Instructables

Not your average "save energy" advice: using less energy can save you thousands of dollars (and even some time!)

Picture of Not your average
******Shameless Self-Promotion******
Most of what I write isn't relevant to Instructables.  My main blog is here: biodieselhauling.blogspot.com
**End Digression... On to the Good Stuff**

Everyone has a reason to use less energy.
-For the environmentalist, obviously, all forms of energy have some ecological impact, and the ones we use the most (oil and coal) happen to be the ones which are most destructive.
-For the patriotic, using less energy means less dependence on foreign oil (and natural gas).
-For the selfish (I don't mean that in a bad way), it means lower bills, and therefor more money in your bank account (or cash under your mattress) that you can spend on other things.

Using less energy is definitely a win all around.
And yet, as much talk as the idea gets lately, few seem to be very serious about it.

There are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of articles consisting of tips and tricks to conserve energy and be a little more ecological.
While they have plenty of valid ideas, a great many of the most common suggestions are things which either:
1) cost a whole lot of money upfront (with a promise of saving money in the long run), making them impractical for most people - things like "buy a hybrid" or "replace older appliances with Energy Star models; or
2) are tiny steps which will save an insignificant amount of energy.  You may as well do these things, but you aren't going to see reflected on your next bill, and they aren't going to change the world - things like "clean your air filter" or "turn up the thermostat a few degrees" or "keep your car washed for less wind resistance".

These suggestions seem to be geared towards a very specific demographic, implying that being "green" is limited to middle class families who can afford to be.
In reality, the change to be more environmentally friendly means spending much LESS money than the typical American consumer; not only in the long run, but upfront as well.

I will not suggest that you buy a new hybrid or turn down the heat a few degrees.
If you take some of the steps to follow you will reduce your "carbon footprint" and have more cash in your wallet as well.
 
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nicksyl3 months ago

Just as a thought, for the light-conservation suggestion, and to answer your first sentence. There actually are people, genetically, who are night-active, and useless in the mornings. My family is among them. For decades I tried to conform, got up early and went to bed early out of sheer impossibility to work otherwise - no help. I am still a night owl. And the regime flips immediately the moment next morning is free.

The Brits have in fact identified the gene responsible. so it's now a scientific fact. :)

We'd like to conform - but alas... this suggestion is not for everyone.

JacobAziza (author)  nicksyl3 months ago
Yes, it is true that there are some people whose biological clock is offset from the rest of the world. Its considered a medical condition, delayed sleep phase disorder and it's extremely rare: 0.15% of the population. I.E. not remotely enough to explain all of the self professed night owls. For everyone other than that one fifteenth of one percent, its some combination of artificial light, life stress, and getting into a pattern.

Not getting into the medical terms, I really don't know how the 0.15% has been established. None of the numerous night owls I know, including my whole family, have never been tested or participated in any sort of statistical review. I think, like so much ese, there is more unknown than known on the subject. As I said, none of us ever (since rather young childhood) could tune the clock to "normal" if we wanted to.

To answer your phrase "self-professed night owls":

It is difficult to explain to a morning person what it's like to live your whole life "raped" from a biological clock point of view. That it is NOT a CHOICE. I imagine it's much like gender or sexual orientation: there just is no point in time when you "decide" to become one. You just ARE. It's not fashionable, it's not to be or not to be like someone... it just is. Night is the time my mind works in its clearest, most intense potential. I get the most done. I solve problem I can never solve in the fog of the pre-noon time of day. For me - the time to go to sleep if after I watch the dawn, around 5AM. :)

Think of all the "free-professions". Many of them are night owls. I think it is one of the reasons they chose these professions. I am an engineer and have worked at a plant for 18 years, before I finally understood I could change that, and step out of this forced lifestyle, hoised on me by the society.

I don't blame you if you won't understand. My step father is a morning lark, he has lived with us for 35 years and STILL thinks it is laziness and lack of willpower. :)

JacobAziza (author)  nicksyl3 months ago

I don't really understand what you are arguing. I already acknowledged, both in the original 'ible and in my comment response, that delayed sleep phase disorder is a real thing.

Here, since you have never looked it up yourself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_d...

I never claimed that you personally (or your family members) aren't part of that 0.15%. It sounds like you probably are. My point is that the vast majority of the human population - the other 99.85% - don't have delayed sleep phase disorder.
In other words, I agree with you, it isn't a choice FOR YOU. That doesn't prove that it isn't a choice for anyone.

