Atmospheric water heaters are here to stay

Responding to claims that new regulations will see atmospheric water heaters withdrawn from sale, Dan Martindale, Sales Director at Andrews Water Heaters, argues that there is more than one way to meet requirements.

The new Ecodesign requirements under ErP come into force this September. The new changes dictate maximum NOx emissions of 56mg/kWh for gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) boilers and water heaters and 120mg/kWh for oil-fired boilers. This applies to new space heaters (including boilers) up to and including 400kW on both new build and replacement projects.

“Worldwide recognition of the health dangers posed by air pollution has led the government to introduce new measures to reduce NOx emissions. While road traffic is a major contributor to outdoor pollution, non-domestic buildings – and their heating – also typically emit NOx. So, reducing NOx emissions from heating is an important step towards achieving cleaner air. In fact, the government predicts a 20% reduction in energy consumption and emissions when replacing older equipment with ErP compliant products.

“Although condensing water heaters can achieve maximise efficiency levels, for properties with an existing stock of atmospheric water heaters, a like-for-like replacement is the quickest and easiest way of meeting the forthcoming round of Ecodesign requirements.

“New atmospheric water heaters, such as the latest range from Andrews Water Heaters, feature an ultra low NOx burner that plays the same role in reducing emissions as the premixed burners found in condensing water heaters.

“This means that building managers won’t have to switch their existing water heaters to a condensing system to comply with the new requirements. Moving to a condensing system involves the replacement of flue systems, removal of condensate discharge longer change over times (resulting in longer down time for business) and, in most cases, will require considerable pipework alternations. Therefore, by upgrading to an ErP compliant atmospheric water heater, existing users can save time, money and hassle.

“With just a few months to go until the low NOx levels become mandatory, specifiers and building managers should review their current systems but need not panic that they’ll have to carry out a massive upgrade before September.

“The prospect of complying with another round of ErP changes may seem daunting but fortunately, with today’s high efficiency, low NOx water heaters, the requirements are easily achievable. What’s more it will result in a cleaner environment, bigger energy savings and reduced emissions for all.”

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