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7..Hot water for your home

 

Some experts claim that water heating accounts for up to 25 percent of the average home's energy budget. However, these days, hot water for your home is considered essential for basic human comfort. Therefore are there ways to provide this comfort but without too much cost?

 

The picture to the left could be described as the "Fred Flintstone solution". First, switch your hot water off at the safety switch - permanently. Then place a plastic container full of water in your microwave oven for five to ten minutes. Pour the hot water into the bucket and then add cool water to suit. Using a small towel, wash yourself all over. When finished, if you want, raise the bucket above your head and let the water flow. However, if you are brave enough, you can use that water to wash your dishes!

 

Taking Fred Flintstone's idea a little further have a look at the shower and washing basin combo. The central feature of this setup is the shower / washing basin diversion tap. This allows you to switch the basin taps on so that you can fill the basin with nice warm water. You can use this water in the same manner as the bucket to the left. After you have washed yourself, turn the diversion tap so that you can take a rinse using the shower, and all at the correct temperature!

 

A combination of both these ideas, and something that may be usefull for people living in units, is the microwave water heater. It consists of a bowl which acts as a flask as well. Inside the flask is a microwave reflective material the purpose of which is to bounce around the microwaves being emitted by the antenna just above the bowl. This device would require a thermostat so that excessive heating is not allowed. The heated water would mix with cooler water coming from the top pipe. This enables the user to have a warm shower at any time without the need of a hot water tank. With a little luck, a similiar system may be on the market shortly (?). Or alternatively, go back several decades and use a gas-fired instantaneous water heater for the bathroom.

 

The photo to the right shows a later version of the "Fred Flintstone solution" shown above. The major difference between the two is the use of an electric jug to heat the water instead of placing a plastic container in the microwave; it is more safe and convenient to heat the water in the bathroom rather than in the kitchen.

 

 

But remember this, if you live in the tropics like I do, not to use the hot water and to have coolish showers during the hot and humid summers, is a real joy.

 

 

I have been using this system for some time now - about five years - and at a rough guess, I reckon that I've saved well over $A1000 in my electricity bills...and all this without any inconvenience to myself or other users.

 

 

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