Water Heaters in 2015

National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NEACA)

New Efficiency Standards Mean Big Changes in Water Heaters.

What Does That Mean For You?

The federal government is mandating new efficiency standards for water heaters, effective April 16, 2015. The changes to the Energy Factor requirements certainly will increase efficiency … saving energy and lowering your operating costs!

At the same time, the new water heaters will have a more sophisticated design. What does that mean for you?

  • The new design – which may integrate blowers, fans, condensers, and other components – makes a professional contractor the best choice for safe and proper product selection and installation.
  • In some cases, the new water heater may have to be re-located to fit properly, operate safely, or mitigate noise.
  • In rare cases, the performance of the new water heater in terms of hot water deliverability will be less than the model that was replaced. You may need to consider a different size or alternative solution to meet your family’s hot water needs.

New water heater standards are a Game-Changer for our company … but what does that mean to our customers?

Gas and Electric Units


Units over 55 gallons will have to use condensing technology. That will require:

  • Larger and heavier units than non-condensing models.
  • More flue tubes or bigger flues, and other venting requirements such as exhausting with plastic pipe (PVC, CPVC, ABS).
  • Additional insulation likely.
  • Blowers, electronic controls, etc.
  • Need for condensate disposal.
  • Will require 120 VAC.

Note: New code requirements may be instituted.

One likely impact will be an increase in overall tank size – by up to 2 inches in diameter and 1-2 inches in height.



Units over 55 gallons will require heat pump technology. Things to consider:

  • Most heat pump water heaters require 700-1,000 cubic feet of space.
  • Ambient room temperature will affect performance and heat pump will affect surrounding air temperature.
  • Regular maintenance may be required (cleaning, changing filters, etc.).
  • Noise level (compressor, blower) will be a factor.
  • Condensate disposal will be a factor.

Note: New code requirements may be instituted.

Electric water heaters likely will require more insulation. This will increase the diameter by up to 2 inches and the height by up to 1-2 inches.


This is one area where you need to leave it to the pros to ensure that your next water heater is installed safely and is maintained for maximum performance and efficiency. Do you really want to chance this important and potentially dangerous task to a non-professional? Give us a call at 770-888-1931. We’d be happy to speak with you and discuss what this game-changer in plumbing means to you!