It’s hard to buy something you tend only to buy every 10 – 15 years or so. You know, like a water heater? As in, who even remembers what questions to ask? “Uh, I’ll take the blue one. Oh, they don’t come in blue? Okay.”
Well, as difficult as it once might have been to purchase a replacement water heater, consider it doubly so now. That’s because water heaters must now meet new higher federal energy efficiency standards. As a result of those regulations, and assuming you have a storage tank water heater, your next unit will be considerably different, and maybe even an entirely different type.
Here are a couple of examples of what’s changed due to the new federal NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act):
- Gas and electric storage tank water heaters with less than 55 gallons of storage capacity are now 2” taller and 2” wider than older style models. So if you have just enough space for your 50 gallon water heater (just as one example), and you want to stick with a storage tank system, you’re either going to have to purchase a unit with less storage capacity or do some creative remodeling to accommodate the new, bigger tank.
- Gas water heaters with more than 55 gallons of storage capacity are no longer being manufactured as you once knew them. They’ve been replaced by gas condensing water heaters, a more energy efficient sequel, if you will. Gallon size for gallon size, these also take up more space than previous models.
- With all the changes that have taken place, you have added reasons to consider switching from a storage tank to a tankless water heater. These can be installed virtually anywhere, including outdoors. The storage tank has been replaced by a wall-mounted heat exchanger, which heats cold water passing through it en route to whichever hot water appliance or fixture you’ve turned on. The right size system can provide an unlimited supply of hot water.
More than ever, you want and need an experienced plumber to answer all your questions, explain your options, and then help you choose what’s best for your home and budget. And in and around Yucaipa and Highland, nobody does that better than Plumbtastic Plumbing & Rooter.