My Plumber Heating & Cooling Highlights US Department of Energy Issue to Federally Mandate Changes Regulating Residential Tank Water Heaters

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What Northern Virginia and Maryland consumers with older water heaters need to know.

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The US Department of Energy has issued new regulations that require all manufacturers of water heaters to meet a higher energy factor (EF) rating, effective April 15, 2015. These changes are meant to improve the efficiency of water heaters, and will ultimately result in annual energy savings for homeowners in northern Virginia, Maryland, and nationwide. However, it can be expected that initial purchase costs will be much higher than current water heater models. Higher installation costs may also be incurred due to increased complexity and space modifications required.

“The average lifespan of a traditional water heater is 8–12 years,” said Wendell Presgrave, owner of My Plumber Heating & Cooling. “We recommend that local homeowners with a water heater that is 10 years or older seriously consider replacing it now while there are still options available.”

Factors that will impact homeowners replacing water heaters after April 15:

  • Water heater replacement costs are expected to rise by 35 percent or more..
  • Additional insulation and venting makes installation more complex.
  • New units are larger by at least two inches — width and height. If the current water heater is located in a small space (like a closet, a utility room, a laundry room, or even an attic), possible significant relocation or remodeling increases replacement cost.
  • Less hot water will be available. Some 50-gallon tanks will now only hold 46 gallons of hot water; some 40-gallon tanks hold only 36 gallons.
  • 55-gallon (or larger) tanks for residential use may no longer be available.

Homeowners are, instead, encouraged to consider a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters take up very little space; provide on-demand hot water; and are readily equipped to meet, and exceed the new EF requirements, offering energy savings that result in significant return on investment over the lifetime of the appliance.

My Plumber Heating and Cooling offers homeowners a free consultation with a water heater expert who will answer any questions about the new regulations; evaluate an existing water heater; and provide information on options for individual home specifications.

Learn more about the new regulations from the Department of Energy at

About My Plumber Heating and Cooling:
My Plumber Heating and Cooling is committed to being the company of choice for our customer’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning needs. We strive to exceed the expectations of our customers on every visit. We value our employees in an effort to make our company the best, inside and out. We respond to our clients’ needs, diligently, quickly and honestly, with the highest regard for customer satisfaction. This is why My Plumber is an unchallenged benchmark for quality, experience and rock-steady professionalism, in our industry. For more information, visit

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Laureanne Venter
My Plumber
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