Winter is not the time for your water heater to go kaput…The other day my contractor friend, Mike, dropped by my place to borrow a couple of tools. When I opened my storage closet, I heard a gasp of horror behind me. I thought he was going to lecture me about the mess, which didn’t seem fair, as I’d cleaned it only months and months ago, so I was shocked to hear: “Is that really your hot water heater?” But not as shocked as I was when I saw what he was talking about. The poor thing was terminal. Rust spots poked right through the enamel like zits on a prepubescent Transformer, but I couldn’t quite tell if there was water leaking so I poked at them – “Don’t touch those!” Mike screamed.
I’m a home expert. These things aren’t supposed to happen to me. But they do, just like they happen to everybody – just gotta cope. I try to get something out of these migraine-inducing domestic disasters, by using them as a chance to go Green at a manageable pace. When that appliance finally tanks, at least look at your more sustainable alternatives. What you find may be surprising.
Mike helped me install a tankless on demand hot water heater (they have been really big in Europe for years and have now made their way across the ocean). It ran a little more expensive than a standard water heater, at $550, instead of $350 but by instantly heating the water I use as I use it, rather than endlessly refilling that tank, it does wonders for both my electricity bill and the water table. It also allows me to fill my tub when I’m in the mood for a luxurious soak, something impossible with that old clunker. Best of all, it’s only the size of a large dictionary, so that extra $200 also bought me a whole new closet!