Big changes are coming for water heaters this month: The U.S. Department of Energy has created a new mandate for residential water heater efficiency standards that will go into effect on April 16, 2015. This mandate will require a higher energy factor on all almost all residential gas, electric and tankless water heater systems. Our team at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) would like to share this important information with you and explain how it may affect your future water heater needs, service and installations.
What is “energy factor”?
Energy factor, or EF, is how efficiently a water heater converts the power sent to it into actual hot water. The higher the EF, the less energy is lost in the process. EF is listed as a fraction of a hundred, so a water heater with 0.85 EF converts 85% of its energy into hot water, and loses 15%. If you do not know what the EF of your current water heater is, contact a professional.
What are the new regulations?
The Department of Energy’s new mandate is a result of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), and it restricts manufacturers from producing new units that do not live up to the new standards. The majority of water heaters must have higher EF than previous: each type of water heater has a different regulation change.
How this will affect your home’s water heater
Although the restrictions prohibit manufacturers from producing water heaters that do not meet the new standards, contractors can still buy and install already existing water heaters after April 16. As a consumer, you do not have to stop using your current water heater if it does not meet the requirements. You can continue with maintenance as usual, and you regular technicians will still be allowed to handle routine inspections, adjustments, and repairs.
However, we strongly advise that you begin to think about your next water heater installation and how these new regulations will affect it. The long-term benefits of the new regulations include helping you save energy and seeing that your water heater has increased performance over its lifespan. The experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) will be glad to help you navigate the new regulations and locate a water heater type that will match both your budget and your water heater needs.
Modern does have a limited stock of the 65 and 80 gallon electric heaters that will no longer be manufactured after April 16. If you currently have a 30-50 gallon electric lowboy heater the new models may not fit in your existing space. Once again we have some of these heaters in stock but they will not last long.