April is the time of year for flowers, taxes and this year, new water heater regulations. While new water heater regulations may not scream “headline” to you, these new mandates will affect those who purchase a new hot water heater after March of this year. What are the new regulations? They are a set of mandates that requires new standards for hot water heater manufacturing that increases the efficiency factor (EF) of all water heaters moving forward. This may seem like something of a nuisance, but it’s estimated that improving the energy efficiency of hot water heaters will save, on a nationwide basis, 152 million metric tons of greenhouse gases over the next 25 years as well as $63 billion in energy costs.
The best way to see what the changes will be are to look at water heaters by type. For the most part, tankless water heaters already meet all the standards set forth in the updated regulations. This doesn’t mean that if you have a storage tank water heater you have to run out and purchase a new one; your current water heater will be grandfathered in. Rather, it means that if you purchase a new tank water heater after March of this year, you may be looking at increased costs for purchase and installation, and you may have to make more room for your storage water hot water heater, as it will likely be larger in size. Here’s why:
Required Changes for Hot Water Heaters Powered by Gas, Oil or Propane:
- Better insulation (this mostly affects tank water heaters)
- No more standing pilot ignition, only electronic ignition (for combustion hot water tanks)
- Condensing capability
- Better baffles and dampers for flues
Required Changes for Hot Water Heaters Powered by Electricity:
- Better insulation, including on valves and piping
- Heat pump technology for storage tanks over 55 gallons in size
These new regulations become law as of April 16th of this year.
If you are in need of a new water heater in Colorado Springs and have concerns about how these new mandates will affect you, call Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning today.