This September, Nantucket Energy is offering a special home maintenance package for only $99. The maintenance package is to ensure that heating systems run at the highest effeciency, resulting in saving money.
“Heating water is about 20% [of a home’s] annual energy cost. Switching to propane or gas can save homeowners money,” says Jim Hitzemann, chairman of the Propane Education & Research Council’s Homebuilder Subcommittee. “Remodelers can show substantial savings to their customer over electricity.” Replacing your electric or oil-fired hot water heater with a propane-fired tankless hot water heater can save up to 20% on your hot water heating bill. Common hot water heaters in most homes use energy all day long to keep the water in the tank hot, usually at about 120 degrees. But tankless water heaters sit idly, using NO energy, until a hot water faucet is turned on somewhere in the house. The unit comes to life automatically, instantly heating the water to the desired temperature as long as the faucet, or dishwasher, or washing machine is on. When demand for hot water stops, the unit shuts off. While there are electric tankless hot water heaters, propane units are more efficient and quicker to heat up. “
Using gas in hot water heating instead of electricity means that the recovery time is faster,” says Phil Marks of Nantucket Energy. “With a much lower cost for fuel, you actually get a lot more hot water.”
Once you commit to propane energy, consider replacing your old oil-fired furnace or installing a new gas-fired heater in new construction. And if you are building new and not just remodeling, think about designing radiant floor heating into your structure, particularly in bathrooms. This requires tubing under the floor that distributes hot water and heats the room from the floor up when the thermostat calls for it. According to the Department Of Energy, “…the entire surface of the floor radiates about the same amount of heat as the human body does, making the occupant feel warm even though the air temperature might be only 65 degrees.”
Martin Cumpston of Consolidated Plumbing Industries says, “Propane can provide the BTUs, in a tank-type or instantaneous-type water heater, to run a radiant heating system for any remodeling project in any climate. Propane, coupled with the complete and easy-to-install products now available, makes radiant heat a viable and affordable option.”
Nantucket Energy will be pleased to refer you to plumbing contractors who can help you with designing, sizing, and installing your propane systems. Your accountant may be able to give you advice on any current tax credits or rebates that may are available for energy-saving improvements this year.