Well, since you don't understand what I am arguing, I will explain:

1. I did look at what you mentioned.

2. I usually do not rely on Wikipedia for my information. If you look up psychology today, or some other source of information, you will find studies that show a completely different picture: that the % of people with night preferences only is reported to be about 20%, and those who prefer to go to sleep late but would prefer to get up early - about 60 %, and those who prefer only morning and early sleep - about 20%. There are about 40% of people for whom changing the rythm is a choice, but they still have a natural preference. In addition, there are changes in the clock which have to do with hormonal imbalances, age, and other things.

The percentage varies from one study to another, I have taken an average of three I read. As I said earlier - more is not known that known on the subject.

So what am I arguing? I am not. Just letting people know, if they happen to read your fine recommendations, that they need not feel like they are "non-normal" if they find it an impossibility, and that this is a very well know and far from common phenomenon. And that the ignorance about it is what makes our life so difficult.

I did not say it earlier, but thank you, btw, for your comprehensive manual. Very interesting suggestions, the rest of them. :)

nicksyl3 months ago

In Israel we heat water by solar power. Most houses and apartments have a solar boiler, connected to solar panels on the roof.

There are many countries and regions where this makes sense. We have 300 sunny days per year. On a rainy winter day we heat the water electrically. :)

Look at this picture: the view of rooftops in Petah Tiqwa, Central region of Israel:

http://www.orhasahar.co.il/image/users/230319/ftp/...

Teachable1 year ago
Nice ideas, I think those questions cover most purchases with a few exceptions.
kretzlord1 year ago
minor idealistic discrepancies aside, this is a great guide to get people thinking about how to change their lives. One addition i have (and a change i'll be making soon) is for the long commuter: Find a used scooter/moped. it might not be the coolest thing to ride, but at around 100 mpg, it's a good midpoint between bike and car when you don't have a choice in where you live. And, buying used reduces the savings/payoff time
JacobAziza (author)  kretzlord1 year ago
You have got an excellent addition there, and I have no idea why/how I missed it!
I mean, I drive a 250cc 2-wheeler myself!! Its a motorcycle, not a scooter, but it has basically the same advantages (60-80mpg, very small upfront cost, highway speed transportation)
Not only that, but one of my earliest blog posts was about why everyone who drives should own a motorbike:
http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/02/chapter-iv-in-which-i-recommend-that.html

Thanks for reminding me of it!
adunster1 year ago
Did you request and receive permission to use that image from the original artist? I'm going to speculate no as you have provided no link back to his website. I can't find the link to the exact image itself but it is very definitely an image produced by WB Skinner http://wb-skinner.deviantart.com/ I understand he has not been active online in some time but it is not appropriate to use art that he took the time and effort (not to mention hiking around Lake Superior in the middle of winter) to produce without crediting, not to mention the majority of artists do not appreciate their art being used without their permission. Legally he could take action against you if permission was not received. At the very least you would want to link back to his gallery so that your readers could enjoy the rest of his amazing photography!
JacobAziza (author)  adunster1 year ago
I could be mistaken, but I believe I got all the images which I didn't upload myself from free (for non-commercial use) image sites

I can't remember where I found that particular picture specifically, but I've never seen his site before you linked it in this comment
Ok, understood..in that case it's the fault of the free image hosting site or whoever is supplying them with images unless the artist himself allowed them (I never had the impression he was someone that just gave them out like that but I couldn't say for sure)
not all 'clipart' sites get their images legitimately unfortunately.
joshfromga1 year ago
I agree that its cheaper to travel by bus than plane, but why not drive? I would think not having to rent a car or pay for a taxi would offset the price of fuel.
JacobAziza (author)  joshfromga1 year ago
Well, like I said in the 2nd line of this step: "Even driving in a Hummer is more efficient (as long as you take along a couple of passengers)."

IF you take along two or more passengers, driving can be very efficient, and much more so than flying, but unless you drive a Prius and all 4 seats are filled, the bus usually wins for minimal environmental impact.
As for cost, if its your own car you have to factor not only gas, but also increased depreciation, maintenance, and repairs. It still may come out ahead, but you have to do the math to be sure. As a rough guide, use the IRAs number of 55 cents per mile.

