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First Hour Rating for Water Heaters in Minnesota: More Important than Capacity

metro heatingThe First Hour Rating (FHR) is as equally important as capacity, when it comes to water heaters, and is definitely something you should definitely consider before you buy a new water heater.

When in the market for new Water heaters in Minnesota, most homeowners are only concerned with capacity.

You may be surprised to know that buying a larger tank may not provide you with enough hot water.


What is the First Hour Rating?

Put simply, the First Hour Rating lets you know how much hot water the heater will produce in a given amount of time.

It generally refers to the amount of hot water your tank can provide during a period of heavy use-typically the first hour of the day when demand is especially high.

For example, an 80-gallon tank may have a FHR of 56.

This means it can provide 56 gallons of hot water during the first hour, leaving the remaining 24 gallons stored in the tank ready to be heated.

The First Hour Rating is listed on your tank’s yellow label along with its energy information.

It is calculated using the following formula:

Tank Capacity x .70 + Recovery (gallons per hour at an 80 degree rise in temperature).

Gas and Oil vs. Electric

Gas and oil models tend to have higher FHRs than electric models.

This is because their flames tend to heat water more quickly than the elements found on electric units.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get by with an electric water heater, but it does mean you could need a larger unit if you have extremely high usage during certain parts of the day.

Determining the size and type of water heater you need, as well as its First Hour Rate can be challenging, which is why you need the help of an experienced professional.


If you are having a hard time choosing the right water heater for your home, or need more First Hour Rating advice, please contact us at (651) 294-7798.

We cover Blaine, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Eagan, Edina, Hastings, Maplewood, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Roseville, North Saint Paul, Saint Paul, Saint Paul Park, South Saint Paul, Stillwater, West Lakeland, West Saint Paul, White Bear Lake, Woodbury, and many more locations.

Can’t find your town listed? Contact us at (651) 294-7798 to tell us where you live, so we can help you.

Schedule a HVAC repair anywhere in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area today by calling (651) 294-7798 or by requesting an estimate online.


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1220 Cope Avenue East, Maplewood, MN 55109