New Federal Water Heater Laws

Central PA Homeowner Alert
Federal Laws Regarding New Water Heater Efficiency Ratings Go into Effect April 2015

Homeowners in central Pennsylvania in the market for new water heaters should know that as of April 16, 2015, updated federal efficiency standards and guidelines will finally go into effect. This movement toward higher levels of water heater safety standards began in 2010, so manufacturers have had five years to change their water heater models.

Some of the changes that apply to new gas, oil, tabletop and instantaneous electric water heaters include:

  • Residential water heaters are expected to reduce pollution by lowering the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air.
  • Water heaters will have a lowered release of mercury and nitrogen oxides.

National sources say that these changes will help reduce annual emissions similar to taking more than 45 million automobiles off the road.

Consumer Advantages and Realistic Expectations

The upshot for consumers who buy a new water heater after April 2015 is an expected decrease in energy usage over time, which they should start to see in their utility bills after the new water heater has been put into use. However, there is an expected rise in the initial investment of the water heaters, so homeowners should budget appropriately. Additionally, the newer water heaters may be a bit larger than older models, so it’s important to get the right size for the available space.

The good news is that residents are not expected to replace their water heaters made prior to the regulations coming into play, so if their water heater is working well, there’s no need to exchange it for an upgrade. Most water heaters have a lifespan of no more than 12-15 years.

If you expect to purchase a new water heater for your Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill or Hershey home in the coming months, please contact Pronto Plumbing for a consultation on the compliant equipment that is right for your home. You may also be able to write off the purchase as part of your 2015 taxes; contact your tax professional to determine if this is applicable to your tax situation.

More resources on the new water heater regulations:

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