Whether or not you'll need a taxi depends on where you are going on what you will do when you get there.
adunster1 year ago
To say you could save 30k when you not only weren't spending, but didn't even have 30k to begin with is a fallacy. All of your savings and tips are proportional to what a person is spending and making to begin with anyway. Not that I don't appreciate the tips, a lot of this is good ideas to think about. Just not needed to overhype it.
JacobAziza (author)  adunster1 year ago
? I am saying that an Average American, who both earns and spends far more than 30k a year, could save 30k in a year, with no significant reduction in life quality. Not that everyone could, even if they only earn minimum wage. Although, given enough time, even the minimum wage earner eventually does spend 30k (just not all in one year), so even if I had meant that, it would still be true.
Why not put a timer on an outlet set to recharge your batteries in the middle of the night, when the price of electricity has gone down? You may not save a lot on this, but for discussion's sake, it is right in line with many of these other ideas. It is also the idea behind the flywheel battery (at least for future home use)
JacobAziza (author)  stringstretcher1 year ago
Because I charge my batteries 100% solar. And the sun is down in the middle of the night ;)

I do have a timer on the outlet of my 120V electronics that use stand by power, just in case I forget to turn it off manually when I'm done.
even better!
crazyg1 year ago
i own a suzi swift and its really slow, but quicker than a bicycle.
rush_elixir2 years ago
very good advice...no not very good but ultimately very good for humans and our planet. tried for 2 years now and still going...saves me a lot of money and keeps me and my family in good health. thanks for posting...hope others will follow. God bless
schumi232 years ago
Great instructable!
I just wanted to add that heavy curtains block out cold (and probably heat too) very well.
I live in an apartment, were i have no control over amount of heating, and there is often too much. So, the other day, i opened to window a little bit before going to bed, but leaved the curtain closed over it.
In the morning, I was surprised that my room was even warmer then when i had gone to bed, despite my having opened the window!
So, i made sure that i had opened the window, as, as i parted the curtain, i was blasted with freezing cold air. The curtain had blocked all the cold at the window sill.

The next day, i learned from it, and opened another window, in front of which i don't keep the curtain closed, and it worked, i didn't wake up sweating from the heat.


So, this is just to show, that, if you don't want those Poor-mans double pane windows, which do not allow you to open windows (As temperatures vary wildly from here (15 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, to 105+ in the summer), you want to be able to open the windows, and curtains (while i think a little more expensive) are very efficient way to do that.

Note: They do have to be thick curtains. (also, i have no idea to the true cost of mine, as they are 15+ years old (I'm only 14).

Once, more, great instructable, though many of your options i will be unable, or just to unwilling (ie: dishwasher, as we don't give it a pre-rinse, or going to sleep, as i play online some, and most people are on after 11 (though if that were not the case, i would gladly go to bed earlier.(Also, your thing about only buying whats necessary... well, i sorta have to do that XD since, because of my age, i get hardly any money XD)
JacobAziza (author)  schumi232 years ago
Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely add that in.

I don't know why I didn't the first time - every day I open the curtains in the morning specifically to let in the sun's heat, and every evening I close them all to keep it in. Mine aren't especially thick, but I have both blinds and curtains, and they seem to do better than no curtains at all.

I totally understand about the online games. I recently started playing the MMORPG DCUO. Its pretty addictive. I'm sure it's helped me break a few of my own rules, going to sleep on time being the main one. At least, unlike most games, it is both free to download and there is no subscription fee...
It is too addictive... though since i discovered instructables, I've been playing less :) I play Dungeons and Dragons Online (http://my.ddo.com/referral/bkasavan)
It is a truly Great Game!

Though lets not start a Conversation on gaming on... an instructable on saving energy XD :)
Ranie-K3 years ago
Don't turn the water heater down to 110°F! Legionella will thrive in your heater -it doesn't die before 158 °F! THIS TRICK HAS KILLED PEOPLE IN THE PAST!

Did you make any of these pictures yourself? If not, did you get the picture owners' expressed permission to post them here without crediting them?



JacobAziza (author)  Ranie-K3 years ago
Dang it!

I was kind of hoping to preemptively cut off this comment by addressing it myself.

Oh well.

The whole massive outbreak of legionella that has caused people to be paranoid of water heaters set too low was in 1976, when it killed the outrageous number of 34 people!

This may sound scary when taken out of context, but you have to keep in mind the size of the population. Like I said in the original post, the annual fatality rate in the US is less than 0.001% of the population.

Nearly all of those people are elderly or have otherwise compromised immune systems, and are frequently smokers as well.

In comparison,

Alcohol kills .008% of the population each year - 8 times more.

Accidental poisining kills .01% - 10 times more.

The flu kills .017% . Not "swine" flu or "bird" flu - the plain old ordinary flu that most people catch every couple of years.

Car accidents kill .014%.

It makes no sense at all to get into a car every day and drive to work, and yet be afraid of your water heater being set to 120. Assuming you are not an elderly smoker, you are many thousands times more likely to die from driving your car than you are from legionellosis.

We can not possibly go through life trying to find every possible way to avoid every possible risk, no matter how remote. We should pick and choose those risks which are most realistic to be cautious of, although in reality most of us base what we are afraid of on what we are used to and what media hysteria is focused on. So instead of having kids walk to school (setting them up for a lifetime of obesity related health problems) we drive them to avoid the one in a hundred million chance they get abducted by a stranger.

