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From the 16th of April 2015 the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency requirements will be in full-effect. These requirements are based on the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) and will affect all appliances manufactured from this date onwards. And that includes water heaters! So if you need to replace your unit after this date, what unit should you get? If you want to find out more information about the changes in energy requirements, read our article New Water Heater Regulations.
The bad news is that if your current unit is 6-7 years or if it is badly damaged and not working efficiently, you will definitely need to replace it. The good news is that there are options available to you right now.
NAECA only applies to manufacturers of water heaters and not contractors and technicians who sell and install them. What this means is that contractors can sell their current stock of pre-NAECA water heaters for as long as they have the stock available. It also means that they can also carry stock of new NAECA compliant products at the same time. So, essentially, you have two options to choose from:
Purchase a pre-NAECA water heater
- This will be the cheaper of the two options
- At the moment, you will still be able to find electric, gas, and oil variations of this option – but it will get more difficult in the future
- It will become exponentially more difficult to source these products as they are slowly phased out and not re-stocked
- You will be able to find units that match your current unit’s capacity and size – so you don’t have to compromise on gallonage if you want to keep the new product in the same place as the old one, or succumb to renovations to accommodate a bigger product
- You may also find it increasingly difficult to locate technicians who will service these products or parts needed for repairs as they become obsolete
- The unit will be a tried and tested product so you won’t have to worry about investing in a product that is in its “guinea pig” phase
- You will have a good few years, even up to 12 years if you invest in regular maintenance, before you need to think about a new water heater and contemporary energy efficiency standards
Purchase a new NAECA compliant water heater
- This will be the more expensive option of the two, however you will save a lot of money over the next few years as these products are significantly more energy efficient.
- You will easily be able to find electric, gas, and oil variations that conform to the new energy efficiency regulations
- Not only will they save you money, but they will also be saving the environment – an essential in this day and age
- You will have to make accommodations for a change in the size of the unit if you want to keep the capacity of your current unit – either find a larger space (like in your garage) or renovate the current space to make it bigger
- If you are unable to accommodate for a larger product, you will have to purchase a unit that has a smaller capacity
- You can enjoy your NAECA compliant, energy efficient water heater for many years to come and know that if you should need it, you will easily be able to find support from technicians and replacement parts
If you need more help choosing the best option for you and your home, contact Art Plumbing and Air Conditioning today at 1-888-TELL-ART (835-5278).