W5. Replace Inefficient Water Heaters
a water heater is replaced only when it fails. But if the existing
water heater is at least ten years old, it is near the end of its
useful life, and it may make sense to replace it before it fails.
By replacing the water heater before it stops working, the PHA may
enjoy significant energy savings, in addition to avoiding a situation
in which residents are without hot water while a new system is being
selected. Replacing old, oversized water heaters generally yield
higher savings than if the system is old but appropriately sized.
In any case, if the old water heater is leaking or shows signs of
heavy rust or water streaking in the combustion chamber, it should
and multifamily buildings with old, inefficient water-heating
Energy efficiency can be compared on each unit by the EnergyGuide labels on the tank.
Consider the Energy Factor (EF) and the First Hour Rating (FHR).
When selecting a new hot water heater, an experienced professional
should be consulted.
Water heaters should be appropriately sized to ensure adequate
hot water and minimal energy waste.
Select models with a minimum of R-16 internal insulation.
Where electricity is relatively expensive compared to gas, the
PHA may wish to consider switching to gas during replacement.
Replacing a conventional gas-fired central water heater with a
high-efficiency condensing water heater saves approximately 28
HUD Energy Efficient Rehab Advisor, Discusses water heater types, Energy Factor, First Hour Rating, insulation, timers, and heat traps. Discusses both single and multifamily recommendations.
Selecting a New Water Heater, Part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Consumer's Guide. Discusses water heater types, considerations for selection, and costs.
Energy Conservation for Housing
A Workbook, HUD, September 1998. Pages 7-109 through 7-112
address replacing inefficient water heaters.
Performance Contracting for Public and Indian Housing: A Guide for
Participants, HUD, February 1992. Pages 26 and 27 address
replacing inefficient water heaters using performance contracting.
Energy Efficiency in Apartment Buildings, American Council
for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 1995. ISBN 0-918249-23-6. Pages
104 through 115 address replacing inefficient water heaters.
Guide to Home Energy Savings, American Council for an Energy
Efficient Economy, 1999, ISBN 0-918249-38-4. Chapter 6 addresses
replacing inefficient water heaters.
Energy-Efficient Appliances: Water Heaters, American Council
for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Identifies the top-rated
energy-efficient water heaters.