Having a hot water heater doesn't erase your risk of coming in contact with legionella anyway. It has been found in hot tubs, pools, fountains, windshield wiper fluid tanks, commercial plumbing systems, humidifiers, and air conditioners.

Most particularly humidifiers, which have a warm supply of stagnant water which is open to the air and produces a fine mist - the absolute ideal for legionel growth. You don't find warnings to never use humidifiers unless they are kept at 140 degrees. If we aren't concerned about humidifiers, it makes no sense to be concerned about water heaters - which are a closed system and have new water cycling though regularly.

If all that still doesn't allay your fears, might I suggest getting a tankless water heater, rather than heating 50 gallons of water far hotter than you need 24/7.

If your hot water tank is set at a hotter temperature, you use less of it overall... you're running more cold water to have a comfortable shower than if it were lower... you need to run mostly water from the hot-tank.
You do need to keep it reasonably high.
It helps if the tank is inside the house, like in a closet, rather than a basement...
JacobAziza (author)  smcintyre23 years ago
The heater has to maintain whatever temperature you set it to, 24/7. It takes about 25-40% more energy to maintain 160 than to maintain 110!!!

Stand-by heat losses (heat lost through the tank walls, even if all hot water taps are off) accounts for between one quarter and one half of the energy used by a tank water heater.

The reason turning the heater lower saves energy is because it reduces stand-by losses.
(This is also the reason that tankless heaters are so much more efficient)

Therefor, the fact that you mix cold water at the tap and use less hot flow in a shower does not matter.
http://www.dnr.mo.gov/energy/residential/waterheating.htm
Oh, and too... Allergies... I have to wash my stuff in hot sometimes...
140*F or 60*C is what it takes to kill allergens... and then not even all the time...

But anyway... I am the greenest person I know Because I've got the least money! :p hahaa I live on nearly nothing...
JacobAziza (author)  smcintyre23 years ago
Depends what you are allergic to. Pet dander isn't alive, so you can't "kill" it. Temperature will not help any more than regular washing.

Dust mites are killed by direct sunlight, so if you line dry your clothes (which, of course everyone should anyway) it will have the same effect as a 140 degree washing.

And yes, having no money is definitely the greenest way to go.
The trick is to maintain your lifestyle of living on nearly nothing, while having a decent income. If you can do that, you will not only be green, you will also have lots of green - as in you will become rich very quickly!
It doesn't have to be *alive* to be allergenic, and by *kill* I meant *deactivate*

The part that you're allergic to is a protein and the only way to *frag* it enough so it's not seen as an allergen my the immune system is to cook it at over 140* for animal dander.

I'm an allergy expert. :p

Line drying is very bad for allergies, since most people live in areas that aren't *real* country. In town cat dander is found everywhere and even in places cats have never been just by clothing transfer. Also in the mattresses of people that live over a mile away from cats.

If you hang clothes to dry and have any pollen or dust allergies, you're impregnating your fabric with it. Some people can't even go outside for half the summer... Luckily not the case with me.

Wasn't meaning to pick or anything. But allergens can only really be killed with ozone, and high heat. Regular washing in cool or warm water only wets the allergens and does nothing to remove them any more than blowing on them does. :p The dust mites themselves aren't all that allergenic, it's their shed skin, and dead dust they produce that is the problem for most people.
JacobAziza (author)  smcintyre23 years ago
Assuming everything you say is true (and I'm very curios about your source for saying that 140 will denature dander), then the clothes dryer would be more than enough to both kill dust mites and "deactivate" dander.

Also, washing does a lot to remove allergens: it washes them away! (Incidentally, ozone will not denature existing proteins - it could kill living dust mites, but it won't do anything for dander)

Either way, still no need for overly hot water, given that you are already using a clothes dryer.
just use a tank-less water heater and you don't have to heat the water 24/7. they are not that expensive either. I was so surprised it was under 150 on ebay!! :) I think you are both on the same side.
God Bless!!
JacobAziza (author)  love4pds2 years ago
I agree with you 100%

I have a tankless heater, and I recommend them to everyone.

The suggestion to just turn it down a bit is something one can do immediately for no money, but instant water heaters are definitely the long-term solution
Just look it up. That's the degree that destroys the protein. It's easy to find references.
Ozone is very well known to destroy allergens. It is used directly on dogs and cats to make them more acceptable for mildly allergic humans. The main thing I use it for is dander and pesticide removal. It binds to the proteins and then as it turns back into oxygen, it pulls the molecule apart, rendering it ineffective/useless... it does the same for smoke, pollen etc.

