Water Heater Installations Buying Guide

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Selecting the best water heater for your home depends on the size of the tank and hot water demands of your family. Water heaters last for 8 to 15 years on average, so consider your family’s future needs when making a purchase decision. The chart below provides a guide that matches household size and hot water demand with recommended water heater capacity options.

Household Size Demand* Gas


5 or more Regular


50 or 70 Gallon

75 Gallon

80 Gallon

120 Gallon

3 to 4 Regular


40 Gallon

50 or 75 Gallon

50 or 65 Gallon

80 Gallon

2 or less Regular


30 Gallon

40 Gallon

 40 Gallon

50 Gallon

*Regular Demand includes a home with a washer and dishwasher. High Demand includes a home with teenagers, whirlpool tubs, spas, oversized baths, etc.

What to Know About Hot Water Heaters

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a water heater. The points below can help guide your final buying decision.

Type: There are many types of water heaters available. Depending on your home, you’ll either need a gas, propane, electric or oil water heater. If you’re looking to maximize your home’s energy-efficiency, a heat pump or gas tankless water heater may be a good solution.

Size: To make sure your water heater is large enough to meet your hot water requirements, consider your family’s current and future hot water needs, as well as any space constraints around your existing water heater.

Recovery Rate: The recovery rate measures the amount of water that can be heated by the water heater in one hour. Electric water heaters with higher tank capacities generally have low recovery rates compared to smaller tanks, since there is more water to heat. Conversely, gas water heaters usually have smaller tank capacities because of their ability to heat water faster.

Tank Space Dimensions: Before you start looking for water heaters, it’s important to know how big your equipment can be. A good rule of thumb is to measure the dimensions of your current equipment. If there’s room around it, your new water heater can be as big, or bigger than, your current water heater.

Warranty: Buying a water heater with a manufacturer’s warranty is important because sometimes even the best equipment can breakdown. Most equipment comes with a manufacturer’s warranty that provides parts and labor coverage.

Accessories: Accessories like circulator pumps and timers, drip pans, and expansion tanks can enhance comfort.

Equipment Comfort and Efficiency

Don’t wait until your water heater fails before thinking about purchasing a new one. The average life expectancy of a water heater is between eight and 15 years. If yours is older, a new energy efficient water heater can help to reduce your home energy usage. Consider the following benefits of a water heater upgrade:

  • Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home.
  • Energy efficient water heaters can use between 10%-50% less energy than standard models.
  • An old water heater can operate for years at very low efficiency.

With a new water heater from Constellation, you can have dependable hot water and avoid a flooded basement. Plus, the money you save on energy can help pay for the cost of a new water heater.

Selecting a Contractor

To make sure you get your new water heater installed correctly, we’ve compiled a checklist that you can use during your contractor search. It’s important to remember that your equipment is only as good as the contractor that installs it.

  • Check Credentials. Learn what previous customers have to say by asking friends, family and neighbors if they’ve used the contractor before.
  • Check Local and State Licenses. Ask to see applicable licenses, insurance forms for liability and workmen’s compensation.
  • Qualified Technicians and Installers. Ask how employees are screened, trained and certified.
  • Warranties and Maintenance Agreements. Find out if manufacturer warranties and service agreements are available to ensure your water heater maintains optimum efficiency and performance.
  • Sales, Service and Installation. Make sure the company provides repairs and emergency service on the equipment they install.
  • Ask Questions. Don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. A new water heater is a significant investment for your home. Ask about the installation process, permits, warranties, financing options, and the pros and cons of your options.

To learn more about what kind of water heater is best for you, contact us today.

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