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Blogs from March, 2015


Green check

What You Need to Know About the NAECA 2015 Water Heater Efficiency Standards

This blog will cover:

  • What does NAECA 2015 mean to me?
  • Water Heaters Under 55 Gallons
  • Water Heaters Over 55 Gallons
  • What are my options?

What does NAECA 2015 mean to me?

The upcoming revision to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) will impact the design of most new tank type water heaters. The new update applies to increasing minimum energy efficiency standards, requiring all new heaters to carry a higher Energy Factor (EF) rating. The revision was enacted in 2010 and goes into effect on April 16, 2015.

In order to comply with the new standards, water heater manufacturers have had to alter their equipment designs to improve the insulation. Design changes will require that most residential water heaters will be larger in size and will require more installation space in your home.

Water Heaters UNDER 55 Gallons

  • The height of a new unit [with the same gallon capacity as an existing unit] may be two or more inches taller
  • The diameter of a new unit [that has the same gallon capacity as an existing unit] may be two or more inches wider
  • For units under 55 gallons, add a minimum of three or more inches when planning the installation space

Replacement Options for Heaters Under 55 Gallons

  • For installations where space is not an issue, units of similar gallon capacity but larger in physical size can be installed
  • For installations where space is an issue:
    • a similar unit with smaller gallon capacity may be installed
    • your new heater may need to be moved/re-routed to a new location in or outside your home

Under 55 Gallons

Source: AO Smith

Water Heaters OVER 55 Gallons

  • Water heaters that are larger than 55 gallons will undergo the biggest changes, they will require more installation space and the need to switch to a different model.

Replacement Options for Heaters Over 55 Gallons

  • All residential electric models over 55 gallons must be of the Hybrid Electric heat pump water heater type design
  • All residential gas models over 55 gallons must be of the condensing water heater type design

Over 55 Gallons

Source: AO Smith

What are my options?

Do you NEED to buy a NEW water heater RIGHT NOW? Of course not! But you should consider the age and condition of your current heater. Water heater warranties are typically 6 years. If you find you’re over or close to that 6 year mark you can:

  1. Purchase a current model. If you act before the April 16, 2015 deadline, you can put off the entire issue with the new standards for at least another 6 years. Your tank capacity, and your hot water usage can remain the same, and you won’t have to worry about the equipment size increases and the resulting space considerations in your home for awhile.
  2. Upgrade to the new 2015 NAECA compliant equipment. You’ll be ahead of the curve and can start enjoying the added benefits that high-efficiency equipment will bring (lower electricity usage and reduced energy costs).
  3. Look into installing a tankless heater. Tankless models are designed for efficiency, save energy, and compact designs save space.
  4. Play the waiting game. Deal with needing a new heater – and any updates needed to your home to accommodate that heater – when your current one goes out.

No matter how you decide to handle these new 2015 NAECA standards regulations, whether you upgrade your equipment now or in the future, Cold is on the Right Plumbing is here for you! Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help you out.