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The Money Saving Reason to Replace Your Water Heater before April 16th


If your water heater is more than 10 years old, listen up. The plumbing experts at Schneller & Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating & Air have important news for you. There have been recent mandates from the U.S. Department of Energy under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) that will require higher energy factor (EF) ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric and oil fired water heaters.

These new standards will require all manufacturers to make changes in their water heaters. What do these changes mean to the average consumer? Let us break down two big changes that will affect you.

DOE Mandates Will Require Water Heaters to Be Larger

To meet the requirements of energy efficiency, the new gas and oil powered water heaters may require additional insulation, newer flue baffling technologies, electronic ignition instead of the standing pilot, or any combination of these. Electric water heaters will require additional insulation as well and will likely utilize integrated heat pumps to meet the new EF requirements.

The extra insulation will increase the diameter of the units making them bigger and heavier. This will affect homeowners who have water heaters in attics, closets or small, enclosed spaces the most. The new model may not fit where it was before causing remodeling issues or moving the new water heater to a different location.

New Water Heaters Will Be More Expensive

When size and weight increase, costs of transportation, storage, and installation will all be affected. The new technologies will require additional product and installation training on the part of the manufacturers. Plus, when installing these new units, space, venting and condensate removal requirements may exist.

The new improvements required by the DOE will cost manufacturers more. The question is how much more and how much of these costs will be passed on to the consumer? No one really knows, but some industry experts are predicting that the new models will cost 30% to 50% more than the traditional models.

What Are Your Options?

Homeowners have a few options. If your water heater is older, you may want to replace it now with a traditional model to save money. These traditional models will be available for a while until supplies run out. The manufacturers will not be able to manufacture them anymore, but inventories will still exist for a short while. You can wait and buy a newer model later at the higher price.

If your water heater is in a tight space, however, it may be wise to replace it now with an older, but smaller model to avoid space issues later. Finally, the tankless water heater is an option as well. They take up much less space, however, their installation cost is significantly higher than a tank model water heater.

What’s the Good News?

The good news is that these new rulings will save both money and energy in the long run. The NAECA rulings reduce energy usage and save money all year long. According to the U.S. Department of Energy website, these new mandatory standards will save approximately 3.3 quads of energy and result in approximately $63 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2015 to 2044.

Your water heater may not be old, but what about your furnace and air conditioner? How do you know if it’s time to replace it? The talented heating and cooling technicians at Schneller have created a handy checklist that will help you determine if it’s time to call us to discuss replacement options or if you may get a couple more years out of your furnace and air conditioner. Click the button below to download our You Be the Tech Check checklist.

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