When you’re a homeowner, replacing things like water heaters are something to be expected. Typically, water heaters have a lifespan of eight to twelve years and the cost used to average around $600. However, in 2015, a new government energy efficiency requirement went into effect that means several changes.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the new standards will “result in approximately $63 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2015-2044. The standard will avoid about 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 33.8 million automobiles.” This is great news for the environment, and for your pocketbook in the long run.
The new requirements resulted in larger water heaters – by as much as two inches in diameter, so you’ll want to take a look at your space before getting a new one installed. If you are tight on space now, a new unit may not fit in place of the old one. You can opt for a smaller unit, or you may need to look for another location.
While increased energy efficiency saves you money over time, the upfront costs are higher. The unit itself will cost more because it costs more to manufacture. These production costs have typically increased 10 to 30 percent.
As with any upgrade you make to your home, you want to make sure you use someone who is properly trained. Under the new regulations, some water heaters now require electricity, drains, and new ventilation systems. While these new regulations have been in place for a few years now, it’s important to make sure that anyone you hire understands the ins and outs of what your new water heater may require.
Common installation issues can include:
– Hot/cold reversed. Hot should always be on the left, and cold on the right.
– Water not hot enough. You may need to turn up the thermostat if both your sink and shower feel too cold. If your sink water feels hotter than your shower water, the anti-scald on your shower faucet probably needs adjusting.
– Low hot water pressure. If you have an older home with steel water piping, you may have a build up of mineral deposits. Unfortunately, you may have to replace pipes if it’s an issue.
If you ever have a problem with your hot water heater, check for warranty coverage before replacing. Many have a warranty for up to ten years!
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