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Energy Efficiency Rules on Water Heaters

Written by Gary Kunkel | October 9, 2014

The impact on homeowners

In order to comply with the new efficiency standards, homeowners are going to be required to install water heaters which are physically larger and use better technology. The installation of the product will change as well so there will be more time and labor which will drive up the cost of installation. How much the cost will change depends on the type and size of water heater but as a whole, the entire process will see an increase in cost. These government mandates take effect on January 1st so any purchases of water heaters from All Comfort Services before December 31st will be installed at the regular rate. Keep in mind that this mandate will be in effect for The Greater Madison Area but only on replacement units. Existing water heaters that do not meet efficiency standards will not need to be replaced because of the new efficiency standards.

With the new units come additional considerations like location in the home to ensure the unit will operate properly or to mitigate noise. With the increased efficiency the homeowner will see an operating cost of the new water heaters will be less because of their increased energy efficiency, however, it is likely that the maintenance costs will increase because of a more sophisticated design. The integration of condensers, fans, blowers, electronics, or other components will be the main factor.

On a positive note, the energy savings from the new technology will help offset some of the product and installation costs and your home will be at the government standard.  The new water heaters are going to be very environmentally conscious. One thing about living in and around Madison, Wisconsin is everyone has a spirit of making this a great place to live and by improving the efficiency of the product in our home we are aiding in making this community a more efficient and better place to live. The sticker shock of these new units can be alarming but the long term energy savings will help recoup those up-front costs.

When asked what the energy savings would amount to an industry professional stated “Homeowners who purchase highly efficient condensing gas or heat pump electric water heaters can anticipate average savings ranging from $60 for natural gas and more than $300 for electrical,” Perez said.  “Electric heat pump water heaters may also provide some welcome supplemental cooling and dehumidification resulting from the heat pump system,” he added. “Of course actual savings realized vary depending on actual hot water use and local energy costs.”

Also, if you are looking to reduce your water usage at home there are a couple of additional things that All Comfort Services would recommend trying including installing low-flow water saving fixtures onto your faucets and showers, upgrade clothes washers and dishwashers to ENERGY STAR qualified products, and regulate time in the shower and watering grass.  Please ask your All Comfort Services plumber if you have any questions about where you can purchase ENERGY STAR rated products.

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