Sonora Ca plumbing Contractor explains:
New water heater requirements go into affect April 2015
The NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act) is requiring improvements for energy efficiency on water heaters starting April 16 2015. This is leaving property owners wondering what this will mean for them when their inefficient water heater needs to be replaced. Below you can find what changes will be made and how they can affect your next water heater installation.
For help deciding which water heating option is best for you call us at 209-352-4294.
Increased insulation thickness of 2″ or more
Expect your new storage tank type water heater to have more insulation to improve it’s efficiency. The extra insulation around your water heater will probably make it 2″ or more in diameter, and 2″ or more in height. This will make areas where the water heater barely fit before unusable for the new water heater, or could just require more labor for the installation which will add more to the cost.
Biggest changes for water heater installations in Sonora Ca over 55 gallons
A new electric water heater over 55 gallons will probably need to be the new hybrid electric heat pump style. This is because the efficiency requirement is raising from around .86 to around 1.97 for most models of electric water heater over 55 gallons. Expect this to add well over $1,000 to the cost of a standard electric water heater. The costs can be offset not only by savings from the extra efficiency (about 2X as efficient), but many electric companies are offering rebates of around $500. The hybrid electric heat pump water heaters are much larger than standard electric models and may require changes to the installation area. They also work like a refrigerator in reverse (instead of keeping the inside cool and blowing heat out the bottom, they keep the heat in the water and push the cool air to the surrounding room.
A new gas water heater over 55 gallons will most likely need to be a condensing unit which will cost more not only for the water heater but also for changes that will need to be made for the venting, and possible condensate.
Tankless water heater requirements
New tankless water heater installations will need to use units with an energy factor of .82 compared to the current standard of .62. This won’t make much of a difference for our customers because the condensing tankless water heaters we have been installing have an energy factor of .97 which is much higher than even the new standard. These high efficiency models have been a big draw because of the higher cost of propane to heat water compared to areas that use natural gas. But with the changes in standard tank style water heaters and the higher cost of installation we expect even more customers to see the value in spending a little more upfront to get the most energy efficient models.
What is an energy factor?
Basically the energy factor is the percentage of energy that is used and converted into hot water. A energy factor of .97 means that 97% of the energy used is converted to hot water. You’ll notice that the hybrid heat pump water heaters ratings are much higher than even the most efficient gas tankless water heaters. This doesn’t exactly mean the cost of heating is lower because you are comparing two energy sources that have different costs. The rates of electricity and propane would need to be factored in to find the lowest cost.
Optimized Plumbing and Piping is a Sonora, Ca based plumbing contractor who provides plumbing service and repair, residential and commercial plumbing for new construction and remodel, and hydronic heating and radiant heating in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Stanislaus counties.