Wondering what the new water heater standards will mean for you as a homeowner? In the long run, you will save money and your water heater will last longer. If you have an old water heater, you may want to replace it now to avoid a much higher upfront cost. But if you are thinking about long-term costs and energy efficiency, we have good news for you. We’ve put together some information to help you figure out what will change once the new water heater standards go into effect.
Savings Over Time
The new-regulation water heaters will have a bigger price tag, but over time they will actually save you money. Higher efficiency standards will mean that you will spend less on utilities, and those savings will offset the purchase cost. In other words, your new heater will eventually pay for itself.
Performance and Longevity
The new water heaters are expected to perform better and last longer. In addition to cutting down your energy bill, higher efficiency also means that you will decrease your carbon footprint. So you can feel good about using less energy to achieve better results from your water heater. In the long run, the new water heaters will be better for your household and the environment.
Installation of the New Water Heaters
Installation prices will go up. Due to the larger size and weight of the new water heaters, existing homes may have to be retrofitted to accommodate the new tanks. If you have an older home or tight-fitting space for your heater, you may have to move it to a different spot, consider switching to a tankless water heater (not an ideal option for the chilly winters in St. Louis), or buy a smaller tank. Upgrades such as additional insulation or conversion to a PVC flue may be required depending on the type of water heater you buy.
Choosing the Correct Size
Ready to buy a new water heater? It is important to choose the best size and heating capacity for your household. First, determine the average amount of hot water your family uses during the busiest hour of a normal day (perhaps a weekday between 7:00–8:00 am when everyone is getting ready for work or school). This number should be close to your target “first-hour rating” (FHR) for selecting the appropriate water heater. You can find the FHR printed on the big yellow Energy Guide label on the side of every heater.