Have you heard about the new water heater regulations that recently went into effect April 16, 2015? These new water heater efficiency factor (EF) standards could impact your home and purchase costs when it’s time to upgrading or replacing the water heater.

Here’s what you may expect to encounter with these new regulations:

New Water Heater Regulations

The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), which was approved by the U.S. Congress, calls for a 3 to 30 percent increase in water heater EF for virtually all residential storage water heaters manufactured after April 16, 2015. The new water heater regulations will be administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) administers, which also oversees the Energy Star program.

If you are currently in the market, or soon will be, for a water heater replacement or new installation, the NAECA could affect you in one or more of the following ways:

  • To meet higher EF ratings, new water heaters may cost up to 35 percent more than standard models. Condensing and heat pump technologies may be necessary to meet the higher EF, which is part of the reason for higher costs.
  • PVC venting is mandatory for water heaters with 55-gallon capacity or greater. This means venting modifications for the vast majority of homes and condos.
  • Water heaters meeting new regulations are slightly larger than age-old standard storage water heaters. This too could mean many households will need to modify home structure to accommodate the larger systems.

Know Your Options

The current inventory of water heaters with older standards manufactured before April 16, 2015 may still be available for purchase and installation. So, if you’re not very enthusiastic about paying one-third higher costs for your next water heater, it may be in your best interest to replace your system sooner rather than later.

Another option is to go tankless. Many tankless water heaters already meet the new water heater regulations. Ask your plumbing professional for a cost analysis and best advice.

If you would like more information about new water heater regulations, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve served residents of Greater Cincinnati for more than 100 years.