by Mariana Ashley
In today’s economic climate, saving on household expenses is a top priority for many Americans. While many personal finance websites rightly advise consumers to save money on energy costs by implementing habits like turning off lights when not in use, there are more effective ways of reducing both your carbon footprint and your energy bill.
General Electric has addressed one great leak in the energy sinking ship with its recent release of the GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater. Turning its focus to energy-efficient appliances, GE reported a stronger desire to emphasize American manufacturing with the opening of its new hybrid water heater plant in Appliance Park in Kentucky, the first of its kind to open in the region in over 50 years. But what about the hybrid water heater? How does it function, and how will it help consumers?
According to a General Electric press release, the GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water Heater is the first ENERGY-STAR qualified water heater ever manufactured in the United States. As opposed to a traditional water heater, which operates using radiant energy, the GeoSpring absorbs ambient air to heat the water. This process requires much less energy to operate as compared to the energy needed for operation of radiant water heaters, making the GeoSpring a much more economical choice for consumers.
One concern that many homeowners have about such appliances that require less energy is performance. Many products, which tout their energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, are simply not as effective as their traditional counterparts. However, the GeoSpring is designed such that it holds and heats as much water as a standard 50 gallon hot water heater. One feature that the GeoSpring offers that most hot water heaters don’t is the ability for users to select water temperature, in one-degree gradations between 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another feature that potential GeoSpring purchasers should look forward to is the heater’s ability to adjust for periods when water is not being used. For example, you can set the GeoSpring to ‘Vacation Mode,’ which will automatically reduce the temperature of the water to 50 degrees, and then will begin heating water anew one day prior to your return. For those concerned that the GeoSpring may entail a complicated installation process, the hybrid hot water heater was designed to fit the same installation components as traditional hot water heaters.
In terms of energy cost savings, General Electric states that the GeoSpring can save customers on average about $300 dollars a year, considering a standard water heater takes over $500 dollars to operate annually, whereas the GeoSpring uses about $200 dollars worth in energy over one year. What’s more, the GeoSpring uses about 60% less energy than does a traditional hot water heater.
The GE General Product Manager of Water Products Stephen Downer noted the lengths that the GeoSpring takes to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions are impressive. Downer estimated that if half of consumers currently using a traditional hot water heater opted for the GeoSpring instead, over four billion pounds of carbon emissions would be taken out of the picture annually. This, Downer proffered, would be the equivalent of avoiding emissions from 360,000 U.S. cars every year.
Starting in March, the GeoSpring will be available in popular retail stores like Lowe’s and Sears. Although the product will retail at a little over $1,000, the heater should pay for itself in savings in approximately two and half years.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.
Water meter photo via Shutterstock