Laguna SunsetWith stricter federal energy efficiency regulations now in place, it could be a little more difficult for you to purchase a replacement water heater, especially if you live in a condo or your water heater is located in an extremely tight space.

Why should living in a condo be a problem? Many condo units, when built, came with just enough room for the stacked furnace and water that came them. Back then, no one imagined that water heating sizing would change, so why bother allowing room for a bigger water heater?

Well, as of April 15, 2015, water heater sizing has changed. In fact, all newly made gas and electric water heaters with less than 55 gallons of capacity are 2” wider and 2” taller than previously made models. So what does that mean? Just this: if you really want the same kind and gallon-capacity water you already have, and the allotted space is already maxed out, then some creative thinking will be needed to accommodate your request.

Still, look at the bright side, because now you have more water heater options than ever before, and some you’ve probably never even heard of:

    • • Tankless water heaters
    • • Electric heat pump water heaters
    • • Gas condensing water heaters

Plus conventional gas and electric water heaters under 55 gallons in capacity – the only difference is that newer models are bigger, as we’ve already seen, to accommodate the added insulation needed to meet the new federal energy requirements<

Yes, buying a new or replacement water heater just became a little more difficult. Unless, that is, you turn for assistance to someone who knows all the ins and outs, and someone determined to help you make the right selection for your home, hot consumption needs, and budget. And that someone is Burton, winner of Best of Omaha honors now for 10 years in a row.