April 16 marks the start of the Department of Energy's newest efficiency standards for water heaters. The changes are expected to make a big impact on home energy consumption. According to The Hill, efficiency upgrades made by manufacturers in order to comply with the new standards are expected to help curtail over 2.6 quadrillion Btus of energy and nearly $9 billion of spending over the next three decades. What these numbers fail to mention, however, is the upfront costs that will be passed to homeowners before the country can achieve this level of efficiency.
"Going tankless provides superior savings and performance."
Families in need of a new water heater will have to think ahead in order to decide if upgrading their heater, letting their appliance finish its life cycle or going tankless will provide the best savings and performance for their homes. Read ahead for more tips on deciding how you and your household will respond to new water heater rules starting on April 16.
Wait it out until your current heater loses steam
One way to respond to the new water heater standards is not to react at all, according to ABC. This is an especially appealing option to homeowners who purchased their water heaters in the past year or so. However, homeowners should note that water heaters lose their efficiency as they grow older, and the life expectancy on a standard model is only about ten years in the first place. There's a good chance that replacing your water heater sooner than later will still benefit your household in the long run in terms of energy savings and home efficiency. It never hurts to consider your options even if you are dead set on putting off replacement as long as possible.
Invest in a remodel to fit larger tanks
While homeowners have the option of upgrading their current models with newer, Department of Energy-compliant replacements, this step comes with plenty of extra costs that may not be immediately apparent. The base cost of standard water heaters is expected to go up by several hundred dollars as manufacturers pass on the cost of upgrading their products to the consumer. Additionally, there's a good chance that homeowners will have to invest a substantial amount into finding a new spot for their water heater to be installed.
In fact, an article published by Leesburg Today noted that the new appliances are expected to be two to three inches taller and wider than current models. As a result, there's a good chance that homeowners will need to invest in a retrofit in order to fit a new water heater inside the home. Furthermore, newer models may have new utility hookups that require extra service from installers before the machine can properly supply hot water to the home. As a result, the cost of choosing one of these new models for in-home replacement is far higher than the price listed on the tag.
Go tankless and save
Homeowners aren't stuck choosing between an aging water heater and the excessive costs that come with installing one of the models to be released after April 16. Going tankless with an on-demand electric water heater offers a sensible alternative to playing the compliance game. That's because highly compact tankless water heaters with 99 percent thermal efficiency are already compliant with the DOE's stricter standards. The size of these appliances allows them to be installed almost anywhere in the home and their tankless design alleviates the homeowner of the many inefficiencies and hassles that come with owning a standard water heater.