Do big houses and big families need big water heaters?
In many ways, the American homeowner is obsessed with size. When you go house hunting, realtors will tell you how many bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas the homes have while fitting in the square footage of both back and front yards. Even if you consider yourself a city-dweller, you probably try not to settle for anything less than a two-floor condominium that gives you enough space to stretch out and relax after work even in cramped urban environments.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting a mansion all to yourself if you can afford it, but bigger isn't always better when it comes to the appliances you choose to fill that house with. If you have a sprawling house in the suburbs or a multi-story apartment in the city with a big family to go along with it, you might be tempted to get the biggest water heater possible to cover all your hot water needs. However, rather than sinking all your money into one gargantuan heater and hoping for the best, installing tankless water heaters at the right points in your home could make your house a true home.
How much room do you really have?
In a large house and with a family that uses a lot of hot water at the same times every day, you might be tempted to go out and buy the biggest hot water heater you can find at the local home supply store. However, once you actually start to take a look at the sizes out there, you might start to question whether you can actually get the right size water heater for your money.
According to a Gallup poll, 33 percent of Americans say three children constitute an ideal family, though the average rests around 2.5. However, for a traditional water heater to supply enough hot water to everyone who needs it, you'll have to buy a 50-gallon model at the absolute minimum. If you want to upgrade and go electric, that number bumps up to a staggering 80 gallons.
With a large house, you also have to take into account the distance hot water has to traverse to make it to all the faucets, showerheads and other fixtures your family will be using as they get ready in the morning and prepare for bed at night. While your massive water heater in the basement might not have much trouble getting hot water to that sink on the first floor, it might struggle to get water at the right temperature and pressure to distant bathrooms on the top floors.
"Install a smaller model along with point-of-use tankless heaters near the busiest bathrooms and sinks."
Divide and conquer hot water
It might seem easier to just throw money at a giant water heater and call it a day, but if you put a little more thought into how your home is laid out, you can use point-of-use tankless water heaters to make sure every place in your house has a dedicated supply of hot water whenever you need it.
Instead of buying the largest-capacity water heater you can find, installing a smaller model along with point-of-use tankless heaters near the places you expect to see the most traffic in your home, you can give cold water a one-two punch that'll leave your home feeling like it's a lot smaller than it is – in a good way.