A Little More Now, A Lot More Later

I just read Russ Bowman’s most recent blog “Money For Nothing”. I must admit that I applaud the things he and his family are doing to cut back on the cost of living. Like Russ, I too grew up in the time before cable and satellite TV, when paying to watch TV sounded as absurd as paying for a bottle of water. His blog motivated me to write my own blog about a recent project that I had worked on at home.

One night in late September 2011, I made a trip to the basement to retrieve something from our deep freeze. Only on this particular trip, I noticed that our water heater had turned into a water “feature”. The tank had sprung a leak and water was bubbling up around the exhaust pipe, over the outer sheet metal, down to the floor and over to the floor drain. I could see my future was going to be filled with a plumbing project.

After breaking the bad news to my wife, I went to the computer and started looking around for water heaters. It was at this point I remembered a little promise I had made to myself to check out tank less water heaters I had heard about on the radio. After a day or two of searching around, I determined that a new, standard, 75 gallon water heater exactly like the one I had was going to run about $950.00. I could pick one up at the local big box home improvement center and have it installed in a few hours. It would be some small bit of pipe soldering, no problem. When I investigated the tank less water heater, I found, to my surprise, that the water heater itself cost about $1,000.00. But, I could not use the existing exhaust pipe as this type of water heater required a special intake/exhaust pipe that was proprietary to the water heater manufacturer. This added about another $500.00 to the cost of installation.

Do I go with the easy fix that I know isn’t going to be very energy efficient or do I take the extra time and up-front money to apply the energy efficient option by going with a tank less water heater?  After discussing with my wife the pros and cons of each one, we decided to go with the tank less option. With the tank less water heater, we knew we would qualify for a $300.00 tax credit which would offset some of the extra cost. Plus, we knew we would be using less gas. So, we knew our gas bill would be lower which would again, offset some of that extra cost. I did some quick math and figured we could recoup our extra cost within about 6 months to 1 year time frame.

After having the new water heater on line for 6 months, we had received a check from our local energy provider for the amount of $325.00. This was the amount we had over-paid for natural gas attributed to the effect of lower gas consumption due to the tank less water heater. So, in 6 months, we were able to recoup our higher initial cost for installation of the new water heater and the nice thing is we keep saving that same amount which should allow the new water heater to pay for itself in another 12 – 15 months. And to top it off, the hot water supply is truly endless when you need it.

So, what is the point of a guy concerned with compressed air products doing talking about water heaters? It is to take away the point that investing a little more investment up front will more than pay for the investment in short time. EXAIR has a huge selection of products that can help you achieve the same success with your compressed air consumption as I had and am still having with my natural gas consumption. If you have been skeptical up to this point, give us a call to let us show you how you can save up to 30% or more on your compressed air consumption.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer

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