Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our Hot Water Heating Goes Electric To Save $$$

Well here it is, the beginning of a project to end our dependence on heating oil or gas for our hot water needs.

We had our furnace starting up just to heat the water. And we rarely use it to heat the house since we burn wood. This was a terrible waste of oil and at $1,800 for the last delivery of 500 gallons in the spring (and it would be about $2,000 today and who knows what next year) our new method will save us quite a bit. Electric hot water heaters are more efficient today and cheaper to run than gas or oil at current fuel prices . So that is what is running now but it's only the beginning. We plan on installing a heat pump in a few weeks. You need an electric hot water heater to attach the pump to but you no longer use the heater as a heater. It is now merely a holding tank for the heat pump. In fact you can remove the heating element if you want to. Now heat pumps generally run about $800 but we got in on a deal so the final cost of the pump will only be $250. A utility company in Maine had bought several units for a project that fell through. That's why we are getting them at half price and then a further "friend" discount is kicking in because my husband knows the guy getting them! So that was lucky. There will be more details once the pump is installed and we get a few electric bills!

As an added advantage, heat pumps which are 300% efficient by the way, are basically reverse air conditioners, so you can duct the cold air into the house and the unit will also serve to dehumidify the crawl space which is always damp. My estimate is that we will spend maybe a few hundred bucks a year on oil for those times when it's minus 20 outside and the furnace kicks on.

This is our 1,000 gallon oil tank. Ridiculously huge isn't it and who can afford to fill it now???? It was there when we bought the house.

Go here to see how a heat pump works.