The Luxury Of Hot Water Heaters

 

There’s an old saying: A woman is like a tea bag; you don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water! Although this truism is unquestionably accurate, it would be difficult to put it to the test without a hot water heater.

In industrialized nations, hot water heaters are just simply “there.” We don’t even notice that they’re working properly until, all of a sudden, they aren’t. When that’s the case, we start panicking about things like showers, washing dishes and doing laundry. We think of all the things that are part of our everyday living, realizing that until the hot water heater is working, languishing in a warm bubble bath is a thing of the past.

What we take for granted – that hot water will spew forth on command when we turn on the faucet – other civilizations view as a luxury. In some parts of the world, even in some parts of remote, rural America, hot water heaters are non-existent. For example, the Aboriginal people of Australia and North America still haul water from streams and rivers in buckets, heating the water over an open fire. Why, we wonder, do they continue this practice when they know that all they have to do is flick a switch on a hot water heater, and it’s time to wash clothes? Respect for the traditions of their people, plain and simple. Sometimes what’s “easy” isn’t always “best.”

In most of the world, there’s a hot water heater in every basement or closet. Its capacity and rapidity of heating depends upon the number of family members who find hot water essential at various times of the day. With a capacity of 50-60 gallons, hot water heaters aren’t viewed as a luxury, but as a “given.” They replaced the burden of hauling and heating water from the nearby stream. But they also replaced the pleasant social interactions that once accompanied water-bearing, plus the self-esteem building that comes from viewing a job well-done.

 

How Dependable Are Hot Water Heaters?

If you live in a house most of your adult life – raising a family and doing all the activities that we cherish as a people, your hot water heater should last up to fifteen years, perhaps even more. These appliances are built for endurance and heavy use; another luxury. But of course, something’s bound to go wrong sooner or later, and your heater will need either repair or maintenance. Whether your hot water heater is power by natural gas or electricity, or even by solar power, there are some definite warning signs that tell you it’s time to call a repairman: (1) When you stop getting hot water from a faucet, (2) When you smell gas in the air near the heater, (3) When the appliance is sparking electricity or (4) When you notice a puddle of water near the hot water heater. Most of the time a simple repair job takes care of the problem, but there might also be a time for the heater to be replaced. Plan to spend about $300-$700, and you’ll return to luxury.

 

The Mysteries Of Heater Immersion

As the prices of heating fuel soar, many homeowners have become curious about exactly how their home and the water in it are heated, are kept heated and how they might become heated in a more energy-efficient way. Some hot water heaters, for instance, heat the water and keep it warm until it’s used. Other types don’t heat the water until it’s needed, saving the energy needed to keep it hot. Many of the storage types use heater immersion to heat the water. With heater immersion, an electrical element fits into the side of the water tank with the thermostat extending to the exterior of the tank for easy use.

Types Of Heaters

The common storage tank heater can be made more efficient by adding a timer to your heater immersion device to heat the water at off-peak times when energy is less costly. Even if that option is not available in your area, your storage tank can become more efficient by the addition of insulation around it. The less heat is lost to the surrounding area, the less energy is used to keep it warm. You may have an indirect water heater system. This means that your furnace or boiler heats your water while it heats the house. Most often, hot water from a boiler circulates through a heat exchanger in a nearby tank. Less often, a heat exchanger coil filled with water to be heated circulates through a furnace then through the storage tank. Since the exchanger penetrates the tank in either case, it is similar to the heater immersion method. Using modern equipment, this is often the most efficient system. The storage tanks are efficiently insulated, the heating equipment is high-efficiency and the need for the heater to turn on and off is much less frequent.

The on demand water heaters don’t use energy to warm storage tanks. The most efficient ones use natural gas and an electronic ignition to save on energy used in a pilot light. Solar heaters are making a comeback from the 1970s. While the sun’s energy is cost-efficient, the start-up costs are higher since tax credits are no longer available. However, today’s less expensive units compare with electric and propane heaters over the lifetime of the unit while natural gas still beats them all.

