3/21/2015

Water Heaters Are About to Cost Much More

If you need a new water heater, consider buying one in the next three weeks.

Effective April 16, 2015, water heater replacement rules will go into effect.  A new amendment to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act will require higher energy ratings on all new residential gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters.  The changes will impact how they are designed, manufactured, tested, distributed and installed, as many will be taller, wider and heavier than your current installation.  Because of the potential increase in size, the homeowner may have an additional cost of housing the new heater in a larger cabinet.

 According to  the U.S. Department of Energy, "Standards mandatory in 2015 will save approximately 3.3 quads of energy and result in approximately $63 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2015-2044. The standard will avoid about 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 33.8 million automobiles."  For water heaters under 50 gal., this greater efficiency is achieved by adding more insulation (making it bigger).  For larger water heaters, heat pumps will be required, and some larger water heater may be discontinued because they cannot meet the standard.  In the end, there will be less energy consumed, but not before the consumer pays more up front.  Also, the self-help install program will just not work, licensed plumbers will be a fact of life.  

And according to EnergyStar.gov site at least 30% of a home's energy is spent on heating and cooling:


According to the Bradford White website "It is important for contractors to understand that products manufactured before April 16, 2015, can be bought and installed after the changeover date."  However, since production of the new standard units started some time ago, some stores have been stocking up for some time, so older manufacture dates may be harder to find.

To extend the life of your current water heater, drain it yearly, and if possible, add a water softener to decrease sediments.   For more information go to http://www.energy.gov/search/site/water%20heater.

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