It is indicated for use in homes that have allergic people in them... It doesn't harm living tissues, but does kill mold, like bleach for the air, only it doesn't cause cancer and is way better environmentally. (you can use ozone air or ozone water generators)

I have an energy efficient dryer, it has settings that aren't that hot too...
Allergens stick to fabrics and really, you can still have severe life threatening reactions after washing clothes in not so hot water... it washes some away, but some isn't good enough for people that really are allergic.

Really not picking on you though. :)
You don't have to agree or believe me... but if you want to know about it, it's jsut a google search away. :)
JacobAziza (author)  smcintyre23 years ago
:)
I don't think you are picking on me!

In fact, I would let this go, but this is actually pretty important, both for you and for anyone else who might stumble upon this.

I don't know everything there is to know about allergies, but I do have a background (and degree) in biology, as well as a decent understanding of chemistry.
But don't take my word for it!:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma/AN00443

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html

http://www.pennmedicine.org/health_info/allergy/000032.html

Ozone is the main component of smog. It is very very bad for your lungs. It will also do nothing to help allergies - in fact, it will probably make them worse.
The only reason manufacturers can claim it helps is because no one has sued them (yet).

As to denaturing proteins, I looked that (before I wrote last time), and found some proteins have their structure damaged at as little as 105 degrees and many by 120:

http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Co-Di/Denaturation.html

http://www.science-projects.com/catalasekinetics.htm

There are a few proteins that can withstand up to 180 degrees F. So, with a range of 105 to 180, with 120 being most common, thats why I asked where you got the specific number 140 for "allergens" (remember, not all allergens are the same - dander has totally different proteins than dust mites or pollen).

Remember that there is a lot of information on the web, but anyone can write a webpage, so a lot of it is wrong.  A forum is just as likely to have misinformation, myths, and urban legends (not to mention false marketing claims) as random people you meet day to day.  For something as important as your health, I recommend sticking with legitimate scientific sources.

Back to the main topic though: turning the clothes dryer to high heat to dry clothes for 40 minutes once a week will use much less energy overall than keeping the water heater at 140 degree for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I only get my information from the CDC WHO research studies and my own personal experience. I am obsessively scientific and have researched for 10 years, whole heartedly because I was unable to leave the house for much of that time, and I really wanted to be alive and able to do things... there's no better motivation than extreme pain and suffering.... and not being able to work. As far as specialists go, I was told to have surgery and that it wouldn't help and would make things worse, but that there's nothing else they know to do... and that I would be sick forever and die... early... that was all... so I learned... and implemented... had I done what they said I would have remained sick and died... simple as that. They gave me drugs that kill you in about 8 years... that was fun... :p

There are 2 kinds of ozone and it can save lives... just like aspirin if you use it wrong it isn't good for you. There's liquid ozones and gas ozone. the ozone in water and oils are used when antibiotics no longer work, like in cases of bedsores and immune system problems, etc. It prevents more rot and promotes healing because it's oxygen.
I use ozone in water almost daily. It kills mold and bacteria. It can stop a sinus infection just like that without any harmful effects. It's just like bleach, only it doesn't degrade fabrics or living tissue.
It is also used to purify water that would otherwise be harmful : bacteria, viruses, pathogens in general. It can make filthy water safe. It removes about 40% of fluoride, a poison that destroys the immune system, and all chlorine... it leaves the good minerals like calcium and iron,... so it's great to treat your tapwater and for aquariums.

The gas kind can cause asthma to worsen, a scratchy throat, or wheezing. You shouldn't use an ozone generator in the house full time, but it's better than breathing smoke from the neighbor or mold. It can be used in basements as an *ozone bomb* while you're out. Mold is a big problem here and just about everyone is allergic to it.

Ozone leaves a clean fresh smell like after a thunderstorm or near a waterfall because of the negative ions it produces.
The ozone adheres to allergenic substances and icky smells and as it reverts back to water and oxygen, it yanks those particles apart. It's really amazing stuff and when used properly it really does improve and save lives... but I certainly wouldn't recommend it for general use as an air purifier unless there's a specific reason for it.

