Everybody loves hot water, although in the UK we are a bit blazé about it nowadays. Or we are until you can’t have it anymore. I remember just last winter my boiler breaking down and I had to survive three long days without hot water. Three days you’re thinking, that’s not a long time, I’m sure I’d cope…Hah! That’s what I thought until it happened.
Imagine not being able to wash your pots or clothes unless you boiled the kettle and did it by hand. Imagine having to wash your hands in cold water after using the bathroom. And worst of all imagine not being able to have a nice warm bath at the end of a hard day’s work. Not good, not good at all.
And yet when it came to replacing my water heating technology I became lost in a barrage of information and was a little overwhelmed with my choices. I just didn’t know what to do. All I was sure of was that, number one I wanted my hot water back and number two I wanted to replace my kit with something that was as eco-friendly and wallet friendly as possible.
Step in the internet. Oh yes, if you need to know anything these days it is out there and I did some decent research on a variety of water heaters, looking at water heating products from storage tanks to on demand heating.
Through this research I found out that many water heaters are made from easily recycled materials with individual components being marked with the respective recycling symbol. Who knew that this industry cared about recycling? Just look out for the symbols when you’re buying to make sure you’re getting one that is genuinely recyclable.
I also found out that tankless water heaters (on demand heaters) don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money as well as doing your bit for the environment. When you consider that water heating is the second largest expense in your home, accounting for between 15-20% of your utility bills, you start to take notice of such things.
Eventually, I plumped for the ultimate eco option, a solar water heater with an electric back up for cloudy days. They have a great life expectancy of around twenty years and are approximately 50% more efficient than gas and electric heaters. So now when I sit in my bath I not only appreciate the hot water a lot more, I also get to feel a bit smug about how I am making that hot water too. Genius.