New Standards Set for Water Heaters in 2015

water heater standardsIf your home’s water heater is nearing the end of its useful service life – normally 10-12 years – it probably makes sense to start thinking about getting a new one. New federal water heater standards are taking effect April 15, 2015 that will raise the cost of buying and installing a newly manufactured storage-tank water heater. While water heaters produced before the cut-off date can still be purchased and installed, fewer and fewer will be available as old stock sells out.

Why New Water Heater Standards?

In an effort to curb global climate change, the federal government is imposing tighter energy-efficiency standards on storage-tank water heaters. The minimum Energy Factor (EF) will be higher than ever, and this the main rating used to assess the energy efficiency of both electric and gas-powered water heaters. While the new water heater standards are expected to remove 172 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 45 years, they’ll cost homeowners substantially, with an average increase in water heater purchase/installation estimated at 30 percent. During the same period, these more energy-efficient appliances are expected to save homeowners some $63 billion on their energy bills.

What Can Homeowners Expect?

First of all, a water heater of the same capacity will weigh more and measure taller and wider. This is because of additional insulation that’s being built into storage-tank water heaters, as the main method of achieving energy efficiency. If you want the same size water heater, you’ll have to accept reduced capacity. Installation is expected to be costlier as well, with venting for gas water heaters becoming more involved, and small spaces often no longer accommodating the larger-size water heater.

Electric-powered storage-tank water heaters with capacity above 55 gallons will now have to use heat-pump technology. While being energy efficiency, this could double the cost of the same capacity appliance.

For more information on new water heater standards for your South Plains home, check out Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning’s options for quality, energy-efficient water heaters, or call us at 806-589-1014.

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