After a decade, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has changed water heater standards so that they’re more energy efficient. Heating water, especially with a storage tank appliance, uses a good deal of energy, second only to most homeowners’ heating and cooling costs. After April 15, 2015, manufacturers will have to meet the new standards the DOE recently established.
Better Water Heater Efficiency
Water heater efficiency is expressed as the energy factor (EF), and these will rise across the board for both tankless and storage water heaters that use electricity or a combustible fuel. The DOE estimates that the new regulations will save $63 billion from 2015 to 2044, or 3.3 quads of energy, which is the equivalent of removing 33.8 million vehicles from the roads in terms of carbon pollution.
As an upshot, water heater manufacturers will have to modify storage tank water heater design that may affect the installation costs of the new heater and shrink the actual tank capacity. The industry expects the heaters to cost approximately 35 percent more for an equivalent size.
Besides having a higher first cost, tank-style heaters will be larger and heavier. They will have to have more insulation, and venting may pose a challenge. Homes where the water heater sits in a closet or utility room may have to be modified to accommodate the larger size and venting requirements.
How the new water heater standards affect you depends on the condition of your current water heater, where it’s placed and its age. As a general rule, a storage tank water heater lasts from 10 to 12 years.
Learn more about the new water heater standards and how they will affect you from the pros at Gartner Heating & Cooling, or give us a call at 847-448-0596.