Whether you decide on heater immersion, on demand, solar power or some other technology, the most efficient heater for you is the one that uses the fuel you have at hand, works for your climates and personal needs and best integrates with your existing water system.

Need Determines Size Of Electric Water Heater

Whether building a new home, remodeling an older home planning your current and future needs can help you pick the right size electric water heater so you don’t have to suffer cold showers.

An electric water heater is basically a storage tank into which cold water flows. There is a switch, which shuts off the flow of water when it gets full. Most electric water heaters have two electric elements, which heat the water and keep it hot until it’s used and replaced by colder water. Each element is controlled by thermostats.

While an electric water heater can be as small as six gallons or as large as 120 gallons, the average family can generally be served with a 52-gallon electric water heater. However, the larger the family, the more capacity will be needed. When planning your needs you should also plan for potential growth of your family as well as the frequency of visitors, which may increase your need for additional hot water.

An electric water heater offers several advantages over gas, for example, as not having to be vented and it can be installed closer to walls and they do not have a pilot light which requires a small open flame or a thermocouple to keep the pilot light burning, which generally needs replaced every year or so. There is also less chance of overheating.

Adjust Temperature To Your Choosing

Another feature of an electric water heater, like most others, is the ability to adjust the temperature of the water through the use of a thermostat. By raising, or lowering, the water’s temperature, it can be adjusted to the family’s liking.

Electric water heaters also have built-in protection for pressure build-up in the form of a pressure relief valve. Occasionally pressure may build up and if it reaches a point higher than the check valve on the water line, it could push the hot water back into the feed line. This pressure release valve will harmlessly release any over pressure. However, having a leak from the pressure valve may be an indication of some other problem, which needs attention.

While maintenance on an electric water heater is minimal, problems can arise and unless the homeowner is experienced in plumbing and electrical repairs, it may be best to leave any repair or replacement to professionals. This could lessen the time needed to male repairs, or replace the unit, ensuring you have the hot water when it’s needed.

The Interplay Of Humidity Air Conditioner, And Heater

The term humidity refers to the vaporized water existent in the air surrounding us. We commonly hear of relative humidity i.e. the percentage of water vapor measured in the air at a specific temperature. Absolute humidity is the total mass of water vapor in particular volume of air at a given time. It is a well-understood fact that warm air can hold greater quantity of water vapor than cold air. Since air conditioner and heater both alter the air temperature, the humidity level indoors changes significantly with their use.

Humidity Levels And Comfort

The relative humidity level for comfortable condition of the human body is between 20 and 60 percent. For home environment an average 35 to 40 percent relative humidity is optimum given an outside temperature of 20°F or more. But during winter, water vapors on windows and inside of walls occur, raising the humidity level inside. This may cause damage to the structures. In such a case, you need to adjust both your air conditioner and heater to lower degrees. The air conditioner lowers the temperature, which induces condensation on the inner sides of windowpanes. A heater, on the other hand, speeds up the process of evaporation from moisture contained in household items. However, running a patio heater in times of higher humidity inside can counter the problem to some degrees. With air conditioner and heater units, using a humidifier is the best option.

The most obvious signs of discomfort caused by low humidity levels indoors are dry nose and throat, itching, dryness of skin and hair, and irritation of the respiratory tract. To increase the humidity level, instead of an air conditioner and heater, you can use a humidifier. The increase can be brought about in three ways. First, by evaporating more water inside. Here you can use your heater to speed up the process. Take care not to set the heating level too high or you can possibly harm both your health and the indoor plants. The second way is to let air circulate through your room from a wet pad or by discharging a very fine mist of water into your room. For this, you have to add water manually on a regular basis until the desired level of comfort is attained. The third method employs direct introduction of moisture into the room, by means of a furnace.

While using air conditioner and heater for regulating temperature indoor, always use a humidity control unit so as to prevent the levels of humidity from going too high or too low and cause possible health problems as well as structural damage.

