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Heating bill (gripe thread)

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JBloggs

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Is it worth to just close down in these cold snaps or do you consider the guests "paying" for the heating bill that stay with you?
 

Don Draper

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For us it's not worth it to have just one room, so I'm closing on the weekdays.
 

Copperhead

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues.
 

EmptyNest

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Most around here don't have any guests right now and so have closed at least weekdays.When we were open, we didn't have enough guests during the winter to make it worth staying open..so we always closed from Nov. - Feb.
 

JBloggs

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Most around here don't have any guests right now and so have closed at least weekdays.When we were open, we didn't have enough guests during the winter to make it worth staying open..so we always closed from Nov. - Feb..
It is a chicken and egg scenario. $700 bill arrived today and Dh thinks of it as guests paying the bill (toward the bill), but every 2 degrees upstairs hikes it up that much more. We still have snow on the ground after 3 weeks.
Downstairs here we have it at our temp no matter what and secondary heat if needed. I will have to make a command decision on this. We get anniversaries and business guests - greatly reduced rates in winter months and this winter will NOT warm up at all. Heat pumps are so ineffective when it drops below freezing.
 

Morticia

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Interesting that you bring this up. I was just doing a comparison between 2009 and 2006 (a GOOD year, occupancy-wise) and there is relatively NO difference in our consumption of fuel oil (heating source for water and building).
It appears that GUESTS do not use a lot of heating oil above what is required to keep the building from freezing.
It really depends on your system, tho. I can heat the rooms indivdually and heat the common areas separately. So, one room means the common areas are heated, but only one guest room. If I had to heat ALL of the building for one room, I might have to think about that. But, we do this come Feb and thru Mar and Apr and into May. And it doesn't seem to make any difference in fuel oil consumption. (approx 1800 gals vs 1700 gals. Not even enough to care about over a year's time.)
Keep in mind that HEATING is what I'm set up to do. Now COOLING is a whole other kettle of fish. I'm not set up for cooling.
 

Morticia

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
 

JBloggs

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2 heat pumps here we have a/c on many times from April through Oct and our bill with guests in and a/c buzzing on two levels is never more than $300 per month for all electrical. We are tight on everything tho, high eff bulbs, we don't leave lights burning everything is on timers on the property - even our sign is dusk to dawn and energy eff lighting. A/C is nothing in comparison to the heat pump electrical. I blocked off midweek rest of Jan and Feb. I feel better about it now.

Once again PO's dufuses this was a new system when we moved in - they COULD have made it worthwhile when they redid the whole thing. They had NO CLUE!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
 

Morticia

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
 

Don Draper

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
.
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
 

Morticia

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
.
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
.
Any room that is not near the hot water tank is already waiting. As an example, I can brush my teeth, take my meds (which is kind of involved) and sort laundry while I'm waiting for the hot water to reach my shower. At this time of year, when the building is basically cold, that 'hot' water lasts not as long as my shower. It gets progressively less hot the longer I'm there.
We will definitely do the research. Last thing I want to do is get this all set up only to find out it doesn't work!
The other option is solar pre-heating of the water. We have a nice chunk of south-facing roof that is unshaded year round. Gomez just took a certification class to do the installations so we'll have an in-house service tech! For that, we can get grant money.
That also requires some 'backup' work as the power goes out here frequently and if the system is fully heated there needs to be an 'outlet' for the excess heat and that is generally powered electrically.
 

