Thankfully my family watched a movie in the basement the other night. And also thankfully my husband fell asleep downstairs and I wisely decided to not disturb him to come up to bed. I say thankfully because that was the night our hot water heater decided to give up the ghost and start leaking gobs of rusty water all over the place. My light-sleeping hubby managed to get up and turn off the water, mop everything up (albeit with some nice bath towels that are now destined for the dustbin), and avert a total disaster. But now we need a new hot water heater.
For years, we've been looking longingly at the tankless or on-demand systems. We first encountered them in Tanzania over a decade ago and wondered why we'd never seen anything so smart in the USA. Over here, we apparently think it's a good idea to keep warming gigantic tanks of water and expend electricity to keep them warm even when no one is using them. Eventually, we saw some gas on-demand heaters come out, but our house isn't hooked up to gas and we don't really want to do so. Now they have electric tankless water heaters that will manage enough water volume for a whole house, so that's what we're researching today. It's not an expenditure we were planning on making right now, but since opportunity has presented itself, it's a good time to get more energy efficient. Many of the new heaters will also work well with a solar hot water system when we eventually get one, so that's a big bonus as well.