Launch Slideshow

Energy Star-Qualified Tank Water Heaters

Many 0.67 EF gas storage heaters are already available from a variety of manufacturers, including these models from A.O. Smith, Rheem, and GE.

Energy Star-Qualified Tank Water Heaters

Many 0.67 EF gas storage heaters are already available from a variety of manufacturers, including these models from A.O. Smith, Rheem, and GE.

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    A.O. Smith. The Effex high-efficiency gas water heater meets upcoming Energy Star requirements with an Energy Factor of 0.70. It features advanced electronic controls, easy installation for new or existing homes, and an LCD display, the company says. It can save homeownesr up to 25% on water heating costs compared to traditional gas storage water heaters. www.hotwater.com.

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    GE. The company’s Energy Star-qualified gas water heaters have a minimum Energy Factor of 0.67 and feature push-button pilot light ignition, self-cleaning systems to prevent sediment buildup, and the SmartShield Sensor system that automatically shuts down the unit if flammable vapors are detected. Available in 40- or 50-gallon capacities, they come with a one-year in-home labor warranty and a 12-, nine-, or six-year limited warranty on tank and parts. www.geappliances.com.

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    Rheem. By October, the company will offer 31 tank models meeting the new Energy Star requirements in natural gas, LP, and electric hybrid options. The units’ EverKleen system creates a turbulent swirling action as water enters the tank to fight sediment buildup and improve operating efficiency and the filter-less Guardian System, available on most models, automatically shuts down the unit if flammable vapors are detected. www.rheem.com.

This fall, the Energy Star program will increase its minimum Energy Factor (EF) for gas storage water heaters from 0.62 to 0.67.

The increase in criteria will go into effect on Sept. 1. Water heaters that meet the increased criteria offer up to 14% greater savings in gas consumption versus a conventional gas model. According to Energy Star calculations, 0.67 EF models consume about 224 therms per year. Gas storage heaters with a 0.62 EF consume about 242 therms annually, saving up to 7.3 percent more than a conventional model.

“Energy Star seeks to keep its product criteria relevant by keeping pace with changing technologies in the marketplace,” says Steve Ryan, coordinator of the EPA-administered program. “Storage water heaters are becoming more efficient, and this change recognizes that fact.”

Several 0.67 EF gas storage heaters are currently available, including many new products recently developed in preparation for the upcoming change. A.O. Smith, American, Apollo, BWC, GE, Reliance, Rheem, Richman, Ruud, State, and Whirlpool already have qualified products that meet the new requirement, according to EPA spokesperson Enesta Jones.

A water heater's Energy Factor indicates its overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater. A number of other types of Energy Star water heaters with even higher Energy Factors are available, including electric heat pump, solar thermal, and tankless units.

For more information about the new gas storage water heaters or to learn about rebate offers, click here.