Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Taming your Water Heater

Also this week, notes on microwaves and recycling…

TO Do This Week

Taming Your Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are the way of the future. They can deliver as much as 200 gallons (757 litres) per hour and never run out. Why? They’re not storage units. Rather, they burn gas only when you need hot water.

What’s the Big Deal? Normally your tank uses energy 24/7 to keep water heated. As a consequence, the loss in energy can be as high as 3 - 4 % every hour. What a waste! With tankless water heaters, your cost savings can be as high as 50%.

As you plan to invest in tankless or other alternative water heaters in the future, you may want to consider ways in which you can make what you have more efficient in order to save considerably on GHG emissions and money.

Tips from Earth Easy:

• Insulate water heater. If your water heater feels warm to the touch, you will save money and have more hot water by adding more insulation. here's how (just scroll down).
• Lower settings on water heater. Experiment within the 120-140 range to find the lowest setting which supplies you with enough hot water.
• Wrap water pipes leading from the water heater. here's how

A quick note on microwaves. Are they as safe as people say they are? Do they change the molecular structure of you food? Should you give it a wide berth when it’s cooking your food?

According to and the experts they interviewed, microwaves don’t change the protein structure of your food or cause cancer. However, you do have to be careful about unevenly cooked food and must never use the microwave as a sterilizer for baby bottles.

Some are not convinced that microwaves are as safe as others say. The advantage to using one is that it can help reduce your energy consumption. But if microwave cooking is against your religion, I encourage you to listen to your heart or do some further investigation.

I was at my riding’s Green Party Annual General Meeting this past Saturday, and who should be there talking about waste reduction but Rod Muir, Waste Diversion Campaigner of the Sierra Club of Canada. I asked him if all the stuff we put in the recycling bin actually gets recycled because God only knows if it just sits in some warehouse somewhere. He assured me that the city recycles all the stuff it claims it can recycle.

Unsure what your city can recycle? Visit your local government’s website and click on its waste management department. They should have a list on the site or on a PDF file for you to review.

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