Swimming Pool Heater Adds To Enjoyment

Nobody enjoys swimming in cold water, which is why most people installing a pool opt for a swimming pool heater to keep the temperature more comfortable. Several options exist, including gas, heat-pump and solar power. Which option is chosen by the pool owner will be determined by their budget.

Understand, most swimming pool heaters operate on the same premise. Water is pumped from the swimming pool, through the heater and back into the pool where the heated water raises the temperature level of the pool water. A thermostat installed on the line into the pump records the temperature of the water in the pool and stops pumping until the temperature drops below a pre-set temperature.

How the water is heated is what determines the cost. There are two variables to consider when deciding the type of swimming pool heater is best for your pool. The initial cost and the annual operating cost. Some may offer cheaper installation costs, but prices of utilities and the climate in the area, may make them expensive to operate during the season.

Installation And Operating Expenses

Of the three main types of swimming pool heater, gas, either natural or propane, is the cheapest for initial installation. For comparison purposes an example of a 15 foot by 30 foot kidney shaped pool will be used. A gas swimming pool heater will cost roughly $1,200 and another $500 for installation. A homeowner can usually install a swimming pool heater themself, but it is highly recommended that connections for gas and electric be left to a licensed professional.

A heat pump swimming pool heater is more expensive to install, about $3,900 including installation and a solar powered swimming pool heater will run about $3,000 with installation. Their operating costs are what sets them apart.

A gas swimming pool heater will cost about $1.20 to realize a dollar’s worth of heat. On an average, it’s expected to cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per season to operate on propane. Depending on the price of natural gas in the area, it could cost about 50 percent less.

A heat pump swimming pool heater, on the other hand will cost about 20 cents for $1,00 worth of heat, bringing the annual cost of between $250 to $500 per year, which can offset the initial cost. A solar powered swimming pool heater will cost about $30 to $75 in electric to operate the pump required for water circulation, but not for the power itself.

Solar Heaters: Wave Of The Future

Solar heat, or energy, is radiation produced by nuclear fission deep within the sun’s core. Solar heat travels to Earth through space via photons, or “packets” of energy. Our Earth’s atmosphere and clouds absorb much of this heat, and the energy varies with the time of day and the season. 1.4 kilowatts per square meter is considered to be the “solar constant;” any substantial change in this wattage would alter or even end life on Earth.

We can make good use of the solar heat that we collect. Primarily, we can tap into solar power stored in water by directing the flowing water through turbines, thus creating hydroelectric power. Since plants are living solar heaters via the process of photosynthesis, we can use a plant’s stored solar energy through natural fuels such as wood, alcohol and methane.

How Do Solar Heaters Work?

To make solar energy work for us, we’ve devised two ways of capturing and using this source of power. “Flat plate collectors” and “concentrating collectors” need large surfaces exposed to the sun to create solar heaters of any purpose. For example, to use the sun’s energy to power a home solar heater for one day requires a collector surface as big as a two-car garage.

Flat plate collectors are just that: flat, thin boxes with transparent covers that are mounted on rooftops facing the sun. To empower solar heaters, the sun’s heat absorbs into the plate and heats either air or water in tubes running within the collector. This type of solar heater is an excellent, predictable way of heating water or a structure, where collectors are concentrated in the roof.

For many industrial heat requirements, flat plate collectors aren’t sufficient. Concentrating collectors in large areas provide much more efficient solar heaters. These collectors actually move to follow the sun, unlike fixed flat plate collectors. They also power solar heaters by using curved mirrors with aluminum or silver reflecting surfaces that gather much more of the sun’s energy than flat plates.

The future of solar heaters is exciting indeed! As we grow more proficient in using the sun as an energy source, we could eliminate the need for gasoline-powered automobiles. We could also generate solar heaters on a large scale. As solar science progresses, we will see government, industry and utility companies forming partnerships to reduce the cost of solar collectors. Imagine: a world without reliance on oil. Peace at last?

