Since 1990, the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) has set water heater efficiency standards for all units sold in the U.S. As water heater technology advances and energy conservation assume greater importance, these standards are periodically reviewed and updated. On April 15, 2015, new water heater efficiency standards took effect for new units manufactured after that date.
Energy Factor Rising
The energy factor (EF) is the standard metric used to express the ratio between the total energy consumed versus the amount that’s actually converted to hot water. The higher the EF rating, the more efficient the water heater and the lower the expected operating costs. The EF rating for every heater is prominently displayed on the yellow EnergyGuide label affixed to every water heater.
In addition to EF changes, the new 2015 standards impose certain considerations for homeowners upgrading to a new water heater after that date.
- Because new models incorporate more insulation than pre-2015 units, they’re slightly larger in both diameter and height. On average, this means a new unit will require about 3 inches more space in both width and height than the existing water heater it replaces. In most residential scenarios, this slight size increase won’t be problematic, but installations in cramped water heater closets may require alterations.
- The small minority of homes that require units with capacity above 55 gallons will be limited in their choices. Following April 15, gas-fired high-efficiency condensing heaters or electric heat pump water heaters will be the only available options in that capacity range.
For units in the conventional residential capacity below 55 gallons, these new energy factor minimums apply:
- Gas-fired heaters: Those with a 30-gallon, 40-gallon and 50-gallon capacity have an EF of 0.63, 0.62 and 0.60 respectively.
- Electric heaters: All electric heaters with a capacity of less than 55 gallons must meet a minimum EF standard of 0.95.
- Tankless heaters: The 0.82 EF required for gas-fired tankless water heaters is unchanged.
For more information about the new 2015 water heater efficiency standards, in Monmouth County contract Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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