Next month the Department of Energy will be implementing new manufacturing specifications for hot water heaters, so your current hot water heater will no longer be available to purchase for replacement. This may be an ISSUE if your current water heater is located in a small area such as a crawl space, stairwell or closet. The new hot water heater that will be manufactured for sale will be larger or have a smaller capacity due to increased insulation requirements. This could require extensive installation costs to accommodate the new larger water heaters. The following article explains your options- the first of which maybe to purchase a new replacement of the similar model before they are unavailable next month!
What is NAECA?
On April 16, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) will make effective its new energy efficiency mandates, as part of the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). This update will affect all household appliances manufactured for sale in the U.S., and Canada will soon follow in their implementation of similar energy efficiency upgrades. This new update was first announced in April 2010. Part of this efficiency standards update will require nearly all residential electric, oil, gas and tankless gas water heaters to carry higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings. The new rule does not preclude the installation of non-compliant products that are manufactured before April 16, 2015.
In light of all of this information, as a homeowner, condo owner or property manager, what action should you take?
First, start by considering the age of your current water heater.
If you find that your water heater is due for replacement, consider the following options:
• Purchase a new water heater that meets the current standard. If you act soon, while these products with lower EF ratings are still available, you will be able to put off the entire issue with the new NAECA standards for at least another six years. Your tank capacity, and therefore your hot water usage, can remain the same, and you won’t have to worry about the equipment size increases and the resulting space considerations in your home, condo or apartment unit.
• Upgrade to the new 2015 NAECA standards-compliant equipment now. Purchasing a more energy-efficient heater ahead of the April 16th deadline will allow you to avoid the imminent price increases on this type of equipment. Plus, you can already start enjoying the added benefits that high-efficiency equipment will bring, such as lower electricity usage and reduced energy costs.
• Wait to act until after April 16, 2015. This decision will give you the benefit of knowing for certain just what the efficiency upgrades will entail and allow you to purchase the latest products, however you will no longer be able to opt for the currently-available lower cost equipment with lesser efficiency ratings. You will be forced to purchase 2015 standard equipment, for higher prices, and with either less capacity or larger physical dimensions.