Don Draper

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
.
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
.
Any room that is not near the hot water tank is already waiting. As an example, I can brush my teeth, take my meds (which is kind of involved) and sort laundry while I'm waiting for the hot water to reach my shower. At this time of year, when the building is basically cold, that 'hot' water lasts not as long as my shower. It gets progressively less hot the longer I'm there.
We will definitely do the research. Last thing I want to do is get this all set up only to find out it doesn't work!
The other option is solar pre-heating of the water. We have a nice chunk of south-facing roof that is unshaded year round. Gomez just took a certification class to do the installations so we'll have an in-house service tech! For that, we can get grant money.
That also requires some 'backup' work as the power goes out here frequently and if the system is fully heated there needs to be an 'outlet' for the excess heat and that is generally powered electrically.
.
My parents installed solar panels this summer. We looked into it here but our exposure is not due south so it wouldn't work. They are happy with the results and are getting a hefty tax break based on the current incentives so they are happy with it.
We found the best source of info when we were looking was a local home show last winter. The reps not only knew about their systems but also the current federal and state tax incentives so it was nice to get all the info in one spot and not have to chase it. Plus we found many local, mom and pop type sellers who did not work on commission and they seemed very interested in getting you the best match for your set-up, so they would tell you if their product wouldn't work and if not whose product would work for you.
 

egoodell

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
.
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
.
Rupert said:
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
Are they gas or electric?
RIki
 

Innkeeper To Go

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
.
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
.
Any room that is not near the hot water tank is already waiting. As an example, I can brush my teeth, take my meds (which is kind of involved) and sort laundry while I'm waiting for the hot water to reach my shower. At this time of year, when the building is basically cold, that 'hot' water lasts not as long as my shower. It gets progressively less hot the longer I'm there.
We will definitely do the research. Last thing I want to do is get this all set up only to find out it doesn't work!
The other option is solar pre-heating of the water. We have a nice chunk of south-facing roof that is unshaded year round. Gomez just took a certification class to do the installations so we'll have an in-house service tech! For that, we can get grant money.
That also requires some 'backup' work as the power goes out here frequently and if the system is fully heated there needs to be an 'outlet' for the excess heat and that is generally powered electrically.
.
Doing lots of research really is the key.
It's not just the issue of the size of the on-demand. It's the distance.
If it's going to be moving the hot water more than a room or so away, you might find it best to also get small pumps and 2-gallon hot water heaters along the route.
The little 2-gallon heaters bring hot water fast while the pump moves the water from the on-demand system more quickly than the venting alone can do. By the time the 2-gallon is empty, hot water's there from the on-demand. No delay at all.
This particular workaround works really well as long as you can find a good quiet (read: insulated) spot for the pumps, which make some noise.
 

Copperhead

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
.
We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
.
Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
.
Any room that is not near the hot water tank is already waiting. As an example, I can brush my teeth, take my meds (which is kind of involved) and sort laundry while I'm waiting for the hot water to reach my shower. At this time of year, when the building is basically cold, that 'hot' water lasts not as long as my shower. It gets progressively less hot the longer I'm there.
We will definitely do the research. Last thing I want to do is get this all set up only to find out it doesn't work!
The other option is solar pre-heating of the water. We have a nice chunk of south-facing roof that is unshaded year round. Gomez just took a certification class to do the installations so we'll have an in-house service tech! For that, we can get grant money.
That also requires some 'backup' work as the power goes out here frequently and if the system is fully heated there needs to be an 'outlet' for the excess heat and that is generally powered electrically.
.
There are also individual units for on the spot hot water...I can't remember what the offical name is, but they go in at each location hot water is needed. We looked at this when we were doing our remodel 10+ years ago and at that time all of this technology was still way too new and too expensive. Today there are more options and more advanced too. I think we will be looking at this again in the next couple of years.
Keep us informed in your research.
 

Copperhead

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
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Yes, the savings are coming in better than even we expected...I sure hope the summer savings are good too. We could even out quicker than we predicted.
 

