New Efficiency Regulations Change Water Heater Standards in 2015

Published on: April 15, 2015
Water heaters | AC Southeast®

The changes that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently made to water heater standards manufactured after April 2015 will cut the amount of energy they use. If you need a water heater replacement, you may find that its initial cost and installation will be higher than you anticipated, especially for larger storage tank water heaters.

Water Heaters Less Than 55 Gallons

Storage tank water heaters will be larger with the same or slightly less capacity than you currently have. They will be taller and wider by two inches each to accommodate the extra insulation the new regulations require. If your current water heater sits inside a small closet or the attic, you may need to have it enlarged so a replacement fits when that time comes.

Water Heaters More Than 55 Gallons

These water heaters will use HVAC technology to meet the new water heater standards and require unique venting. Electric water heaters over 55 gallons will use heat pump components to warm the water. Heat pumps are one of the most energy efficient ways to heat air and water, since they harvest the heat in the air instead of creating it using electric resistance or a combustion fuel.

High capacity gas heaters will use the same condensing technology that the most efficient gas heating systems do. Instead of wasting the heat in the water vapor that gas creates, they send it over a second heat exchanger, remove the heat and put it into the water instead.

Your Options

A normal water heater lasts 10 to 12 years, and if you maintain yours, you may be able to extend its lifetime that will delay its replacement.Draining a few gallons from the bottom twice a year both increases efficiency and longevity, as does checking and changing its anode rods. When you do need a new water heater and it requires extensive remodeling, consider tankless water heaters if they’re a good fit for your family and lifestyle. They use less energy and use much less space.

For more information about the new water heater standards, contact AirConditioningSoutheast.com to find a contractor in the southeastern U.S. today.