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Comfort Matters Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing Blog

Water Heater Efficiency Ratings and What They Mean

If you’re shopping around for a water heater replacement in Blaine, MN, you may be wondering about the water heater ratings that you see on the attached yellow tags. How do you make sense of these ratings to select a water heater that best fits your unique needs? The good news is that you don’t have to make this decision on your own. 

Our team is here to help. Just give us a call to schedule an in-home assessment for installing a new water heater. We can answer your questions and offer a list of options so that you can select the best water heater replacement. You can also keep reading to learn more about water heater efficiency ratings, how they are measured and what they mean.

Uniform Efficiency Factor (UEF) 

The UEF rating system considers a few different factors in producing a rating for each water heater. Examples of these factors include the amount of water that a unit uses and how much energy the system needs to heat that water. All water heaters have a yellow tag that includes the UEF rating as well as other pertinent information about the individual unit. 

These tags will have a bin category that your water heater fits into. The four bins are size-based – very small, low, medium, and high. We will select a water heater based on the bin it is in for sizing when you consider your family size and water usage expectations. For example, you can learn how much water the heater can provide per minute.

Keep in mind that you only want to use the yellow tags and UEF ratings to compare like water heaters to one another. For example, comparing a tank water heater to a tankless water heater is like comparing apples to oranges. Instead, first decide whether you want a tank or tankless water heater or a gas or electric water heater. Narrow down your options and then begin to compare water heater models based on those similar factors. 

Water Heater Efficiency Considerations

If water heater efficiency is important to you, look for a model that includes the Energy Star logo on the yellow UEF label. Water heater efficiency is a little different than HVAC efficiency. With HVA efficiency ratings it’s easier to discern a high-efficiency model from a model that is less efficient. When it comes to water heater efficiency, energy use is only a small part of the equation. There are other factors to consider. 

When you purchase an Energy Star water heater, it will meet the following qualifications:

  • High energy efficiency
  • Strong overall ability to deliver hot water
  • Reasonable warranty period
  • Elevated safety features

Sizing a Water Heater

Choosing a water heater that is sized correctly is one of the most important decisions you will make. Getting a highly rated water heater won’t really matter if it’s sized incorrectly based on your expected water usage. You have to consider your household size and how much water your family will use on a daily basis.

Whether tank or tankless, you want a water heater that is just the right size – not too big and not too small. If you have a small family, you don’t necessarily need a large water heater. If you have a large family you absolutely need a water heater with great capacity. In the case of tankless water heaters, you may need to install two. But you don’t have to identify the perfect water heater size alone. We are here to help you select the perfect water heater for your home. 

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

The work is not done once you have your new water heater installed. You have steps to take as a homeowner to maintain your water heater – especially tankless models that require a little more care. Skipping out on homeowner and professional maintenance steps can lead to poor performance and a shorter lifespan. 

After installing your new water heater our team can review the maintenance steps you need to complete and tell you how often they need to be done. Simple things like cleaning filters monthly and flushing the system annually can extend the expected lifespan and boost efficiency so you save more money. 

Contact Comfort Matters Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. With you through THE HIGHS & LOWS!

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