If you’re in the market for a new water heater, there are many factors to consider. While you’re sorting through brands, capacities, and other capabilities, there’s another variable to be aware of.

In 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) enacted new energy efficiency mandates that may affect your available choices. If this is your first new water heater since the rule came into effect, read on to understand its impacts on your purchase.

The 2015 Energy Efficiency Mandate

All water heaters manufactured after April 16, 2015, have been required to comply with the energy efficiency mandate, which places higher requirements for energy factor (EF) ratings on water heaters of all types.

Across the whole range of products offered, that translates to a forced increase of 3% to 30% efficiency, depending on a variety of complex formulas.

For homeowners, the most significant impacts are higher costs for the water heater units themselves and the increase in size for units that heat the same amount of water.

Since water heaters are typically tucked away in areas that may already be challenging to access and maneuver in, your choices may be limited.

New Water Heater Options for Northern Virginia Homeowners

If your water heater space is one of the many that are now too small to fit a post-mandate water heater of the same capacity, you have three options.

1. Choose a Smaller Tank

One option is to choose a tank that’s the same size as your current water heater and accept that it will have a lower capacity. If your home only has a few inhabitants who aren’t taking multiple showers per day, you may not notice the difference.

A Virginia HVAC expert like M.E. Flow can help you determine if this is a suitable option for your home.

2. Renovate Space

If it’s impossible to fit a water heater with sufficient capacity into your current space, you should consider choosing a different spot to place the water heater or plan for renovations to create adequate space.

3. Choose a Tankless Water Heater

This is an opportunity for many Northern Virginia homeowners to switch to a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters don’t store hot water in a tank. Instead, they heat it as needed when someone turns on a faucet.

These systems eliminate the space problem and are more efficient than their tank-style counterparts.

Find Your Solution With M.E. Flow

If you need a new water heater, M.E. Flow is your Northern Virginia HVAC partner. Our selection of water heaters is extensive and includes the highest quality units.

Our experts are happy to help homeowners like you find the ideal replacement for your pre-mandate water heater.

Call M.E. Flow at (703) 777-2311 or contact us online to learn more about your options for a new water heater.