Could new water heater regulations mean a costly upgrade is in your future?

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Significant updates to water heater efficiency requirements coming in April will reduce energy usage, but could cost you big on the front end.

Water heater regulation changes

While the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act could potentially save you about $365 a year off your energy bills, those savings come with complications. Size is the most obvious of them. Added insulation means added size. And, though your water heater will increase in size, the door to your attic won’t.

If your water heater is over 10 years old, its days of service are dwindling. You could wait another year or longer to change it. But, remember the newly manufactured water heaters will need to meet the new standards. Both the added insulation and updated efficiency standards will mean added costs for you.

On the other hand, if you can live without saving about a dollar a day, now may be the time to replace your water heater. Since the new regulations don’t kick in until April, there is a remaining supply of pre-regulation water heaters is still available.

Water heater replacement choices

Change is gonna come for your water heater. It’s just a matter of deciding how you’re going to handle it. These are your options:

  1. Replace now: Beat the changes and get a current-technology water heater installed while they’re still available. Cheaper now. More expensive to run. You decide.
  2. Downsize: A 50-gallon water heater will increase in size by about two inches in diameter and height. Getting one into the same space may mean getting one with less capacity.
  3. Relocate: Unless you want to enlarge your attic opening, moving the water heater to another location is a possibility. It’s an expensive one, though.
  4. Go Tankless: They’re smaller and more efficient than tank water heaters. But, they’re also three times more expensive. Consider carefully you return on investment on this option.

This won’t be a DIY project

Regardless of the option you choose, changing out your water heater is complicated, messy, and heavy. Three good reasons to consider leaving it to a professional, like our Trusted Company in the plumbing business, Abacus Plumbing.

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