New Regulations Mean Big Changes
in Water Heaters
What Can Homeowners Expect?
As a result of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), the U.S. Dept. of Energy is mandating new efficiency standards for water heaters, effective April 16, 2015. That means that manufacturers can no longer produce units that do not meet the new standards. Contractors, however, can still buy and install existing products after this date, and consumers can still use the appliances they have but should start thinking about how these new regulations will impact their next water heater purchase and installation.
The Energy Factor
The new mandates will require higher energy factor (EF) ratings on virtually all gas, electric, oil, and tankless water heaters. The EF indicates overall efficiency by measuring how much of the energy delivered to the water heater from your power source is actually used to heat your water. The higher the EF, the more efficiently the water heater converts your power into hot water while reducing losses … and the more money you save on overall energy costs.
0.75 EF = 75% of Energy Used is Converted to Hot Water
For example, if a water heater has a 0.75 EF, that means 75 percent of the energy used is converted to hot water.
The changes to the EF requirements certainly will increase efficiency … saving energy, increasing performance over the life of the water heater, and lowering your operating costs!
At the same time, the new water heaters will have a more sophisticated design. How does that impact you?
- The new design – which may integrate blowers, fans, condensers, and other components – makes a professional contractor the best choice for safe and proper product selection and installation.
- In some cases, the new water heater may have to be re-located to fit properly, operate safely, or mitigate noise.
- In rare cases, the performance of the new water heater in terms of hot water deliverability will be less than the model that was replaced. You may need to consider a different size or alternative solution to meet your family’s hot water needs.
Now more than ever, it’s best to turn to a professional contractor to get the best advice on selecting your next water heater as well as to install it for maximum performance and efficiency … and safety! Do you really want to chance this important and potentially dangerous task to a non-professional? For more information on how to hire a professional contractor, click on PHCC’s Find a Contractor referral service. Or, call our toll-free number, 800-533-7694.