Morticia

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We have just changed out our 3 large central units that handled the whole house to help with these issues. FYI we are all electric here. After talking with several AC/Heat specialists, we did the following:
Common area on Main floor - Common rooms, kitchen and family guest room - a energy star central unit.
Second floor - all guest rooms - new individual split system units sized to control each room size comfortably - off when not in use, timer if guests out most of day to reset to cool/heat prior to return (if they are in and out, unit is kept on)
Private family area - energy star central unit
Savings - October reduced kWh use by 1500 over same time last year, room nights rented within 2-3 (note our Oct. temps are usually mild, low heat only at night)
Nov - reduced kWh use by 2300 over same time last year and 20 MORE room nights!!!
Dec. bill is due soon so we shall see if the trend continues..
THAT is an amazing amount of savings! Good for you. At MY electricity rates, you just saved over $600 in 2 months! We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
.
Morticia said:
We're thinking of going to on demand hot water as that will probably save us quite a bit. But, I need to do a comparison first.
Right now I am essentially heating and reheating 80 gals of water every couple of hours for no reason. That goes on well into spring.
On-demand hot water is definitely a big energy saver. The downsides are the installation costs which are quite high, due to the need for 1" copper pipes (instead of the more common 3/4" pipes) and the logistical need to place the water heater fairly close to the bathroom. Sharing an on-demand heater with more than 1 room works but generally requires some adjustments to make it work well.
Still, after the initial outlay, the immediate monthly savings are pretty impressive.
I've had them installed at a few places and have been pleased each time, although it took a few years to recover the upfront expenses.
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We would be sharing the hot water among all the rooms, the laundry and the kitchen. We would probably have a separate unit for ourselves. Definitely needs to be properly sized!
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Be sure to do some research. What we've seen with a brand new B&B here who did a total gutting and re-do is that the on-demand system is NOT good for a B&B situation. You have to wait MANY minutes (we're talking 5-10 full minutes) to get hot water. Guests are not at all happy.
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Any room that is not near the hot water tank is already waiting. As an example, I can brush my teeth, take my meds (which is kind of involved) and sort laundry while I'm waiting for the hot water to reach my shower. At this time of year, when the building is basically cold, that 'hot' water lasts not as long as my shower. It gets progressively less hot the longer I'm there.
We will definitely do the research. Last thing I want to do is get this all set up only to find out it doesn't work!
The other option is solar pre-heating of the water. We have a nice chunk of south-facing roof that is unshaded year round. Gomez just took a certification class to do the installations so we'll have an in-house service tech! For that, we can get grant money.
That also requires some 'backup' work as the power goes out here frequently and if the system is fully heated there needs to be an 'outlet' for the excess heat and that is generally powered electrically.
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Doing lots of research really is the key.
It's not just the issue of the size of the on-demand. It's the distance.
If it's going to be moving the hot water more than a room or so away, you might find it best to also get small pumps and 2-gallon hot water heaters along the route.
The little 2-gallon heaters bring hot water fast while the pump moves the water from the on-demand system more quickly than the venting alone can do. By the time the 2-gallon is empty, hot water's there from the on-demand. No delay at all.
This particular workaround works really well as long as you can find a good quiet (read: insulated) spot for the pumps, which make some noise.
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Rats. We have no space 'along the way'. Those pumps would have to be IN guest rooms. That's ok, solar preheat may be the way to go.
 