I never live anywhere that I don't soak with ozone first. I can't. I spray anything and everything with it. It's safe for plants, good for skin, cures yeast problems in the sinuses, gets white mold off plant pots...and so on... it's good for stains on car seats and clothes too. I use the water to wash the pesticides off my fruit... it makes the wax on apples turn white and the if you put them in the fridge it flakes off... there's a LOT of it...

so all in all, for me ozone has been a really good thing. I can do a lot more because of it. We change cars a lot and some of them, or most of them give me full body hives, dripping nose, wheezing, polyps, and a ton of other rubbish... but after a few hours with the ozone generator, and the water on the fabric it's fine... I find that after a couple of days if I haven't done the plants/pots I have some really serious rhinitis....
I've used ozone for a bit more than 10 years. You can find all kinds of anti-ozone information, but a lot of it is either snake-oil or anti-snake-oil... and not so much based on fact.
They do use it to sterilize surgical tools in hospitals and various therapies in Europe, and they have way better outcomes than in North America with chronic disease... Pharmaceutical companies don't make money curing disease, they make money selling drugs to cope with the side effects of the disease...

An MD. has absolutely no allergy training. All the courses are post graduate... and entirely up to the person to learn or not learn about them. There is a ton of mis-information and ignorance about allergies on this continent.
Even allergists skin test for immuno-globulin reactions that can only be found with blood tests. It's pretty much useless.

Everything is an allergen, so I say allergens in general, one person's dog can kill another person... or a cat, or a peanut... The general temperature stated in most books is 140, maybe they like a bit of overkill to make sure.

Ok, water heaters right?!
Oh, and here you can only hang clotehs out to dry maybe 4mo. of the year... otherwise you have wet and frozen towel sheets! :p and town... not always space...

They Hydro-Quebec site is all into reducing consumption and says:
Improving your water heater's efficiency can be as easy as turning down your water heater thermostat (no lower than 55ºC and no higher than 60ºC) and insulating your pipes. If you have an old inefficient heater, replacing it with a more efficient unit will bring you the most long-term savings.

In addition to contributing to reduced power demand by using a three-element water heater, you can also adopt more energy efficient water heating practices that will lower your electricity bill.

Here are a few examples:

Keep your water heater’s temperature at 60°C (140°F).
Insulate hot-water pipes.
Take shorter showers and use a reduced-flow showerhead.
Use your clothes washer efficiently; for example, by doing your laundry in cold water.
Use your dishwasher efficiently—by running it only when it is full, for instance.

A tank is supposed to last 13 years.
My water tank closet is barely any warmer at all than out of the closet, so I think it's insulated well and that it's not a big issue, the dissipation thing...
If a new water heater saves an average of a dollar a month in energy costs, that amounts to a savings of $12 a year - or $156 over its expected lifespan.
Really not much for all the trouble involved. although insulating is probably a good idea and trying to not have it in an ice cold basement.... Our hot water pipes froze last year at the place we lived... and the foundation had holes to outside... so you could imagine the cost of having a hot water tank in a snow bank pretty much. From what I've found, a tank that's warm to the touch needs insulating... but then again, if you start with a decent one it helps.

The reasons I like hotter water:

1. Washing dishes in hot water actually helps to lift away and clean dirty dishes reducing the amount of time you'll have to spend scrubbing and reducing the need for extra dish cleaning products. (while saving arthritic knuckles..)

2. Killing Bacteria and Microorganisms.-Hot water is needed to effectively kill bacteria on dishes. It may seem like you can squeeze a little more use out of a dishpan full of cool water, but compromising your families exposure to bacteria is not worth the extra trouble of running a new pan of hot water.

3. Water temperatures under about 90 degrees will leave a nasty greasy film on your dishes as they dry. Grease cutting ability is severely hampered by cool water leaving your dishes less than clean. Especially plastic...

4. Drying Time- Hot water dries much more quickly on dishes than warm or cool water. Dishes can essentially dry themselves if the water temperature is right. As an added benefit, dishes will dry spot and streak free with hotter water. Many people try to conserve hot water during the rinsing part of dishwashing and just hand dry dishes. Keep in mind that pools of water and wet dishtowels are a haven for bacteria. You may have just spent a lot of effort to get dishes clean only to allow them to become contaminated.
(around 170 is the recommended temp. for dishes) Then you have ot wash the towels...

All that could sound a little paranoid, so here's this:

Bird cages can't be cleaned without really hot water,
dripped candle wax on things,
Cleaning aquarium things, or reptile tanks is really important.
If you boil water every time you need really hot water it would be crazy.
I don't want mold in my shower head and in the shower hoses... and bio-film and slime. It can really build up.

I am absolutely for conserving, etc. I am interested in Solar Water Heating and house heating, but I'm not sure I'm in the right climate for it, but it would be something of interest to look into at some point.
It says this:
Typically, a homeowner relying on electricity to heat water could save up to $500 in the first year of operation by installing a solar water heating system. The savings over time increases due to increasing electricity rates. The average solar heating system pays for itself in four to seven years.

