How to Know Which Size Water Heater is Right for You

How to Know Which Size Water Heater is Right for You

How to Know Which Size Water Heater is Right for You

Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to your water heater. If you’re looking for a new water heater and you don’t know what size works best for your family, you’ve come to the right place.

Women and Child washing

New water heater installation starts by picking the right tank size for your expected use. We’ll go over a few examples of what appliances and fixtures your water heater will be supporting so you can get a better idea of what works for you.

How Many People Will Be Using it?

Let’s talk about how many people will be using it on a regular basis. It’s good to have some extra wiggle room for when you have guests over, but let’s be fair: how often is that, and is it worth the additional year-round energy costs? Probably not.

Here’s a quick guide to knowing how many gallons you need per family size.

  • 1-2 people: Recommended 40 to 50-gallon capacity
  • 2-3 people: Recommended 40 to 50-gallon capacity
  • 3-4 people: Recommended 50 to 75-gallon capacity
  • 5+ people: Recommended 50 to 75-gallon capacity

This all varies depending on use. If your household consists of two people, but you know that you’re both prone to extra-long showers and aren’t willing to compromise on that, consider a higher capacity.

Let’s talk about what appliances and fixtures use the most water so you can gauge your water heater needs properly.

Determine How Often You’ll Be Running These Appliances and Fixtures

Now we need to find out how much water you’ll actually be using. Suffice it to say, the bigger your family size is and the more time you spend at home, the more hot water you’ll use. But it’s not just about shower durations.


How many loads do you run in a week For a small family, you might just run the dishwasher once or twice a week. If you have a larger family, you may run it on a daily basis. The standard time that you run your dishwasher matters if it intersects with laundry and showers.


Showers seem pretty straightforward, right? You take a long shower, you use more water. While this can be aided by changing out your shower head for a more energy-efficient option, this is where a lot of hot water goes. If you can make sure you aren’t running anything else during shower time, this will help.


If you aren’t washing dishes in a dishwasher, you’re doing it by hand. The water usage can add up and really drain your tank’s hot water.

Washing Machine

It’s advised to put your washing machine on cold wash instead of hot, but depending on your household, you may want to or need to wash clothes, blankets, towels, or cloth diapers on hot. Washing machines can use up a lot of hot water.

Find the Right Size for You

There’s no reason to get a water heater that fits a family of four if you’re a family of two. Don’t waste energy and money by heating water you won’t fully use. While nobody wants to get to the end of the hot water in their tank, it’s at least indicative of proper tank sizing.

If you don’t know what works best for your use case, the professionals are here to help you figure it out. We’ll take everything into consideration and help you find the right water heater size for your needs.

Contact Fannon & Sons Heating Cooling today for your new water heater installation. Welcome to the Family!