On the 16th of April, new federal government regulations came into place regarding the design and energy efficiency of residential water heaters. The regulations cover a large range of heaters with a key benefit for consumers: better energy efficiency.
While your home’s water heater might not be something you think about often, it’s one of the most important appliances in your home. Your water heater keeps water warm and flowing to your faucets, shower, bathtub and even important appliances.
It does this, of course, at a cost. On average, water heaters are responsible for about 20 percent of the energy used in homes – an amount that’s greater than most people assume, often significantly so.
If you’re satisfied with your water heater and don’t believe it’s a significant source of costs for your household, there’s nothing to worry about. The new regulations affect the production and sale of water heaters, not their end use in the household.
But if your water heater is getting a little old, isn’t as effective as it once was or costs more than it should to operate, the new NEACA regulations are great news, as their focus on energy efficiency means numerous benefits to your household.
Are you considering replacing your water heater? If so, read on to learn exactly how the new NEACA water heater regulations can help your household reduce its energy bills and save money.
The new regulations increase energy efficiency for water heaters
The new NEACA regulations apply to both gas and electric water heaters, which are used in 91 percent of American households. They also apply to oil water heaters – a less common type of heater that isn’t as widely used.
Although all residential water heaters fall under the new guidelines, heaters fall into two categories based on their volume: water heaters of 55 gallons or less, and larger heaters with a capacity greater than 55 gallons.
Under the new regulations, all water heaters are required to become more energy efficient. Smaller heaters of less than 55 gallons will become, on average, about four to five percent more efficient, resulting in the same warm water for less energy.
Large heaters become even more efficient than smaller ones
Although most residential water heaters contain 55 gallons or less, many houses use larger water heaters with a higher volume. These water heaters are held to stricter standards under the new regulations, resulting in a greater increase in efficiency.
This is because larger water heaters will need to use more efficient technology. New water heaters with a capacity of more than 55 gallons will, from now on, need to use technology such as gas condensing and heat transfer from the surrounding air.
As a consumer, understanding the technical side of water heating isn’t as important as it seems. What’s important is that larger water heaters will offer a better level of energy efficiency improvement than smaller heaters, often to a significant extent.
On average, water heaters will cost about 5% less to operate
Water heating accounts for about 20% of total household energy usage, making it one of the biggest parts of most homes’ energy consumption. The new regulations for water heaters mean that, on average, water heating costs will be slightly lower.
Small water heaters with a capacity of 55 gallons or less will cost, on average, about five percent less to operate. Since the technology used in larger heaters isn’t as easy to quantify in terms of savings, it’s difficult to work out an average percentage.
If you’re currently in the market for a new residential water heater, you won’t just enjoy the practical benefits of newer technology. Thanks to the NEACA regulations, you’ll also enjoy a significantly less expensive monthly home energy bill.