Portable Heater – Boon Or Curse?

Imagine planning out a wonderful vacation out in the mountains and finding out that the water is ice cold while wanting to take bath. The whole day you would be miserable afterwards. Then, imagine the availability of a portable water heater. Ah! All your problems solved with one phrase.

There Are More Portable Heaters Than This

Portable water heaters are not the only ones that can be carried along for providing home-like comfort in camps in the mountains. You will also need a plain portable heater if you are sleeping somewhere in the wilderness. This is for two reasons – animals are attracted to the smell of man, and will come and investigate whenever they get it. However, they are averse to any type of fire, and fire-related things. A portable heater would he of great help to send off wild animals of nothing else.

We have reports though that sometimes the animals have been attracted because people were carrying portable heaters and these provided them with some warmth when they were feeling cold. Hence, utmost precaution should be taken when going to mountain camps, particularly when the climate is not very conducive.

Some other types of portable heaters are patio heaters which are built with open spaces in mind, and gas portable water heaters. In both the cases the heaters are tested and put through a number of rigorous hand-on use. After one month of rough usage, if the heater is still working fine, then it will be promoted in the market.

However, even then there are instances when among all these tested ones, one un-checked slipped; and as luck would have it, that particular one will be the one that would go to the most spirited customer who would fight anyone to get compensation and all from the irate customer.

It takes a lot to placate an irate customer- but the best policy till date is to accept the complaints looking chastised and then proceed in charming her/his off their feet. This part will be easy because all people are ego conscious and love a little flattery. If you can manage the right balance then the day would end in good news. Otherwise, we have lost a passenger.

Hence, for this product too, there should be a better customer-placating bias. Then, please cut out into our work. The portable heater is indeed a boon to mankind, provided it works well and does not malfunction.

Outdoor Heaters: A Portal Back Through Time

There’s something about fire, something mystical that we’re instinctively drawn to despite the modern conveniences of our time. Today we live in a world where our cell phones take pictures, play music, and write messages. Our television sets get 165 stations. Everything we want to eat is ten minutes away at the grocery store or the drive-through. Our clothes don’t fade or wrinkle, our pets have medical insurance, and we can play movies in our automobiles.

But stoke up a nice fire, and we’re suddenly transported back in time, to the days when early mankind huddled around open fires for warmth, to prepare food, and protection from enemies – both human and animals. Outdoor heaters are a representation of our still-strong instincts to regard fire as life-giving and security in a dangerous world. Fireplaces and woodstoves in our homes are now commonplace, but outdoor heaters remain remnants of eons past.

How To Shop For An Outdoor Heater

To make the magic of an outdoor heater work for you, your first step is to decide what kind of heater you want and can afford. Most merchants who deal in these heaters have displays in their stores of the different types of outdoor heaters available. Do you prefer an in-ground heater similar to a fire pit? Or would you prefer a stand-alone heater that you can place anywhere in your yard or on your patio? Stand-alone heaters are as much decorative as they are practical. Not only will these outdoor heaters provide warmth and soothing serenity, they also serve as delightful decorative accessories to your home and yard. Round, square, pot-bellied, cactus-shaped – all are serviceable and attractive. They have a wide, open “mouth” or fire-area where you put the fuel, plus a venting hole on top to prevent smoke from choking you, your family and your guests.

Next, consider what type of fuel you want to burn in your outdoor heater. Cut cordwood is the perennial favorite, possibly because of its connection to our ancestral past. Firewood burns hot and creates a lot of smoke. Some prefer to burn charcoal, and still others prefer the new smokeless pellets that provide warmth and a “clean” burn. Firewood is the least expensive fuel for your outdoor heater, with pellets being the most expensive. If you’re uncertain, you can try each type of fuel and decide which you prefer and which you can easiest afford.

