What Does the Newer Water heater Standards Mean For You?

State-Water-HeatersIt has been a quiet year for the US Department of Energy; but one of the new standards that flew over the heads of consumers is the update for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act and their new standards for consumer grade water heaters. Under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, all new storage tank water heaters—regardless of fuel source—must meet a higher efficiency rating.


But what does that mean to you?  If you already have a working and functioning water heater in your home, you will be alright; but if you plan to change it or replace it, there are some new considerations to keep in mind before purchasing a new water heater. That new fancy Whirlpool water heater that you had your eye on in Lowes may no longer be available past 2015.


Higher Efficiency standards means that manufacturers now have to wipeout about 50%(+/-) of their current products and go back to the drawing board and re-develop new water heaters to meet these new standards. Increasing energy efficiency can be done in many ways; but generally means more insulation in these appliances. However this will make storage tanks a taller and wider to accommodate a similar amount of storage. Depending on the model and tank capacity, new tank water heaters can be as much as two to three times more expensive.


Increased size of newer water heaters also will affect homes with space constraints. If you are a home that hides your water heater in a closet or low ceiling basement, the new sizes will really affect your next water heater choice. Storage tanks are anticipated to be come at least 2.5 inches taller and up to 3 inches wider. Your decision to replace your new storage tank may now be replacing the complete water heater with a tankless option as they may have the price advantage to renovate your entire home to accommodate a larger tank that no longer fits.

 Water heater


If you just recently replaced your water heater, you may be in good shape for the next 8-12 years; as that is the US DOE’s anticipated life span of a water heater. But keep it in mind for future purchases. If you are currently in the market for a water heater we recommend the following:

  • Upgrade to tank water heaters that already qualify at the new energy efficiency levels, (gas or propane).
  • Replace with your same tank style and size while still available.
  • Consider a move to a tank-less water heater.
  • Read up on as much documentation as you can. Click here for more standards information.

We at Kimlin propane can help you make a selection that can save you money and keep you more comfortable than ever before. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or need advice.