Bodine-Scott Plumbing and Air ConditioningStarting in April 2015, new water heater regulations will go into effect that will have an impact on homeowners. In compliance with the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, or NAECA, the efficiency factor (EF) of new residential water heaters will be higher. To achieve that higher rating, the design of many water heaters covered under the act will change, and possibly require more space. Homeowners will need to plan carefully when seeking replacements for old equipment.

Oil-fired, gas-fired, tabletop, instantaneous electric and instantaneous gas-fired water heaters produced after April 16 will be affected. Equipment manufactured prior will continue to be sold until inventories are depleted.


The changes may be broken down into categories according to capacity in gallons.

  • Under 55 gallons: New units with similar capacity may be at least 2 inches taller and 2 inches wider. If space is an issue, the homeowner may have to choose different technology or a smaller water heater.
  • Over 55 gallons: Residential electric models in this category must be of hybrid electric heat pump water heater design. Residential gas models in this category must be of condensing water heater design. If space is an issue, homeowner may have to go with a different design or choose two smaller-capacity units.

Manufacturers of water heaters are most concerned about providing options that will suit homeowner’s space needs and are educating contractors about these options.

Contractors are familiarizing themselves with the more complicated installation requirements for the new equipment. For instance, installing a 55-gallon-plus electric water heater will be more complicated than in the past because of its heat pump design. Installing heat pump features may require more technical expertise than most homeowners have.

Costs for equipment and installation will initially be more for the new equipment, but homeowners will realize greater energy savings and better performance over the lifetime of the equipment.

Learn  more about Bodine-Scott Air Conditioning Co.’s water heater options that meet the new water heater regulations,  or contact us today at (361) 883-9900 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert home comfort professionals.

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