Hot Water Heater Changes
Hot Water Tank DOE Changes – Tulsa, OK
When: April 16, 2015
The new 2015 Department of Energy (DOE) Final Rule energy efficiency mandates will require higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters, completely altering the water heater landscape. These changes will have an impact on how water heaters are manufactured, distributed and installed, affecting manufacturers, wholesalers, installers and customers alike.
What are the Changes?
Electric water heaters, already very efficient, will likely require more insulation. This will increase the diameter and/or height of the water heater. Additional insulation may be required for piping and fittings such as drain and T&P valves. For electric water heaters over 55 gallons, the only currently available technology able to meet the EF requirement is a heat pump water heater.
To meet the required minimum EF, gas models may require additional insulation, incorporate newer flue baffling technologies (including flue dampers), incorporate electronic ignition in lieu of the standing pilot, or any combination of these. Again, the likely impact will be an increase in the overall tank size, especially in diameter. For gas water heaters over 55 gallons, high efficiency, fully condensing combustion technology will be required. This will mean that line voltage will have to be available, as well as a means for condensate disposal.