The Columbia area's climate may be mild, but we still need efficient water heaters to stay comfortable without high energy bills. If you're planning on investing in a more efficient water heater or if your current unit is more than 10 years old, you'll want to know about the new water heater regulations.
As of April 15, 2015, energy factor (EF) requirements for almost all types of water heaters will rise due to an update in the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA).
A water heater's EF indicates its energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water it produces per unit of fuel used on an average day. The higher the EF, the more efficient the system. Higher EFs will reduce fossil fuel use and cut carbon dioxide emissions.
To meet these new water heater requirements, manufacturers will make design changes for models produced after this date. The new designs will have different installation requirements.
Although they'll save you money in the long run, the purchase prices on the new models will be higher. The units will also be about two inches taller and two inches wider than the average unit currently manufactured, which means they won't fit as easily in a closet, attic or other small space. In order to install one, you may need to spend on remodeling.
Thanks to certain design changes, the new models will require more insulation and venting, increasing the complexity and cost of their installation. If you've been thinking about replacing your water heater, you may want to do it soon while the older models are still available.
The average water heater's life span is around 10 to 15 years, so if yours is getting up there in age, the new water heater regulations are a good reason to replace it now. If saving energy is your main goal, then consider upgrading to one of the new higher-EF water heaters.
Learn more about the new water heater regulations and how they affect your water heater options from the pros at Cool Care, or give us a call at (803) 772-7715.