DOE Rules Change for Residential Water Heaters
In 2010, the Department of Energy published its final rules for residential water heaters, which will become effective April 16, 2015.
The required energy factor (EF), which measures energy efficiency, will vary depending on the type of water heater and the storage volume. For gas and electric storage water heaters above 55 gallons, the new standards require heat pumps for electric heaters and condensing technology for gas heaters. This means that even gas water heaters will require electricity and either a nearby floor drain or a small pump to lift condensate to a waste line.
The appliances themselves will be several times more expensive to both purchase and install compared to existing technologies. Manufacturers will cease production of the old technologies on April 16 of this year, and the supply of older and less expensive pre-rule appliances will eventually be installed and no longer available.
If your current water heater is nearing the end of its life expectancy, you may consider replacing it with one of the remaining “legacy” heaters as soon as possible while the supply lasts, since the purchase and installation will be significantly less expensive than the new technologies.
The new products will be larger and heavier, so if your existing water heater is in a tight space, you also may want to take advantage of these legacy appliances.
For more information, visit the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.
photo: GE Appliances