If you’re considering replacing your home’s storage tank water heater in the next year or two, you’ll want to hear about new water heater regulations that go into effect this spring. New federal minimum standards for water heater energy efficiency take effect on April 16, 2015.
The tighter standards affect water heaters manufactured after the cut-off date, though if you can find older models after mid-April, they can still be purchased and installed.
New federal rules set higher energy factor (EF) minimum ratings on residential water heaters in an effort to lower carbon dioxide and other emissions that contribute to global climate change. While this has a beneficial environmental effect and will lower your energy bills as well, there will be a cost for consumers.
The Cost of Efficiency
Improving efficiency, mainly by adding insulation to larger tanks, will raise purchase prices. The extra insulation will also make water heaters bigger in every respect — taller, wider and heavier — even if they have the same capacity for hot water. If you want the same physical size storage tank water heater, it will likely hold less hot water. If the water heater you’re replacing was installed in a small space, you may have to make the space bigger at considerable cost. Venting requirements for gas water heaters also will be changed, adding to the cost of installation.
Another potentially costly change – electric-powered water heaters with tank capacity greater than 55 gallons will have to use heat pump technology, potentially doubling the cost of a new storage tank water heater.
All told, the cost of this improved efficiency could add up to 35 percent or more to the cost of upgrading a storage tank water heater. Energy savings, meanwhile, are expected to be modest, though it adds up over time.
Learn more about the new water heater regulations from the pros at Axberg, or contact us today at (815) 444-0979.
Image via Flickr by Skakerman