After April 15, water heater manufacturers will no longer be able to produce many of the most popular models for both residential and commercial use.
How will the new regulations affect me
For tanks under 55 gallons, an extra 3″ of space will be required around the sides of the tank. A height increase of 1″-2″ will also be needed for most water heaters.
If you don’t have the extra 2″ of space you will have to go with a different type of water heater that meets the efficiency requirements without increasing the size of the tank.
Automatic Flue Damper
If you are limited on space and do not have the room for the increased diameter of the new tanks there are a few options that will allow you to replace your unit without sacrificing hot water. An automatic flue damper water heater will trap more of the heat inside the tank by closing the vent of the water heater after it shuts off. This will also eliminate the standing pilot that most atmospheric models have.
Other alternatives to space limitations
A power vent water heater will also provide additional installation options due to a totally different type of venting. These power vent models vent out the side of the house instead of into the chimney. They are also smaller in diameter than the atmospheric models but they are also two to three times the cost.
Of course a tankless unit will tank up the least amount of space but will require additional maintenance that a standard water heater doesn’t require.