Changes in hot water heater regulations may cause a routine replacement to become an unexpectedly expensive endeavor. New federal regulations aimed at increasing Energy Factor (EF) ratings, require hot water heaters that are larger, more costly and more environmentally conscious than what is required under current regulations.
With these changes, homeowners will face increases in cost between 15 and 35 percent. The new regulations require a more complicated installation and an increased amount of system parts. The larger size of the new units could create an additional unforeseen expense. Electric hot water heaters larger than 55 gallons (the minimum size for most residential units) will require a minimum of 128 cu. ft. with a duct to a larger space in order to comply with these standards. For many homeowners, that could lead to a major renovation involving construction and a greater cost.
On a positive note, the savings on your utility bill will be around 25% and most tankless water heaters already meet efficiency standards.