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New Water Heater Regulations Are Coming

Our Plumbing Company Shares the News

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If you haven’t heard yet, there are a few changes being made to water heater regulations in the near future. Starting April 16th of 2015, nearly all residential water heaters will require a higher Energy Factor (or EF) rating. This means that no matter what kind of water heater you have (whether it’s oil, gas, or electric), it will need to meet the Department of Energy’s National Appliance Energy Conservation Act.

As a homeowner, your water heater is the second-most energy consuming appliance in your home (next to your HVAC unit), and these new standards will help save you money. Overall, they’ll save around 3.3 quads of energy, which equals out to around $63 billion in energy bill savings. This means that homeowners can save up to $300 per year on energy bills. In addition, the standards will also avoid around 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which equals out to the emissions of nearly 34 million vehicles.

What to Do

So what do you need to do as a homeowner? That all depends on what kind of water heater you currently have. While some recent models already live up to the new EF standards, others may require changes. Many smaller units will require more insulation, which means if your water heater is fit snugly in a corner, you may need to move it.

Other, more drastic changes will come to larger water heaters; if you have a water heater over 55 gallons, it may need to have fully condensing combustion technology or have an integrated heat pump come April, which can add up to costly alterations.

If you’re going to invest in a new energy-efficient water heater, it’s most likely going to cost you a little more. Your best bet is to choose an electric tank-based water heater that’s under 55 gallons. Many of the newer models will either be larger or have a decreased capacity, so you’ll also have to consider those options. In the long run, however, a new energy-efficient water heater will save you money on your energy bills.