Water heater manufacturers have until 2015 to comply with the Department of Energy’s new guidelines on heater efficiency. This will be the second revision made to the code regarding energy efficiency, with the first back in 2004. A gas-fired water heater in Athens, GA manufactured in 2015 and beyond with a storage capacity of 40 gallons must have an energy factor of 0.675. It’s a minute increase from the current 0.67, but it’s expected to bring big changes.
Extra insulation and state-of-the-art piping will certainly add weight and size to the current water heater. According to the Wisconsin Perspective:
“Designers and contractors should be thinking about a number of issues when preparing for the changes in the residential market. For example, achieving a higher EF rating often means adding more insulation to the tank, making it larger and thicker, and more insulation may be required for piping and fittings.”
Basements several decades old may not be able to fit a 2015-compliant water heater, forcing homeowners to put it elsewhere. Other potential places for water heaters, according to some experts, include the garage and attic. However, be prepared for design changes; drip pans for the attic water heater to prevent water damage, for instance.
If repositioning isn’t an option for you, then the next best thing is to buy a smaller heater as soon as possible. Water heaters with a capacity of less than 55 gallons have a lower energy factor and price, but these come at the expense of availability of hot water per unit of time. The rule of thumb is that an occupant consumes seven gallons of hot water a day.
Households with extra cash to spare go tankless. These wall-mounted water heaters provide hot water on demand; with the turn of the shower knob, instant warm shower. If you plan on going tankless, take note that the hefty price tag will hurt your finances right away. On the other hand, they have a higher energy factor (0.96 for less than 55 gallons) than tank heaters.
At this point, it’s best to discuss your options with an Athens, GA plumbing service like Athens Plumbing & Well Service. Talk about your options in water heating and choose the best for your home. Don’t worry about not meeting the deadline, which is July 13, 2015; the date only applies to manufacturers. Non-compliant heaters will still be available by then.
(Source: “Start Preparing Now for 2015 Energy-Efficiency Rules on Water Heaters,” Wisconsin Perspective)