Electric tank water heater booster solves installation challenges
Under NAECA efficiency regulations when into effect in April 2016, it can be difficult to replace or install a large capacity electric tank water heater.
With the changes to water heaters under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), people are wondering if they should buy a new water heater to get the most energy efficient model out there.
On April 16 2015, new water heater energy factor (EF) requirements took effect as the result of updates to NAECA. These requirements call for higher energy factor (EF) ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric, oil, and tankless gas water heaters.
The new regulation applies to virtually all residential water heating products including gas-fired, oil-fired, electric, tabletop, instantaneous gas-fired and instantaneous electric. Tankless systems already exceed these EF requirements, and all other water heating products manufactured before the DOE mandates take effect can still be bought and installed after the changeover date.
For tank water heaters (used in the majority of U.S. homes), this will mean added insulation and a larger overall size. Currently, the only technology that meets the standard for large-capacity tanks is heat pump technology, which may require a separate mechanical room in conditioned living space or ductwork to an adjoining room to work properly.
Under the new water regulations, most tank water heaters have more insulation wrapped around the tank. They may be up to 2 inches or larger in diameter and even in height. That helps hold the heat in, so the water heater uses less energy. But it also means that a new tank may not fit in the same location.
At the 2016 AHR Expo, Jens Bolleyer, vice president of marketing and retail sales at EcoSmart, reviewed the Eemax SmartBoost device that will solve problems for electric tank water heater installations. Large capacity – 80 gallon -- standard electric water heaters are no longer being produced. But in many cases they are no affordable options.
Bolleyer said the SmartBoost allows a smaller water heater to be used, but with the capacity of the large water heater.
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