Significant changes to water heater energy factor (EF) requirements will take effect on April 16, 2015, resulting from updates to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA). These new requirements call for higher energy factor (EF) ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric, oil, and tankless gas water heaters, completely altering the water heater landscape. NAECA also affects some light-duty commercial water heaters.
To achieve higher efficiencies, manufacturers will either need to increase the diameter of the products to allow for more insulation or decrease the capacity. While these changes will have a small impact on single family homes, the effects will be more significant on condominiums and multi-family residencies where space is much tighter. Expect some manufacturers to decrease water heater capacities up to 10% to maintain their same footprint.
For more information about NAECA requirements and recommendations for contractors, read PCA’s white paper at www.mcaa.org/pca/NAECA_Whitepaper2.pdf. Questions? Please contact Sean McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.