Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on August 23, 2008
Water heaters are not the sexiest of appliances. They certainly don’t inspire song or poetry. And no-one would choose one to become their muse. But as the second biggest energy guzzler in your home, it’s important we know at least enough about them to make a smart choice. GE has come out with two new water heaters: the tankless and the hybrid electric. They have a great video explaining the functions of each — which means no more hiding behind illiteracy to shroud environmental ignorance.
Perky Susan Gregory, Product Manager for GE Water Heater Advanced Technologies, explains that the tankless water heater can save you 25% on your energy bill plus another 25% of carbon emissions. It’s demand activated, so you get a constant stream only when you need it. Brilliant! Why didn’t they come out with these earlier? I could have had a much happier childhood.
Earnest Jonathan Nelson, Design Manager for the hybrid electric water heater, explains his version, which is currently under development. Whereas traditional water heaters use about 4,800 kwh per year, the hybrid will only use 2,300. That’s a saving of 2,500 kwh per year — or in monetary terms, around $250. The hybrid’s energy efficient technology relies upon its ability to absorb heat from its surroundings. As it takes less energy to move heat than it does to generate it, there’s plenty of energy savings without sacrificing on the amount of hot water it can produce. A digital display allows the user to set it according to their preference. Onboard sensors can monitor ambient temperature while a “unique control algorithm” means the machine can monitor its own health and alert the user if attention is necessary. Hopefully without the HAL-like attitude.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go pen my ode to the water heater.