We continue now with our examination of the Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report we received for our house under the ecoENERGY Grant program.
According to Home Depot , this next recommendation is ‘…about 4 times more cost effective than a solar water heater’.
Unfortunately, the report did not have an explanation of what a drain water heat recovery (DWHR), so we used our favourite Internet search engine to find out. And, boy, are we glad we did.
This energy conservation device has no moving parts (we like that), consumes no energy itself (we like that even more), requires no maintenance and is sold by many vendors with multi-year (four or more) warranty.
It’s a simple concept. Hot water, say from a shower, leaves the house at around 37 degrees Celsius through a vertical drain pipe. Cold water at around 11 degrees Celsius will come into the hot water tank from the outside to replace the hot water used during the shower. This device is simply a copper drain pipe (through with the used hot water from say the shower leaves the house) with a much smaller copper pipe (through which the colder water comes into the house) wrapped around it.
As the hot used water leaves the house, it warms up the copper piping which then will warm up the incoming cold water to around 25 degrees Celsius. This means that the hot water tank no longer needs to heat the incoming water from 12 degrees to 37 degrees, but from 25 degrees to 37 degrees (Celsius). The hot water tank does less work, saving energy to heat the water.
The cost is between $600 and $800, plus sales tax at Home Depot (and possibly other big box stores), including drain connectors, plus installation cost.
We like this idea a lot because of its simplicity. The grant is only $200 (Federal / Provincial combined) vs the $400 combined grant for the tank-less water heater which costs about twice as much (hence why the larger grant for the DWHR.
What is not clear to me is can you use both together? I don’t think so, but I will follow up with the ecoENERGY Grant company and report back to you.
To continue with the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 8.
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