gillumhouse

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I have the electricity on in the rooms upstairs now that our temps are below 25 and will keep them on low until we are back in the 40s. It is cheaper to pay the electriv bill that to redo the plaster and I do not want frozen water pipes so the bathrooms are a tad higher than low.
2008 was a banner year for me occupancy-wise. BUT gas and electric prices went WAY up for 2009. They have gone back down a bit now. This is raw data - no taxes added. (and as DH gets older, the thermostat gets nudged a but higher. Last winter we had weeks of single digit and below Zero.
Month[/td]2009Gas BTU[/td]2009Gas Cost[/td]2009 KWH[/td]2009 KWH Paid[/td][/tr]January[/td]23[/td]318.73[/td]1942[/td]147.94[/td][/tr]February[/td]24[/td]332.24[/td]1715[/td]135.27[/td][/tr]March[/td]19[/td]264.69[/td]1438[/td]114.06[/td][/tr]April[/td]8[/td]116.08[/td]1296[/td]103.20[/td][/tr]May[/td]2[/td]35.02[/td]1196[/td]99.54[/td][/tr]June[/td]0[/td]8.00[/td]797[/td]65.01[/td][/tr]July[/td]1[/td]21.51[/td]411[/td]35.36[/td][/tr]August[/td]0[/td]8.00[/td]748[/td]60.67[/td][/tr]September[/td]0[/td]8.00[/td]579[/td]47.87[/td][/tr]October[/td]2[/td]35.02[/td]992[/td]79.16[/td][/tr]November[/td]6[/td]78.37[/td]412[/td]35.22[/td][/tr]December[/td]12[/td]148.75[/td]1737[/td]135.59[/td][/tr]Total[/td]97[/td]1,374.41[/td]13263[/td]1,058.89[/td][/tr]Month[/td]2008Gas BTU[/td]2008 Gas Cost[/td]2008 KWH[/td]2008 KWH Paid[/td][/tr]January[/td]16[/td]213.61[/td]1413[/td]96.51[/td][/tr]February[/td]16[/td]213.61[/td]2055[/td]138.64[/td][/tr]March[/td]15[/td]211.21[/td]121[/td]11.93[/td][/tr]April[/td]8[/td]110.30[/td]947[/td]66.05[/td][/tr]May[/td]2[/td]32.83[/td]191[/td]16.51[/td][/tr]June[/td]1[/td]19.91[/td]450[/td]33.48[/td][/tr]July[/td]1[/td]19.91[/td]1117[/td]77.32[/td][/tr]August[/td]0[/td]7.00[/td]690[/td]49.42[/td][/tr]September[/td]1[/td]19.91[/td]648[/td]46.66[/td][/tr]October[/td]1[/td]21.21[/td]926[/td]64.96[/td][/tr]November[/td]4[/td]62.04[/td]1224[/td]84.58[/td][/tr]December[/td]23[/td]318..73[/td]1862[/td]126.61[/td][/tr]Total[/td]88[/td]931.54[/td]11644[/td]812.67[/td][/tr]Month[/td]2007Gas BTU[/td]2007 Gas Cost[/td]2007 KWH[/td]2007 KWH Paid[/td][/tr]January[/td]6[/td]75.84[/td] [/td][/tr]February[/td]11[/td]133.20[/td]4203[/td]287.33[/td][/tr]March[/td]9[/td]111.81[/td][/tr]April[/td]5[/td]64.37[/td]3805[/td]260.88[/td][/tr]May[/td]1[/td]18.47[/td][/tr]June[/td]0[/td]7.00[/td]1298[/td]94.23[/td][/tr]July[/td]0[/td]7.00[/td]961[/td]70.89[/td][/tr]August[/td]1[/td]18.47[/td]622[/td]44.70[/td][/tr]September[/td]0[/td]7.00[/td]669[/td]47.78[/td][/tr]October[/td]1[/td]18.47[/td]768[/td]54.26[/td][/tr]November[/td]4[/td]58.65[/td]1296[/td]88.81[/td][/tr]December[/td]11[/td]149.04[/td]2198[/td]147.84[/td][/tr]Total[/td]49[/td]669.32[/td]15820[/td]1,096.72[/td][/tr][/table]
 

gillumhouse

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When I was doing the bathroom reno I was talking to an insurance man in town saying I was thinking of getting an on-demand hot water for the guest batrooms. He told me he had one and invited me to turn on the hot water in the office bathrrom. It was a tad warmer than tepid and he told me that was as hot as it gets. They may have done some inprovements since 2006 but that was NOT hot enough for anyone who wanted a HOT shower.
IF I had been able to d owhat I wanted in MY bathroom, I would have been able to ruen the water heater around to light it from the bathroom instead of the kitchen and would have been able to install a second water heater. I think I have a 50 gal and since it is gas, it is pretty good at keeping up with demand - as long as DH does not try to do dishes when it is guest shower time.
 
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