New Federal Regulations for Water Heaters

By Rentwell

If you were thinking about replacing your hot water heater, you should know that new regulations went into effect in April. Now, heaters must comply with Department of Energy efficiency standards. The good news is that these regulations may create a modest savings on your utility bills.

The water heater in a typical home houses 55 gallons of water or less. New standards would improve the efficiency by 4% and many models by A.O. Smith, Bradford White, and Rheem are already on the market. These units work very much the same as older ones, but will likely have a small size difference. Larger water coolers will meet a higher efficiency standard, however, it may seem more complicated for large units to meet these new standards.


More Efficient Hot Water Heaters

Units that use 55 gallons of water or more will require some technologies that the average homeowner is less familiar with, such as electric heat pumps or gas condensing technology. Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid heaters, transfer heat from the surrounding air to water. Condensing water heaters cool exhaust gases below 140 degrees where water vapor condenses into water. The heaters then reclaim the escaping heat.

What should this mean to you? If you're in need of the typical size water heater, nothing except that your new unit may be one to two inches larger. If you need a larger unit, some research may be required to determine the best technology for your needs.


For more information, refer to Consumer Reports.