NAECA Water Heater Efficiency Standards
What are NAECA Guidelines?
The National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) require that all household manufactured appliances for sale in the U.S. and Canada undergo energy efficient upgrades. Part of this act requires nearly all residential electric, oil, gas and tankless gas water heaters to carry higher Energy Factor (EF) ratings.
Beginning on April 16, 2015, all newly manufactured water heaters will need to have higher EF ratings. There are two size categories for electric and gas water heaters which are 20 to 55 gallon, and 55 gallon and larger.
How Will These Changes Affect You?
The energy efficient mandated upgrades require water heater manufacturers to alter their production process in order to comply with the new standards. Manufacturers have the option to either increase the diameter of the heaters or decrease their capacity, to meet the federal regulations.
Due to the size of apartment homes and condominiums, manufacturers will likely choose to decrease the capacity of newly produced water heaters to avoid installation challenges that may occur as a result of increasing the diameter of water heaters. Water heaters in apartment homes and condominiums will be under the size category of 20 to 55 gallons.
Apartment homes and condominiums that need a replacement water heater after April 16, 2015 will have no choice but to install a smaller water heater to comply with the new NAECA standards. This means that residents in these housing structures will not have access to the same amount of hot water as they were once accustomed to.
Those living in single family homes likely have the space capacity for a water heater under the 55 gallon and larger category. The NAECA changes do not affect the hot water capacity of those heaters.
Price Increases and Inventory Available
In addition to the changes in hot water capacity for some homes, an increase in price probably occurred as well. The last significant appliance efficiency upgrade resulted in a substantial increase in the prices for new appliances. At this point, it is difficult to discern how much the price of water heaters increased.
In light of NAECA water heater standards, what action should you take?
Those living in the Beaverton and Portland, OR areas were likely to be affected by the 2015 NAECA water heater changes. You should start by identifying the age of the water heater, whether you are a homeowner, property manager, or apartment complex owner. Check the manufacturers’ warranty on the water heater, and have it inspected. This will allow you to plan for when you need a replacement. If you indeed need a water heater replacement you can:
- Purchase a water heater that meets the 2015 NAECA standards. If you acquire a water heater that meets the standards you will also reap the benefits of lower energy costs.
If you have any further questions that we can clarify, give us a call! We are here to help.