The sun's heat has been used for decades to heat water for homes and businesses. At the turn of the 20th century, solar heated water systems were common in Southern California. Some countries have made their use mandatory. For example, all homes in Israel have solar hot water systems.

More than one-half million solar hot water systems have been installed in the United States, mostly on single-family homes. The majority of these systems are used to heat swimming pools.

Interesting.

But as far as debating allergy-related things, it's been my whole life every day for so long it's disgusting... so I'd like to stop talking about it. :)

I do laundry almost every day... our electricity bill isn't bad at all... and I cook a lot more here than the last place... the wires there were all jumbled, and I think that dissipates more than people think. Some plugs didn't work, some in an office room were on the same breaker as the fridge and counter plugs... it was just all jumbled up.

anyway... there's my piece... :p

JacobAziza (author)  smcintyre23 years ago
Ozone does not become a liquid unless it is cooled to negative (-) 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
-170
In other words, for all practical purposes, on planet earth, there is no such thing as liquid ozone, and never will be.

What you are talking about is ozonated water (water with a tiny amount of ozone dissolved in it). This is used for killing bacteria and other living things only. It WILL NOT affect allergens. No one who manufactures the things to produce ozonated water claim it does. Also, be aware that ozone does not dissolve well in water, so it is likely to precipitate out into the air. It is normally used only in rooms that are sealed and unoccupied, because "Even very low concentrations of ozone can be harmful to the upper respiratory tract and the lungs. The severity of injury depends on both by the concentration of ozone and the duration of exposure. Severe and permanent lung injury or death could result from even a very short-term exposure to relatively low concentrations."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone
I don't know where you are getting your information, and clearly you are pretty set in your decision - but I implore anyone reading these comments to actually look this stuff up for yourself. There is lots of very false information in the diatribe above. Ozone is absolutely NOT safe just because it is dissolved in water. It should NEVER be deliberately put into your sinuses!!!!!! It is harmful to skin. It is extremely harmful to breathe. US and Canadian health agencies have stated that concentration high enough to affect bacteria are harmful to humans as well. Any type of ozone generator (including water based ones) should only be used when no one is in the room, or with a respirator.

I know you aren't going to believe me, since its such a big part of your life for so long, but I want to warn anyone who finds this discussion.

-

On to hot water!

I challenge you to set your water heater to 140 degrees, and then wash your dishes by hand with the cold water tap fully off.
Actually, that is a rhetorical suggestion. I would feel really bad if you did it, and had to go to the hospital with 3rd degree burns.

140 degree water will scald human skin in as little as 1 second. Anything above 130 will cause burns. The hottest water temperature humans can stand is 120.
My point was, (and still is), that if you are mixing the hot water with cold water to make the hotter water cooler, than the hot water is hotter than it needs to be. Nobody hand washes dishes with 140 degree water. It isn't possible.
So what is the point of making it that hot if you are just going to cool it down again anyway?

140 degree water will not kill bacteria unless the item being cleaned stays at that temperature constantly for at least several hours. In order to kill bacteria within seconds (which is how long it takes to rinse dishes) the water would have to be at least 165 degrees (which would cause severe burns instantly)

-

I am a big fan of solar hot water systems.
It is an interesting fact that in the 1940s and 50s solar heaters were actually very common. Utility companies offered households free gas and electric water heaters so that they would spend more money on utilities. They bought so many free heaters that eventually people forgot about solar heaters, and now we are where we are today!
There are two main reasons I didn't cover them: for most households it is very expensive and complicated to set up a solar hot water system, so it does not fit with the theme of this instructable. The other reason is I have no personal experience with it.

oh and yes it destroys allergens, mold, yeast, and pathogens.. here are the numbers:

Bacteria Reduction percent Dwell time
Escherichia coli 99.99 5 - 13
Listeria monocytogenes 99.999 3 - 11
Salmonella typhimurium 99.99 11 - 13
Streptococcus faecalis 99.999 23 - 26
Legionella pneumophila 99.99 9 - 33
Bacillus cereus 99.999 9- 33


Viruses Dwell Time (Secs.) Reduction (%)
Bacteriophage F2 2 - 19 99.999
Norovirus 2 99.9
Hepatitus A 1 99.9
Poliovirus type 1 5 99.9
Rotavirus 63-126 99.99

Liquefied ozone kills 99.999 of common flu virus in as little as 2 seconds.

