Replacement Gas Water Heater

If you have an older gas water heater, a new high-efficiency model can save a significant amount of money for years to come.

High-efficiency gas water heaters have several features that reduce the cost of heating water. First, the tank walls have higher levels of foam insulation, at least R-13. This is especially important if your water heater is located in an unconditioned area. Secondly, instead of having a standing pilot light, a high-efficiency model utilizes an intermittent-ignition to reduce the time that the pilot light burns. The intermittent-ignition device provides a spark to ignite the pilot flame only when needed. Finally, heat exchanger efficiencies are improved, allowing heat from the gas burner to more efficiently and completely heat the water in the tank.

What To Look For

The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association, GAMA, sponsors an efficiency certification program. This program verifies manufacturers' equipment efficiency ratings according to a standard test method. A Consumers' Directory is published annually which lists the manufacturer's model numbers and energy factors. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all storage type water heaters be labeled with an "EnergyGuide" label, which is based on the GAMA certification. This label shows, based on the national average cost of fuel, the annual operating costs of that particular water heater. The label also shows how that particular water heater compares with all other comparable models. When purchasing a new gas water heater, look for the "EnergyGuide" label and purchase one with lower operating costs.