Efficiency Requirements for Water Heaters in the Denver Area

Denver water heater replacement experts at Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric want to make homeowners aware of the energy efficiency mandates from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that went into effect on April 16, 2015. The new mandates require higher energy factor (EF) ratings on all residential water heaters including both gas and electric units.

Every water heater is affected by the new DOE mandate but the units with the most changes are water heaters over 55 gallons. Regardless of the size of the water heater the foot print of replacement units is going to be bigger because of increased insulation requirements and other factors that require the installation space for the water heater to be larger.

Mick of Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric says, “For a water heater to get a higher EF rating it means more insulation to the tank, which makes it taller and wider. This means a larger area will be required for installation. More insulation may also be required for piping and fittings. This means replacing your water heater with the newer, high efficiency water heater may require additional space which could require remodeling.”

Another consideration for the new standards includes ventilation. “Even if the water heater can fit into the old space there are new ventilation requirements for gas water heaters to include a venting system and a drainage system for disposing of condensate. That means the existing location of a water heater may not be the best site for a new water heater,” says Mick of Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric serving the Denver area.

The operating cost of the new water heaters will be less according to Mick because of their increased energy efficiency, but he says it is likely that the maintenance costs will most likely increase because of a more sophisticated design, and the integration of electronics, blowers, fans, condensers, or other components. “These new water heaters come with a lot of moving pieces and the increased efficiency may be at the expense of noise level and space for some of our customers. For some people it may make sense to explore their options now before the new mandate takes effect.”

According to Mick the new water heaters that comply with the new green requirements may not produce as much hot water. “A water heater with less input will be required to be more efficient which will result in less hot water.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are the most energy efficient and environmentally responsible water heaters available. Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric offers consultations to homeowners who are trying to make the most informed decision about the energy efficiency of their homes. “We provide home owners with all of the information they need to determine whether or not it makes sense to replace their water heaters before or after the Department of Energy mandate takes effect and whether or not going tankless is the best choice for their situation.”

To learn more about the Denver Plumbers at Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric, visit their website.