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Heating water....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by James02, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    346
    Loc:
    L-Town...N.Y.
    Since I have been on Hearth, I've read how people try to avoid using oil and such....My question is, how does everybody heat their water, for bathing at the very least??

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  2. bad69bird

    bad69bird Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    New London Pa
    electric
  3. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    346
    Loc:
    L-Town...N.Y.
    oooooooooohhhhhh.......
  4. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,714
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    I live off the grid so to speak and propane is the only option I have for back up. This also fires my hot water heater, stove and dryer. As my appliances die they will be replaced with electric but I find it less costly to burn the propane for these than replace them. My stove will always be gas. I go through 2-300 in propane per year, the majority of which is when I am out of town and the dog sitter is here. I tell her to run the furnace where she wants because I don't want her to get cold and decide taking care of my dog is not fun and I really don't want her running the wood stove. Prior to wood - propane cost me between 1500-and 2G anually. As far as I am concerened I am winning my personal battle/challenge with the gas man!! I figure I have roughly 3500 in my install(stove, chimney, hearth) so after two seasons burning I am at least even and going forward is just gravy. Now if I had to add my labor into the cost estimate we are still playing catch up but at this point I find the labor to be fun for me so that is not included in the equasion.
  5. bad69bird

    bad69bird Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    New London Pa
    and up to this year I had an off peak meter so it was dirt cheap, PECO took that away Jan 1st however
  6. Stella

    Stella Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    86
    Loc:
    Southern Peloponnese, Greece
    Solar panel which even in winter if the sun is shining gives us hot water, otherwise electric top up if cloudy and no sun.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,979
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    electric (I figure, cheaper than oil)
  8. kborndale

    kborndale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    LI
    My water heater is natural gas with a pilot light so even if the power goes out I still have hot water.
  9. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    346
    Loc:
    L-Town...N.Y.
    Yea, after the "SUPERSTORM"....I had heat, but no hot water....Good thing I knew people who could take me in for a shower....
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,551
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Oil for hot water. In fact, we're still using some oil for heat, too, but averaging half of what we used last year. Considering last winter was so much warmer than this winter, I'd guess we are actually down to about 35% of our prior oil usage, all things being equal.
  11. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Loc:
    Putnam, NY
    Our water heater is oil fired, so we still have to use oil for that. When it gets too warm (50°+) to use the wood stove then we turn on the oil furnace till it cools off again, like it is now.
  12. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    Propane for water and stove...was $600/mo without stove...now $600 a year
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,811
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Electrons.
    Don Williams likes this.
  14. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    As Curley from the 3 Stooges would say....."a wise guy eh?!?!"
  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,153
    Loc:
    Midwest
    Natural gas. I've considered other schemes...solar (too many mature trees on the property - shade is a big plus to keeping AC costs low, though) ...heat exchanger off the AC hot side (would work, though AC use and hot water needs are typically inverse) ...separate heat pump to put heat in water / cool in house (again heat/cool needs are inverted, expensive buying/maintaining a separate heat pump)

    Overall, with natural gas being so cheap, it costs ~$10/month winter and $5/month summer for hot water, so any system costing more than a couple hundred bucks is going to have a crazy long ROI.
  16. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    659
    Loc:
    Central NC
    Ditto here. Costs me as much or more some months in the damn fees as it does for the gas I use.
  17. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    They charge fees where you live for the Dam's that are there? Brutal!!.............ohhhh....wrong kind of dam fee....now I get it........


    Sorry folks.....it is early here, I am tired and obviously punchy this AM.....bad puns run from my mouth like water from a faucet when I am punchy like this.
  18. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    659
    Loc:
    Central NC
    I'm sure there is a damn fee somewhere in one of my utility bills for a damn dam some place.
    firebroad likes this.
  19. Reckless

    Reckless Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    269
    Loc:
    Orange county, NY
    Oil. Previous owner had water set to Scolding hot I made some adjustments to that and hear the furnace ALOT less often now. Who really needs water so hot it burns your skin???
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,453
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    In parts of the country where there is less dependence and use of fuel oil the water is almost never heated by the space heating systems. As such, wood heat has nothing to do with water heat. We use the typical tank water heater. In this home, it is fired by electrons which are actually cheaper fuel source than propane. No power, no heat. So we go out to the RV and fire up the gas water heater and take a shower out there if needed.
  21. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,190
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    I think I'm in a similar situation here. I have electric hot water right now only because the tank was an easy, fast, relatively inexpensive DIY install and it works well. However the electricity costs are insane these days. I already use propane for my no-freeze furnace and have the big tank out in the yard, and my propane bill will likely drop to almost $0 as the furnace becomes my "backup heat" only - once we're there 24/7. I just didn't want to drop the $1K or so to purchase and install a propane water tank right now. Longer term I need to figure out the cost of propane water tank + install + gas usage vs khw used + "electron delivery" costs. Bob if you can run everything propane for under $300 / year, is it safe to assume the water heater should be only a fraction of that..? Are you also planning on an electric water tank if the gas unit craps out?
  22. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    238
    Loc:
    Northeast
    Propane, natural gas, electric, a few pans on the stove.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  23. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I run hot water for no more than 1 hr a day with a switch on HW thermostat so it can not call for heat. It is oil but a cold start boiler with 5 gallons of water so no stand by losses. I can get a shower run the dish washer and clothes washer within an hour to hour and one half thank is more than hot enough to wash hands etc until the next day and saves 30% on water heating costs. Plus no base cost for equipment as electric and gas.
  24. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,190
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    When we can (when time permits), I light the outdoor sauna, fill a couple 5-gallon pails with water from the lake, stick them up on the top bench, and just feed the fire all afternoon with gopher wood from around the property, while I putter around with outside projects, work, etc. Not an alternative to inside hot water / shower, but an awesome way to unwind and wash up at the end of a long day! The tiny old hunt stove I picked up long ago for @ $40 is still holding together, heats the air which then heats the water in the pails. Couple hours and it is pretty warm. This is how we all washed up on weekends before the bathroom was built, summer or winter (gotta love camp). One day I'll get a real sauna stove with a tank on the side.
  25. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,526
    Loc:
    Carroll County, MD
    My new job is the the Maryland Public Service Commission. You ought to see the fees we change THEM. They gotta pass them on somehow...;)

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