Drain Water Heat Recovery: Getting the Most Out of Every Drop of Hot Water

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In all households, warm water is used and essentially thrown away instantaneously, sending the energy it took to warm the water down the drain as well. A drain water heat recovery system stores the heat from warm or hot water going down the drain and uses it to preheat new warm water coming out of the faucet.

When you take a shower, for example, the hot water going down the drain is normally a waste of energy and money, since the energy used to heat that water has been used. With a drain water heat recovery system, that energy can essentially be recycled to reheat water. It’s an incredible energy- and money-saving system.

Recovery systems with storage capacity can hold on to the heat from previously used warm water from dishwashers, clothes washers, showers and faucets and held to use again. Without storage capacity, the added efficiency is only being recycled continuously through the faucet as you use it. Once you turn the warm water faucet off, the recycled energy is lost.

Even without storage capacity, however, these systems can cut down on water warming costs significantly. Eighty to 90 percent of all energy used to heat water goes directly down the drain, so any method of recycling this energy is worthwhile.

Preheating cold water increases your water heating capacity. If you have a smaller water heater and have struggled to heat large amounts of water, a drain water heat recovery system can help with that as well. These systems also allow you to lower the water heating temperature without sacrificing your heating capacity. With the installation of one of these systems, you can usually expect a payback on the investment between two and seven years, depending on system usage.

For more information on drain water heat recovery systems, or any other home comfort issues, contact the pros at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We proudly serve homeowners throughout the greater Cincinnati area.

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"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.



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