lynn, MA, and the North Shore area
We hope this article gives you a better idea of what to look for in your next gas tank water heater. If you have any other questions or are ready to get a free estimate, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We’re ready to help you pick out the perfect new water heater for your home. Schedule an appointment today at (781) 780-3184.