Choosing the right water heater based on FHR values

Around 14-18% of our energy bills are composed of heating expenses for water, and this is considered the second largest expense for any household. In order to enjoy the comfort of hot water as well as reduce the costs, picking the right water heaters for the home is crucial. Water heaters for the home can be broadly classified into four main categories – standard, high-efficiency, solar, and point of use. Except the last one, the remaining three are whole-house systems. The only common point between all these types of heaters is that they all store heated water in insulated storage tanks, ready to be dispensed, up to the point of usage.

Another type that is available in the market is the tank-less water heaters that heat cold water based on demand. While these models are highly efficient compared to the standard models, they are expensive in terms of the price of the unit as well as the installation. Also, they are not an apt choice for homes that have a high demand for hot water. Although all types of water heaters for the home are either powered by electricity or gas, the major factor for deciding the right type depends on the cost criteria and storage capacity in most homes.

Beyond the storage criteria, homeowners need to consider other factors as well. While most households may prefer an 80-gallon tank to supply ample hot water for a high demand home, the major discrepancy is that not all 80-gallon tanks give out a consistent flow of hot water all the time. In these circumstances, one has to essentially factor in the first-hour rating (FHR) of the water heaters for the home to estimate the reliable delivery of hot water within a set time limit. Looking into models that have a high storage unit with a high FHR will help pick the right choice for your home. Doing a little research on the Department of Energy website will help understand which heaters have ample FHR.

Having a heater that also has additional features such as brass valves, glass-lined tanks, digital displays, and longer warranties with service contracts can be excellent for a reliable water heater for the home.

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