Whether you’re prepared for it or not, someday you’ll need a new water heater. As with any major purchase, you should know as much as you can about water heaters before you buy. Start by understanding the EF or Energy Factor. The EF is a rating created by the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers compare different water heater models to one another, using an objective standard.
All water heaters, regardless of fuel source, will carry an EF, a measurement that’s usually prominently displayed on each unit.
The EF uses three standard factors to determine the overall energy efficiency of the water heater. They include:
- How efficiently the unit’s heating element transfers energy to the water
- How much (percentage) energy is lost while the hot water is being stored
- How much energy is used when the unit cycles from active mode to standby mode.
Higher EF ratings are better than lower ones but that doesn’t mean the unit with the highest number is automatically the best choice. A water heater with a higher EF may have higher operating costs.
In addition to the EF, you should consider these factors:
- Is the water heater big enough to provide enough hot water with maximum energy efficiency?
- Is the fuel required available and affordable?
- What will the annual operating costs be and how soon will you see a return on the investment?
- How much hot water will it provide each hour (starting with a full tank)?
When the time comes to purchase a water heater, knowing the different criteria – including the Energy Factor – will help you choose the model that best suits you and your household.
If you would like more information, please contact the experts at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’re celebrating 70 years as one of the most successful and trusted names in the industry.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing services Western Cleveland. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today! For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!