Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saving Money the Expensive Way

Several months ago, we bought a new electric hot water heater from Sears.  It's a GE GeoSpring hybrid water heaterWe bought it at Sears, shoved it into the back of Handy Man's car (with the back seats down, Handy Boy was at school), and took it home.  Rob was able to hook it up to our existing plumbing using some of his tools and pipes.

This info is from the brochure about the hot water heater: GE says that this product can "reduce water heater operating costs up to 62% and save $320 per year."  It also says that "with the combination of tax incentives, Energy Star rebates and operating cost savings, the GeoSpring hybrid water heater typically pays for itself in three to four years."

The hot water heater cost $1,600.  We are making payments on a 0% interest Sears card.  We've paid a big chunk of it down, and we anticipate it will be paid off in a couple more months.  When we get our tax refund, we'll be getting a $500 credit for buying the hot water heater, bringing our cost down to $1,100. 
I know, this sounds like an expensive way to save money, but here's what we figure:  we used to use an oil tank to heat our hot water.  As many of you probably know, using oil for heat or hot water is super expensive these days.  The cost of oil keeps going up, up, up.  This is one of the reasons we bought a pellet stove for our main heat.

We did some math, and figured that even after paying for the new hot water heater; we'd be saving a lot of money on heating oil in the long run.  Plus, it helps to lower our dependence on oil, which I think is a good thing. 

Rob also bought some foam doo-dads to insulate the copper pipes, to keep them warmer and save even more energy.  (You like that term? I sure do.)  

Here they are.  You can buy these very inexpensively at stores like Lowe's.  They have a slit in them, so they are easy to slip onto the pipes.  

Using this new hot water heater has added only $10 - $15 to our monthly electric bill.  That is a lot less than the cost of heating our hot water using an oil tank.

Some other features of this heater include: A Hybrid Mode; which uses less energy while still experiencing quick recovery times.  It also has a High Demand Mode, for when you have more guests in the house.  Another cool feature is the Vacation Setting: You can set it for how many days you'll be away, and the system will drop down to 50 degrees F while saving energy.  This also prevents water from freezing, which is great in cold climates like ours.

Also, in case anyone is wondering, the hot water heater makes a low hum; it's not very noisy at all.  It's in the basement, but we can barely hear it on the first floor. 

We are loving that our house no longer uses oil for heat or hot water! Woo hoo!  The brochure estimates that the water heater pays for itself in three to four years.  Handy Man estimates that ours will pay for itself even sooner than that.

Have you tried to save money by spending money? ;-)  You have to weigh all the options, and do some calculating, but sometimes, upgrading an appliance or updating your heating system can save money, especially if you plan to stay in your home for a while.

Please note: We were not paid by anyone for this post.  Handy Man did a lot of online research and chose this hot water heater for us. 


Jenny Harris said...

What a great thing for your home - definitely agree with your thinking on the "spend money to save money"!

Nicole said...

Okay, I *need* this water heater. I have been so disappointed to find that we can't have gas run to our house, and have wanted to find something more efficient for our hot water. I just hadn't gotten around to searching out alternatives, so thanks Handy Man for doing the research for me!

Atticmag said...

First of all, that's the best looking hot water heater I've ever seen. Most are soooo ugly. It's super to be oil-free. Wish we were -- meanwhile we're considering solar panels. I can insulate the copper pipes, meanwhile. Great idea and a terrific post. Thanks for stopping by. Jane F

Emily said...

Oh, yes! It seems we are always spending money to save money... $3500 on a heat pump and new furnace... with rebates, tax incentives, etc. (free installation due to my dad and bro being in the buisness) it's costing us less than $500, which we should save in heating the first year in saving on gas... but that's a hard bullet to bite! Our water heater is next... do you like your water heater? does it take a long time to get hot water to the faucets in your house? I LOVE the set back feature on the water heater! We have one on our thermostat and it definately saves us money!!

Thanks for the great post!

Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy said...

You were one of the only 2 that signed up on my What would Sandy Suggest" post to be featured.
Random.org picked #2 which was you!
If you would like to participate... I need several pics of a room or space you would like help organizing. Wall space, floor space... window and closets...etc.
Once I get those.. I can let you know when I will have you featured with what I would suggest for your space! The post will go up in the am.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Atticmag,it *IS* a great looking water heater, isn't it? I told Handy Man it looks like a spaceship, LOL!

Emily, yes the rebates & incentives are awesome right now. Handy Man put this new hot water heater in a more central area of the basement; so the hot water reaches the sinks much faster. It's awesome! The old hot water heater was waaaaaaay in the corner, away from everything!

Momma Button said...

Just popped over from the Button box. How lucky are you to have a 'handy man'! My husband tends to get frustrated.....and then.... Any way, thank you for the kind comment you left on my blog. I'll for sure be following you.

Anonymous said...

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Clean and Happy said...

Since reading this post almost a month ago I have myself convinced that we have/Need/Want one. We use an 22 year old inefficent and lond oil furnance. We also use oil for our heaters as back up but use wood 95% of the winter. I guess we have to investigate what we would go through to change our back up heat. Is the model you have a water pump too or just a water heater?
Thanks for such great blog posts!

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