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In the News: New Efficiency Regulations Change Water Heater Standards in 2015

If you’re in the market for a new water heater for your Shreveport home, then you may want to take a look at the efficiency changes that are on the horizon. The U.S. Department of Energy has recently announced a number of changes in its standards for water heaters. These changes are meant to help improve safety, energy efficiency and long-term cost-effectiveness.

These changes are set to take effect for all water heaters manufactured in the United States after April 15, 2015. To find out how this affects you and your purchasing decisions, here?s a quick glance at the new water heater standards and how they’ll affect your home:

What Will the New Regulations Look Like?

There are plenty of changes in store for water heaters rated at a volume greater than 55 gallons:

  • The new water heater standards call for an increase in a water heater?s energy factor (EF) rating, measured by the amount of hot water a water heater is capable of producing for each unit of fuel consumed on an ordinary day. The higher the energy factor rating, the more efficient the water heater will be.
  • Water heaters manufactured after April 15, 2015 will also feature additional venting for enhanced safety, especially in light of the lingering threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • The latest water heaters will also feature additional insulation. This helps manufacturers raise the EF rating of their water heaters by slowing down energy losses caused by radiant heat loss. This will also cause a noticeable change in dimensions for new water heaters later on.

These changes are meant primarily for manufacturers of traditional oil and gas-fired water heaters, as well as the makers of tabletop and electric variants.

If you’re in the market for a tankless water heater, then you won?t have to worry ? these changes have no effect on your shopping preferences, since tankless models already meet or exceed the upcoming standards.

How Will This Affect You?

Depending on the type of water heater you purchase, the new water heater standards may have a tremendous impact on what you buy and the preparations you’ll have to make to accommodate it within your home.

  • Overall dimensions may change. The changes and required ventilation and insulation standards may leave your water heater a bit taller and a bit wider than your old water heater. These new water heater standards could make it difficult to fit a brand-new unit in the same spot as your old one without significant changes. In some cases, it may have to be completely relocated.
  • Water heaters may end up more complicated than before. With the arrival of new features like electronic ignition and flue dampers, the average water heater might be more complicated than before. Fortunately, your contractor is trained to deal with the added complexity.
  • You may end up paying more. All of these changes and improvements come at a cost. In some cases, you could find yourself spending as much as 35 percent more on your next new water heater than previously.

But not everything about the new water heater standards is bad news. Thanks to the above changes, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars on your utility bills throughout the water heater?s projected lifespan. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much as 2.6 quads of energy over a 30-year period, which adds up to approximately $8.7 billion in savings and a 154 million metric-ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Things You Can Do

There are several ways you can approach the upcoming water heater standards:

  • Purchase a brand-new water heater after April 15 and simply deal with the various changes that?ll need to be made to your home, if necessary.
  • Purchase a brand-new water heater before April 15 and enjoys the advantages of having a traditional water heater.

Either way, you?ll be able to enjoy the energy savings and performance offered by your next new water heater purchase.

To learn more about the newest water heater standards to take effect soon, check out the latest in water heaters and learn about the plumbing solutions offered by Pioneer Comfort Systems of Shreveport, or call us at 318-795-8000 to schedule an appointment.