water-heaterYou’ve always counted on it to keep your dishes and clothing clean, and make sure your bath water is nice and toasty when you sink into it on a cold winter night. However, in April 2015, new standards for water heaters, pool heaters, and direct heating equipment, including gas fireplaces, will take effect. What do these changes in standards mean? And how will they affect your water heating system?

Higher Efficiency for Your Water Heater

These higher efficiency standards, announced as pending in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), are projected to save consumers up to $10 billion and prevent up to 164 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment over the next 30 years.

According to the DOE, these new standards will prevent as much release of harmful mercury and nitrogen oxides into the environment as would removing 46 million cars from the road for one year, enhancing this country’s energy security far into the future.

What Models are Affected?

The 2015 Energy Conservation Standards will affect residential water heating products including gas-fired, oil-fired, electric, instantaneous gas-fired, instantaneous electric, and tabletop water heating products.

How Will the New Standards Change the Way I Heat Water in my Home?

The efficiency metric for residential water heaters, known as the energy factor (EF), indicates the water heater’s energy and efficiency based on how much hot water a model provides per unit of fuel consumed during a 24-hour period. EF accounts for how efficiently the heat from an energy source is transferred to the water, what is known as recovery efficiency, as well as the percentage of heat loss per hour from stored water, juxtaposed with the heat content of the water. EF also measures cycling losses, which include the loss of heat as water circulates through a water heater tank, as well as inlet and outlet pipes.

For consumers, the new standards may drive up the price of water heaters and installation by as much as 50 to 100%, at minimum doubling current pricing. Suppliers may be buying up water heaters currently on the market, making it more difficult for homeowners to obtain new water heaters after April 15, when the new standards come into play.

Affected manufacturers include Broadford White, Reem, and AO Smith, all of whom recommend that homeowners obtain a new water heater, if needed, by February or March of 2015.

A Variety of Choices

New efficiency standards for water heaters will affect the efficiency with which homeowners heat their homes. While these new models will not meet the efficiency of tankless water heaters, they will produce less toxic emissions and save you money over the long haul, working for the benefit of your home and the environment. However, if you need a new water heater now, consider your budget and options in order to decide whether to purchase after the new standards take effect, increasing the energy efficiency of your home, or before, in order to save on up-front costs.

Unsure? Call our team at Meticulous Plumbing. We’ll help answer all of your questions and sort out any confusion you may have, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

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