Regardless of the style of outdoor heater you buy, that ancient instinct will emerge as you slide closer to the flames. Sooner or later, someone’s going to stick a hot dog into the heater, you can count on it!

The Advantages Of Hot Water Gas Heaters

There are many ways to heat water. Among the more popular heaters you will definitely find the hot water gas heaters. These heaters are able to make the water at a high concession from he regular cost. There are far more advanced technology today and many of it logically have replaced he requirements of using the hot water gas heater. However, people all over the world still cling to this method of heating water stoically. Why? What do the people gain so much out of it that they need to stop the advancement of technology?

There Are Many Types Of Other Heaters Besides The Hot Water Gas Heater

There are indeed a good number of other heaters available and there are a lot people who are happy that such appliances have at last come out, so they would be able to enjoy the benefits that the modern technology brings. The electric water heater, for example, is in high demand and people are highly satisfied with their use. However, if you look at it, from a metaphorical point of view, the old is still gold, and the annual sale of hot water gas heaters were more than the other types, thought the other types are considered are considered far superior in performance.

The newest addition of the market is the tank less water heaters which are exceptional when it comes to work. They provide hot water the moment you turn the tap on, no exceptions. This is very much appreciated by young college girls because now they can take bath anytime of the evening or morning without having to worry of switching on the geyser 20-30 minutes ahead of time.

The choice of people in general, nonetheless, stays loyal to the hot water gas heater because it is simple to use and hence, its technology is understood by all without any exceptions. Second, it is much, much cheaper than the other modern heaters, which makes the hot water gas heater an all-rounder.

There are a few disadvantages though – the hot water gas heater is a but slow when compared to the other types of heaters and it also offers you almost always the cheapest possible price for hot water. On the other hand, the moment you need it to cool down, it can do so in the minimum of time, since the gas can immediately manipulated, giving you the exact ecstatic feeling of being able to soak into the tub at the exact temperature you love.

Selecting And Maintaining A Gas Water Heater

We’ve all been there; you’re having overnight guests, including your special gourmet dinner meal. It’s seven o’clock, and the doorbell rings. They’re here! Time for you to shine.

The unforeseen and unthinkable happens; you start washing dishes as your guests settle into their accommodations. You expect plenty of hot water for dishwashing and evening bathing by your guests, but the faucet spews only cool water. Panic sets in; what happened?

To your dismay, you find that your gas water heater has died a sudden, inconvenient death. The repairman, whom you are paying overtime, gives you the bad news; your gas water heater won’t hold a pilot light. He can’t fix it; it must be replaced. No, he can’t do it tonight; your guests are stuck with cold showers.

Choosing And Maintaining The Right Gas Water Heater

The above social nightmare is actually a rare occurrence. Gas water heaters are generally durable and easy to service and maintain. Depending on the brand, they can last for up to fifteen years, trouble-free. Using clean-burning natural gas as fuel, gas water heaters rarely lose their pilot light. Even when they do, re-lighting the pilot is often a simple job completed in five minutes. Just follow the instructions located in the customer’s manual. If the pilot won’t re-light, then it’s time to call a service technician; something’s amiss that you can’t fix on your own.

Before you choose a gas water heater, carefully consider your hot water consumption needs. The amount of hot water needed by a couple is far less than that required by a family of five. However, couples who plan to eventually have children should take this into consideration; what serves them well now – a twenty-gallon capacity gas water heater – will change considerably when the children arrive! Parents with several children will reduce their hot water needs when the children eventually leave home. Marketers of gas water heaters generally recommend a capacity of 50-70 gallons; it’s better to have more than you need than less than you need. Heaters with this capacity usually cost between $300 – $700, depending upon the brand and the service contract.

It’s recommended that you purchase a warranty for the life of the gas water heater. Although these appliances are exceptionally durable, there’s always the possibility that yours will “go down.” Without a warranty, it’s probably most financially feasible to buy a new gas water heater. If yours is covered by a service or replacement warranty, you’ll fare much better financially.