If you are looking for a new water heater, you are probably looking for something that is very energy efficient. The more energy efficient it is, the less it's going to cost you to run. But, you may not know what you should look for to find something that is energy efficient. There are a lot of ratings out there and they can all be confusing.
Each water heater should have a big yellow label on it. That big label is the energy guide label. There is all kinds of information on it. One thing that you should look for is the EF number, or energy factor. The EF rating is how much of the energy that the water heater uses goes into being used to create hot water. That factor is written out as a decimal point, with 1.0 meaning that 100% of the energy is converted into hot water. So, a water heater that has an EF of 0.67 means that 67% of the energy gets turned into hot water. You may see numbers higher than 1.0 on electric water heaters, which may make it look more efficient and there for more cost-effective for you to run, but you will have to factor in the fact that those units can be more expensive to run overall.
Energy Star ratings are used internationally as a way to rate the energy efficiency of products like windows, doors, air conditioners, and water heaters. There are certain criteria that each product has to go through in order to meet the Energy Star standards. Those criteria differ per product. For example, water heaters have to meet different things than windows and doors do. One criterion that all Energy Star products have to meet, no matter what kind of product it is, is that they all have to be at least 20% more energy efficient than the requirements from the federal government. For water heaters, there are all kinds of things that the unit must meet, depending on whether it's a storage tank unit or one that is an on-demand unit as well as what kind of fuel the unit takes. In general, the Energy Star ratings will have a dollar range that represents how much money a year it will take to run a water heater. The label will show you about how much it will take to run the unit and how much it would take to run a similar unit.
Finding an energy efficient water heater will save you a lot of money in the long run.
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