As 2014 comes to a close, homeowners need to educate themselves about the 2015 changes in water heater size. Why? Because this change in size is going to affect any homeowners who need water heaters installed in attics, crawl space, or underneath a furnace unit in a condo.
The following video does a pretty good job of showing how the change will affect installations, but the bottom line is this: if your current water heater is installed in a tight space, or two more inches height and width will make it impossible to install a new water heater in the existing space, you are going to have problems related to that installation that may be both costly and time-consuming.
An Explanation of What the 2015 Changes Are
If you will need to replace your hot water heater in the new year, there has been a recent change in how heaters are to be manufactured and installed. The Department of Energy has introduced new regulations regarding the way hot water heaters use energy, whether they’re gas, oil or electric.
In an effort to conserve the energy used in your home, heaters will be more energy efficient (which means they will do more work with the same or less energy – and decrease your power bills in the process!). Though an excellent idea, these new regulations will likely cause homeowners some stress. Across the board, no matter how your heater is powered, all new models will be significantly larger than before, and slightly more expensive. They will also require more professional maintenance over time, due to their more complex design.
How the 2105 Changes Will Affect You
Practically, this means that if your gas heater is housed in the attic, crawl space or under a furnace in a condo, it will be challenging if not impossible to replace it with a new model. You would have to tear out walls, widen doorways, or make other significant changes to your home in order to install it.
This means you could get stuck without hot water for several days if different trades are involved and coordinating those trades becomes tough to handle due to the tight space. In many cases, a tankless heater may become the only option, and even that requires other trades and is hard to achieve the day they of, especially when homeowners are desperate to get hot water. Imagine what this could mean if your water heater goes out in February, and you have no hot water for several days!
But don’t lose hope! There are solutions to make the transition to a larger heater a more painless process. The simplest answer is to make the investment in a tankless heater. Prior to the new regulations, tankless heaters were among the most expensive on the market. While they are still pricey, they will provide the least amount of stress during installation and maintenance, giving you far more value over time. They are far smaller and less impactful on your space, they are more energy efficient overall, and they never run out of hot water. You also won’t need to widen a space in order to install the tankless water heater.
Another solution is to proactively replace your water heater before it gives out. Most water heaters last 10-15 years. If your water heater is getting old and is in a tight space, you’ll want to think about replacing it before it stops working so you can work with the plumber to find a solution before you run out of hot water.
How Charlotte Plumbers Can Help
However, no matter which heater you choose, it will need to be professionally installed. That’s where ER Plumbing comes in – our professionals have already been trained on the new regulations and how to assess your space and install your new heater. Call your Charlotte plumber at 704.266.1069 to schedule your consultation today!
New 2015 hot water heaters will be bigger