The average homeowner likely can't remember when their water heater was last replaced because it has been so long. If you fall in this category and it's now time to replace your unit, understand that the process will be a lot different. On April 16, 2015, new regulations concerning the Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) took effect, requiring manufacturers to reconfigure the type of water heaters they make available. If you haven't had a new water heater installed in quite some time, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the changes you should expect.
Water heaters manufactured after the April deadline look different from what you're used to in terms of size. In order to accommodate some of the new standards, such as increased energy efficiency, the water heaters contain new components that weren't required before. As a result, they need to be larger in diameter in order to accommodate this new configuration.
For this reason, a new 60-gallon tank water heater could be larger than a 60-gallon tank manufactured before. As a homeowner, this might require you to reconsider placement of your new water heater. If your existing water heater hardly has any extra space around its sides, adding a new heater that is even only an inch wider in diameter might pose a problem. You might even have to relocate the unit altogether. If you're looking to have a new water heater installed, don't assume it's the same size.
As part of the new requirements, you can now take advantage of advanced energy savings as high as $300 a year. Whether this comes in the form of an electronic ignition system, extra insulation or some other advancement, this will be a welcomed benefit each month. Unfortunately, this energy savings doesn't come without a cost.
When manufacturers are forced to make changes to their products, this requires a large effort on their part and often translates into higher cost. Your new water heater will be no exception. Some suggest that homeowners can actually expect to pay double for a new water heater than they would have years past. If you're planning an install, make sure you aren't budgeting for the cost of an old unit if you want to avoid invoice shock.
An installation expert from a company like Pride Plumbing will be able to go over with you in detail all the changes that the NAECA has introduced to ensure you know what to expect and are better prepared for your new installation.