Most people don’t think about their water heater until there’s a problem. While this is fine most of the time, you should be aware of new federal regulations that require water heaters to be more energy efficient. Lets take a look at the pros and cons for homeowners.

As of April 16, 2015, Water heaters must comply with new Department of Energy efficiency standards. Manufacturers must change the design of all water heaters in order to meet the new minimum efficiency standards.

Sounds good right? Lets take a closer look at the details.

The new water heaters will be more efficient. Around 3% more for gas models and 5% more for electric models 55 gallons or under. While this doesn’t sound like much, it is a fair amount considering water heating amounts to nearly 20 percent of a homes energy costs. The new heaters may also be a couple inches larger. They can likely be placed where the old one was unless it was in a very tight spot such as a closet, in which case some remodeling may be necessary.

Water heaters that hold 55 gallons or more will see larger efficiency gains. Although, in order to attain these gains, the larger water heaters will need to use technologies that are less familiar to consumers including electric heat pump and gas condensing technology. They will require a larger space and a condensate drain line to discharge off the water heater and into your homes drain system.

So what does all of this actually mean for homeowners?

Although the new tanks are more efficient, they also cost more. Tanks 55 gallons or under are projected to cost about 20-30% more than current tanks. The larger tanks may also require lines to be re-routed, resulting in a higher installation cost as well.

Tanks over 55 gallons are projected to have an even larger price increase due to the new technology’s that come along with them. They will also be much more expensive to install because of the need for a condensate drain line and additional duct lines to be installed with the tank.

Simply put, water heaters will cost more up front for the tank and the installation, but will save you money monthly with lower operating costs. For a free quote on a new Rheem water heater, or if you need some help deciding which tank is right for you, we are here to assist you. Give us a call or contact us anytime. We will be more than happy to help you with all of your water heater needs!

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