Rheem Unveils Energy-Saving Powered Damper Technology That Meets Energy StarĀ® Phase II Criteria

Rheem Water Heating has announced a new, more energy-efficient damper design on select residential gas-fired models, enabling them to achieve an Energy Factor (EF) from 0.67 to 0.69, depending on the model. As a result, these water heaters meet the minimum 0.67 EF requirement of ENERGY STAR® Phase II, which went into effect on September 1. The new powered damper should be available by mid-December on both the Professional and Fury series of residential gas-fired water heaters under the Rheem and Ruud labels.

The technology, consisting of a 24-volt powered flue damper (inset photo) positioned atop the unit, opens and closes automatically in response to gas-burner activity within the water heater. When the gas control shuts off the fuel supply, it also signals the damper to close, trapping whatever heat remains inside the flue and reducing standby heat loss.

“By offering improved energy efficiency and ENERGY STAR compliance, the new powered damper design represents a significant step up from traditional residential gas-fired water heaters,” says product manager Bryan Collar. “Although the new damper products will be priced higher than standard gas products, their total installed cost will be significantly lower than other ultra high efficiency water heaters.”

Professional: Five models with storage capacities of 38, 40 and 50 gallons (tall and short) and inputs of 40,000 and 50,000 BTU/hour. These water heaters carry an eight-year limited warranty on the tank and parts.

Fury: Again, five models in all, with storage capacities of 38, 40 and 50 gallons (tall and short) and inputs of 40,000 and 50,000 BTU/hour. These units carry a six-year limited warranty on the tank and parts.

Ultra Low NOx: For California customers, the power damper technology will also be available on Ultra Low NOx (nitrogen-oxide) versions of the Professional and the Fury, featuring a patented stainless steel radiant burner that cuts emissions to 10 nanograms per Joule. Available in 40- and 50-gallon models with inputs of 36,000 BTU/hour, these new products fully comply with Southern California’s SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District) Rule 1121, which limits emission levels in residential gas-fired water heaters.

With EF ratings from 0.67 to 0.69, the new powered damper water heaters have projected annual operating costs between $264 for the smaller units to $272 for the larger-capacity models. Professional and Fury models without the damper technology have EF ratings from 0.58 to 0.62 and average annual operating costs of between $294 and $315.

Additional features on the new powered damper models include the following:

An integrated self-diagnostic system uses a flashing light to provide error codes that ease troubleshooting and maintenance chores.

The new powered damper units are equipped with a 24-volt AC transformer, a 19-foot cord and a three-prong plug for connection to a standard wall outlet.

Venting is the same as on a standard atmospheric water heater of comparable size. “These units can be readily used as direct replacements of existing units,” says Collar.

Electronic spark-to-pilot ignition eliminates the need for a constantly running pilot light, further saving energy.

For more information on powered damper water heaters, please visit www.rheem.com

Note: Publication-quality photograph of the image shown in this press release is available elsewhere in this press kit or it can be downloaded at the following location on the web:

Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta. In its 83rd year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Raypak, Ruud and Rheem, have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water-heating supplier to Kevin Harvick, Inc. (KHI) and is the primary sponsor of NASCAR’s Nationwide Series “Driver of the Decade” Kevin Harvick and his #33 car.