[to view an update to this post click on Time to replace your water heater?]
To: Peterkort Woods homeowners
From: Dave Kresta, homeowner
I was asked to present at the August 14, 2017 annual HOA meeting on water heaters. You will find the presentation material attached.
In addition to being a PKW homeowner for nearly 5 years, I have also worked at the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for over 7 years. A considerable portion of my work there has included exploration of savings opportunities with water heating.
My goal is to provide PKW homeowners with information about new high efficiency options for water heating, and help pave the way for easier water heater replacements. Water heaters normally last 8 to 14 years so we can expect that many PKW units will need to have replacements sometime in the near to mid-future. I have personally heard about 3 replacements that have already occurred this year due to water heater failures.
Heat Pump Water heaters (HPWHs) are now widely available, saving an estimated $250/year on average versus old technology standard electric water heaters. With existing rebates and tax credits totaling $1200, HPWHs are an option to seriously consider. For those who want to install a tank that is larger than 55 gallons (most of the larger PKW units have 66-gallon tanks), new Federal regulations actually require installation of a HPWH. If your tank is smaller than 55 gallons, it is optional
Unfortunately, the plumbing industry is very slow moving, and many plumbers are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with HPWHs and therefore try to steer people away from them (or simply don’t mention them). This includes telling people with larger tanks that they must downsize to a smaller tank so that they can continue installing old technology. This not only costs the homeowner money in the long run, but with the rebates and incentives available, it can cost money in the short run.
The primary challenge in installing HPWHs is that they produce a small amount of condensate (water) which must be drained to the outside. I am working with the HOA Board to get this procedure pre-approved (it requires drilling through the exterior wall) so that individual homeowners do not experience delays in getting this approval. HPWHs also blow out cool, dry air. This does NOT need to be vented to the outside, and I personally find it a benefit in my garage.
I am also working with my employer to get a list of plumbers who have been to our community and are willing to provide competitive quotes for HPWH installation. This information will be disseminated when it is available, hopefully within 4 weeks.
If you would like to be alerted via email with updates on this subject, or if you have additional questions, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org