It's effective against:

Molds & Fungi
Alternaria solani
Botritys cinerea
Fusarium oxysporum
Pythium Ultimum
Rhizopus stolonifera
Sclerotium rolfsii
Vibrio clolarae
V. parahaemolyticus
Virrio ichthyodermis
Candida albicans
Saccharomyces
Chloralla vulgaris
Cryptoporidium parvum
Giardia lamblia
Giaria Muris
Nematode eggs
Algae & Yeasts
Cysts & Protozoa

* Ref: International Ozone Association - AOAC Official method 961.02; Germicidal Spray Products as Disinfectants; and Detergent Sanitizing Action of Disinfectants. FDA GRAS Notification. EPA Organic Program compliance. Data compiled from third party independent industry and academic sources, and is for general information purpose only.

___________________

To get rid of pesticides:

Pesticides
Micro-pollutants such as pesticides may occur in surface water, but also
increasingly in groundwater. Drinking-water standards for pesticides in the
European Union are strict: 0,1 μgl-1 for each compound.
Several surveys show that ozone can be very effective for the oxidation of
several pesticides. At a water treatment plant in Zevenbergen(Holland) it was
proved that three barriers (storage–ozonation–granular active carbon filter
(GAC filter)) are effective and safe enough for the removal of pesticides. From
23 tested pesticides, 50 % was degraded sufficiently (80 % degradation).
Table 1 shows an overview of pesticides that are easily degradedby ozone.

LenntechWater Treatment& Air Purification Holding B.V.

Pesticide
diazinon
dimethoate
parathion-methyl
diuron
linuron
methabenzthiazuron
metobromuron
MCPA
CPP
chlortoluron
isoproturon;
metoxuron;
vinclozolin

And:

The use of ozone in the processing of foods has recently come to the forefront as a result
of the recent approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the use of
ozone as an anti-microbial agent for food treatment, storage and processing. The FDA
approval marks a watershed event for the food industry. Prior to the approval, FDA had
approved ozone for use only as a disinfection mechanism for bottled water production
and the sterilization of bottled water lines. The recent regulatory breakthrough is a result
of efforts made by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the panel of
technical experts assembled to review and evaluate the efficacy and safety of ozone in
food processing.
It is worthy of noting that, the use of ozone in food processing has been allowed and
accepted in Japan, Australia, France and other countries for some time. There is a
plethora
of documentation and supporting literature attesting to the benefits of ozonation as a food
product sterilization methodology some of which will be reviewed herein.

washing fish in ozone makes it keep 5 days longer.

if you want to read the rest of this from the FDA it's here:
http://tersano.com/pdf/FDA_RulesRegulations.pdf

Over 2000 North American municipalities use ozone for their drinking water purification needs. The US Army uses it for portable water sanitization and the Olympics use ozone in their competition pools.

Harmless to people but deadly to bacteria, viruses and contaminants, the extra oxygen atom actively detaches and attacks them.
The ozone turns back into oxygen. Only pure oxygen and water remain after heavy duty cleaning and sanitizing has taken place.

USDA: The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) authorizes the establishment of the National List of allowed and prohibited substances. The National List identifies liquefied ozone as a substance that is allowed for use in organic crop and livestock production.8

OHSA: Regulations address the toxicity of gaseous ozone and acknowledge the safety of liquefied ozone. Strict limits are set for exposure to gaseous ozone while no limits are set for exposure to liquefied ozone even with high concentrations. Liquefied ozone is considered to pose no health or safety threats; requires no safety training, certification or reporting; and requires no protective gear or compliance for safe use.
It carries a zero health hazard, reactivity and fire hazard NFPA ratings.

if you did read all this, it's more than enough proof that ozone is more beneficial than harmful by a wide gap.
and:

We are just going to have to disagree.
It is easily dissolved in water.

Wikipedia can be wrong and I've seen it wrong a lot of times, it's editable by random people, and often incomplete.

It is used in medicine every day and is the one thing that has been a godsend for my sinus problems. I can't get by without it... even a few days and I get incredibly sick. You don't seem to have any first hand knowledge in this issue.

I don't think I'm fireproof, but I can wash dishes in hot water.
I rinse my dishes in over 140* water... I don't leave my hands under that running water, that would hurt, but you don't have to hold a place full on with both hands either.

All of your bacteria and allergy information must be quite outdated from the studies I've seen, participated in and researched. I know not everyone has first hand experience in this field, or has studied so intensely for so long.

Let's agree to disagree on this issue anyway.

Solar water heaters seem like a great idea. Just here in the winter it's dark at 4pm and doesn't get light that early in the morning either... I'm thinking you'd have to be in a place that has longer days in the winter... as for summer use, I'm sure it would work fine here... bright hot sun all day.

Winter is why we have such mold problems here!

Ps. and I'm not being mean or anything negatively toned, just for informational purposes. If you start out against something you often overlook the benefits. :p
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