The Department of Energy has made the final rule regarding new energy efficiency standards for all water heating units. These standards require higher efficiency ratings on virtually all makes and models of residential gas, electric and oil fired water heaters. The new guidelines go into effect April 16, 2015.
Not only do these new standards affect the logistics of manufacturing and installing water heating units, but it impacts the consumer side as well. Just about every homeowner and residential property owner is influenced by these new energy efficiency standards. It’s essential that all involved parties understand exactly how this changes the overall use of water heating units.
As a homeowner, how am I affected? How do the requirements vary based on unit type?
Unless you have a highly efficient tankless water heater, your unit is probably affected by these changes. The impact varies based on the size and fuel source used to power the unit. While it’s still undetermined exactly what modifications will be made to the different types of units, we can predict. The 2015 water heater phase-out will likely require that all gas, electric and oil-fired water heaters need more insulation and some might need newer ignition and/or combustion systems.
How does something as basic as added insulation affect me?
In several ways…insulation requires extra space. The tanks compliant with the 2015 change are estimated to be about 2 inches wider. People who house their unit in a tight closet or laundry area may find themselves needing to relocate new equipment. Those who own an apartment, condo or townhouse with even more space limitations have greater challenges in accommodating larger tanks.
What should I do now to prepare?
Considering traditional water heaters typically last between 8-10 years, if you’re coming close to needing a replacement, do it now. You have a few options. Upgrading to a new energy efficient unit is usually the first thought. However, you can also purchase a compliant unit that is identical in style and size as the existing tank while supplies are still available. Some people decide to spend the extra money and upgrade to a tankless unit.
Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. is dedicated to helping our customers understand these changes and take the next steps in conforming to the new standards. By making the transition sooner rather than later you’ll achieve much higher efficiency and lower energy bills. Contact us today to learn more about the new energy efficient standards for water heating units and to find out what options are available.