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Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 19110
Experience:  40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
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Is a 38000 BPU water heater enough to heat the air and water

Customer Question

Is a 38000 BPU water heater enough to heat the air and water for a 1 bedroom condo (774 sq ft)?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Rick replied 4 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

Not at all likely. A heat loss analysis would have to be done for a definitive answer. When a water heater is used for space heating typically nothing smaller than a 75 or 80 gallon unit is used.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Rick this is only a 40 gallon water heart with 38000 BPU's heating a 774 sq ft condo, and your answer is that this is more than likely insufficient?
Expert:  Rick replied 4 months ago.

Yes, a 40 gallon water heater is just big enough for DHW. No way it can also heat a 774 sq ft space at the same time.

Expert:  Rick replied 4 months ago.

Do you have any more questions?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How much it typically cost to install a 75 or 80 gallon water heater to replace the insufficient one?
Expert:  Rick replied 4 months ago.

It depends on the conditions onsite. If there is space heating piping and the existing unit is smaller the cost can be more. Cost also depends on how the heater is vented. A power vented unit (exhaust fan on top) will be several hundred more than one that vents into a chimney. In the Boston area a typical replacement of the same sized chimney vented 75 gallon gas fired heater runs around $2000.