We used to replace the old water heater tank with a new one to continue using the unit. However, since the Federal regulations took effect in April 2015, we're now required to invest in energy-efficient water heaters as opposed to just replacing old tanks with new ones. These regulations also apply to owners of manufactured home water heaters too, so it's easy to see why the average manufactured homeowner is likely to face a tough day sourcing for the ultimate water heater.
So if your manufactured home water heater hasn't been replaced for years, you'll discover that now you have a vast array of options to choose from. In addition to the conventional and tank-less units available out there, we're now seeing water heaters that only heat water you need to draw. Furthermore, we have other hybrid options such as heat pump, condensing gas, solar and electric water heaters.
Larger water heating units such as those that accommodate up to 55 gallons of water will be required to shift to new technologies in order to meet requirements set forth by the Federal government. Implementing those changes could see a homeowner save between 25% to 50% on their energy bills based on the technology used.
And since domestic water heating accounts for nearly 20% of energy costs at home, these changes in regulations will be beneficial. If you're replacing with a larger unit that holds up to 55 gallons of water, you'll need to do so with an energy-efficient one. It is also most likely that the newer model will measure a few inches larger than the older model, plus you'll need to keep it where you used to store your old model.
With the new standards in place, these units will increase efficiency by 4% on average. The ACEEE says that units that comply with the new standards are in the market already, including models such as Bradford White, A.O. Smith and Rheem.
If you plan to invest in a 55 gallon water heater for your manufactured home, you'll most likely realize bigger efficiency gains. However, in order to achieve those gains, the larger units will have to utilize technologies that aren't so popular among consumers. These include condensing gas heaters which capture gas that usually goes up the flue or the electric pump heaters which transfer heat from the surrounding air to the water.
If your manufactured home works with electric heaters, you could use electric heat pump technology when considering the biggest efficiency gains. On the other hand, you could use conventional units that accommodate less than 55 gallons of water (though these models could be less efficient). If you rely on gas to heat your water, you'll use the large condensing gas tank or two conventional small models.
Hybrid water heaters or heat pump water heaters work by transferring heat from the surrounding air to the water. They are specifically designed to reclaim escaping heat by cooling escaping gases below 130 degrees F. The water vapor, in its condensed form, will settle into the tank. The newer models could consume more space especially if you're looking for models that will accommodate more water. So if you're not sure, check the manufacturer's website to find more information on the same.
Replacing or repairing
Before you spend a lot seeking to invest in a new water heater, you should see if your current one only needs repair. A burned out heating element can be replaced. A faulty pressure-relief valve can be fixed too. However, an old, corroded tank is just history. Consider all the factors that come into play and see what you can do to fix the problem. In some cases, carrying out repair activities or replacing parts can cut costs. However, if carrying out repairs is likely to cost a lot, opt to buy a new unit.
Here are two water heaters you can buy for your manufactured home:
1) Richmond 40 gallon electric water heater (http://is.gd/S3pyNC)
With 40 gallons of water, expect this unit to serve up to 3 people. The unit has included an energy cut-off switch for maximum safety during operation. This 40 gallon electric water heater has premium features, and this is the reason it's retailing for $385.
2) Rheem performance 40 gallons electric water heater (http://is.gd/ObWheo)
This 4500 watt elements water heater is an extra tall unit that serves between 2 to 4 people. It has been specifically designed for manufactured home applications. The cost is $295 when you buy it from HomeDepot.
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