The Federal Government, in April 2015, mandated better fuel efficiency for residential tank water heaters. This legislation had the largest impact on units with a capacity bigger than 50 gallons.
It is therefore no longer legal to install electric water heaters with a 65 or 80-gallon capacity made of cheap heating materials. Those who want a tank with over 50 gallons should get ready to shell out more money to get a larger hybrid heat pump.
On the plus side, it is now the right time to make use of an electric hybrid heat pump, which has the lowest operating expense in the electric water heater market. This is especially true when you live somewhere warm, although we all know that Seattle is not exactly warm. It might also bring you the benefits of tax incentives and rebates.
Meanwhile, the downside is that hybrids are costlier than conventional units. It typically has a taller heat pump too. Mind you, there are “side-piped” heaters required to get rid of heat pump damage from leaky pipes. It also requires regular cleaning of the air filter and a minimum of 1,000 cubic feet of surrounding air.
Our professional opinion is to carefully consider whether you actually need a water heater that can carry more than 50 gallons. If you do choose to go that route, the hybrids are your best option. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to help you make the right decision for your situation. We will be more than happy to help!