We've been without power a lot this winter, around two weeks cumulatively. Not being able to take a hot shower for days on end is quite the inspiration to get things done. My Charles and I had put replacing the water heater on the to-do list for this year. The puppy was original to the house. The house was built in 1977. That's a long time for something that sucks electricity to heat water. However, if it hadn't have been for the amazingly drawn out power outages this season, we may have put it off a while. With all of the work at The Concord House, it's easy to procrastinate on our own stuff. Luckily, fate took a hand in the form of an empty propane tank that made the house smell like there was a gas leak. While the technician was out making sure the pressure in the lines was still where it should be, I followed him around and asked questions. He told me that AmeriGas, our propane company, has deals on tanks. (I didn't receive any compensation for this. I'm just letting you know the steps.)
If you own an electric water heater and replace it with one from them, you basically lease the heater until five years goes by, at which point, you own it. If you stop purchasing propane from them within the first year, you pay them 100% of the price of the heater, at which point, you own it. During year two it's 80%, three years 60%, four years 40%, and five years 20%.
So after five years with a company with whom I have no plans of leaving I have a free water heater? Heck yeah, sign me up! We still paid for labor and extra parts, but what a deal! The men who came to install it were friendly and funny. They had some struggles with the house, finding things interestingly done, rather like what my Charles and I have found in our own work, but nothing that was too difficult.
Four hours later, we had a new water heater, energy efficient and larger than the last one. We've been using it for a week now, and I've gotta say, it's glorious. I no longer run out of hot water before the end of my shower, and the next time the power goes out (because it will -- probably sooner than later) we'll still have hot water. What bliss!
Getting a new water heater was also a benefit for our electrical bill and not just in the way you think. While they were hooking up the vent, one of the workers found that a duct was loose in the furnace, so every time we've used the heater, we've been heating the attic. A furnace guy will be here on Thursday to fix that little issue.
It's easy to take hot water for granted, at least until it's taken away over and over again. I hope that I'll continue to realize what a blessing that hot shower is.
Since I mentioned The Concord House, I thought I should give you a quick update. My Charles has had a lot of work in trying to get the house cleared. It isn't empty yet. He's been going down there while I've been working on things here, so I haven't gotten any photos. The bathrooms are being gutted and replaced even as I type. We plan on ripping out the carpet, cleaning the hard wood floors that my Charles has found beneath the worn out carpeting, and painting every room. When that begins, I promise I'll share photos. Lots of them.
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