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How New Water Heater Regulations Will Impact L.A. Area Homeowners

Are you shopping for a new water heater this year? Be aware that after April 16, 2015, new efficiency standards mandated by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act will have an impact on what’s available from dealers. The new water heater regulations mean a higher price tag and increased installation costs for residential gas, electric and oil water heaters manufactured after this date.

The good news is that new water heaters are much more efficient than older models, and homeowners will save on utilities while reducing their carbon footprints.

Water Heaters Under 55 Gallons

water heater regulationsAn improved efficiency factor (EF) in this category will be achieved by increasing insulation, and that means the size of most units will increase. Most water heaters under 55 gallons will be at least 2 inches wider and 2 inches taller, so if you wanted to replace a 55-gallon water heater with one of the same size, you’ll have to figure on it taking up more space. The replacement might have to be relocated to a space that’s at least 3 inches higher and 3 inches wider than the space where your water heater was prior. Otherwise, you’ll either have to adapt the space to accommodate the new size or choose a smaller water heater.

Water Heaters Over 55 Gallons

The biggest changes will be in water heaters over 55 gallons. Residential electric models of this size must now be of hybrid heat pump design, while gas models of this capacity will operate by condensing technology. (Condensing technology uses thermal energy exhausted in flue gas in conventional models.)

If you want a water heater that holds more than 55 gallons, you could choose two conventional water heaters with capacity of less than 55 gallons or one of the larger water heaters operated by heat pump or by condensing technology.

Homeowners may still purchase water heaters manufactured prior to the above date until the stocks are depleted.

To learn more about the new water heater regulations, contact Reliance Home Services. We’ve served homeowners in the Los Angeles area since 1960.

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