05 Jan

New Year, New Water Heater Standards For 2015

Efficiency times, they are a changin.’ What do you need to know about the coming April 2015 water heater standards? We’ll break it down for you:

New Water Heater Standards: The Good

The new standards will definitely put some money back in your pocket. Water heaters are the second largest consumer of energy in your home, so kicking up the efficiency will certainly save you money over the life of the water heater. That’s good. We like that. 

The new standards call for higher Energy Factor ratings. What’s an Energy Factor? Energy Factor is the ratio of useful energy output from the total amount of energy used to operate the water heater. This measurement is used to compare the energy conversion efficiency of different home appliances. If you like math, you can learn more how the metric is tested and applied  at the Bradford-White website. This explanation is excellent and very clear.

Beginning April 16th, the standard water heater Energy Factor will vary based on the type of water heater you own, but all types will see the changes. Again, the Bradford White website has a really handy chart that you can take a look at to get an idea of the new standards. 

New Water Heater Standards: The Not As Good

The newer models will be bigger and bulkier because of the new water heater standards. This is tough news if your water heater is currently housed in a tight space such as a closet or attic space. The size increase for 50-gallon water heaters is estimated to be two inches taller and two inches larger in diameter. Modular homes are especially tricky because they can only fit a 19-inch diameter water heater. This leaves the homeowner with an unpleasant choice: go down in capacity or remodel to make it fit. 

There are different guidelines for different sized heater systems, but large-capacity homeowners will see the biggest changes. 65-gallon and 80-gallon water heater units will fade away and will be replaced by heat pump water heaters. That’s an increase in up-front costs as well. 

Now is the time to do a little research on what you currently have, the space you have to house your water heater, and how you see your long-term needs shaping up.

Is your water heater more than 10 years old? 

If it is, you may want to consider replacing it before the new changes take effect. You will still have an energy-efficient unit, but without the up-front costs of the newer units. Here’s a quick rundown on how to tell how old your water heater may be. How Old Is It, Anyway?

If you think your heater is still going strong, the best thing you can do is take good care of it and to understand your needs. Here are some links to help you do just that: 

Water Heater Sizing Explained 

Water Heater Safety

Common Problems With Gas Water Heaters

How To Inspect Your Water Heater 

How To Drain Your Water Heater

Casey’s Has The Answers You Need

You can call us anytime and talk to us about any questions you may have about these new water heater standards. They can be a little confusing, but we are here to help you 24/7. We’re your Portland, Oregon Plumber.



About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing online since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.