# How much heat is lost in a steaming hot shower anyway?

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 12:06 am
The wife doesn't like the house being set at 55 degrees so she (and the teen) take long showers, only leaving the bathroom when the 50 gallon hotwater tank runs cold.
My propane hotwater heater is set to something like 135 degrees. That means a lot of hot water is going down the drain.
I wonder - is there a calculation done on how much energy it takes to heat 50 gallons of water with propane versus how much energy it takes to heat a house by 5 degrees with propane?
Maybe it is cheaper to just heat the house more?

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 12:36 am
On 12/30/2015 6:06 PM, Vlad Lescovitz wrote:

Can't say as I blames 'em... :)

Well the water side is pretty easy -- it's 8.33 Btu/gal/F at 100% efficiency. Assume the heater is closer to 70% or so, so that would be 12 Btu/gal/F. If inlet temp were 55F,
(135-55)dF*50gal*12Btu/gal/FH,000 Btu

Now that depends on the house and we've no data at all...
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• posted on December 31, 2015, 12:39 am
On 12/30/2015 5:06 PM, Vlad Lescovitz wrote:

Are any of the controls electronic? If so, set the temperature to be lower at the time of day that they take their showers. Make it less comfortable.
Or, expect them to be rational beings and not wasteful of energy!

Depends on how big (small) the house AND how satisfied they will be living with shorter showers in a SLIGHTLY warmer house!

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 11:23 am
Don Y wrote:

Rational? You're talking rational to a despot who keeps his house at 55 degrees?? :)

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 3:44 pm
On 12/31/2015 4:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

We don't know *why* he keeps his house at 55 degrees! Perhaps there are economic issues at play? When I was a kid, I'd catch hell for opening the refrigerator and just standing there, "shopping": "Close it until you've made up your mind".

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 4:33 pm
On 12/31/2015 10:44 AM, Don Y wrote:

I used to (and still do) get crabbed by Mom if I walk out of a room and leave a light on.
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Christopher A. Young

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 12:44 am
On 12/30/2015 7:06 PM, Vlad Lescovitz wrote:

The heat capacity of water is four times that of air. That's on a weight basis and air is 784 times less dense than water. You could do a rough calculation on this basis. You'd need the volume of air in your house to make the comparison.

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 12:51 am
On 12/30/2015 7:06 PM, Vlad Lescovitz wrote:

If your furnace is a 90 percenter, most likely cheaper to use the furnace. Most WH are about 70% efficient.
From here, the big expense is the 50 plus gal of warm water that go down the drain.
As to the WH, it takes one BTU to raise one pound of water one degree F. So, you can measure the temp of cold, temp of hot, and get the temp rise the WH provides.
You can run the furnace some morning, see how long it runs to warm up the house. Look at the BTUH rating of the furnace.
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Christopher A. Young

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 12:55 am

Whoa! Water temp. is at 135 deg and indoor temp. at 55 deg.? If I keep temp. like that I'd have revolt from all member of my family. That is barely ~14.5C. If OP has to keep it that way how about changing shower head to water saving type? Any one in the family catching cold? 135 deg. is lower than that of some hot springs in the Rockies.

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 4:05 pm

Probably blended with cold water.
Turn the temp of the water heater down.

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 1:54 am

55 degrees? Yer lucky you're not divorced

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 2:39 am
On 12/30/2015 7:06 PM, Vlad Lescovitz wrote:

Your life would be happier at 65 to 68 degrees. Your wife's new husband will keep it that warm, maybe even 70.

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 4:32 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_temperature
According to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory an adequate level of wintertime warmth is 21 °C (70 °F) for a living room, and a minimum of 18 °C (64 °F) for other occupied rooms, giving 24 °C (75 °F) as a maximum comfortable room temperature for sedentary adults. At temperatures below 20 °C (68 °F), increased risk of death has been observed, and winter deaths reportedly rise at a rate of about 1.4% per degree below 18 °C (64 °F).
Why the wife doesn't just turn up the thermostat is a mystery.

Yeah, I don't have to do the math. Most of the heat put in the water leaves by way of the drain.
So, is it you trying to force your family to live at 55? That's just cruel.
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Dan Espen

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 4:55 am
Dan Espen wrote:

Eskimo Igloo may be warmer than 55 deg., LOL! Our thermostat is programmed at 20.5C and 18.0C. When we're away on vacation, at 14.5C all the time in winter, 23.5C in summer. Any how I can remotely adjust the settings any time any where if there is Internet access.

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 5:23 am
On 12/30/2015 10:55 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

got my gas bill today 70.95 for the month it runs around 25 dollars for non heating months. So 45 bucks to keep from freezing for a month, that's a pretty good deal, keep on fracking.

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 6:40 am
My 2 Cents wrote:

Our bill includes power, gas, water(tap water, sewer service), garbage pick up(waste, recyclable), snow removal on the walking path in the park. ~400.00 CAD in the winter. Your gas pump price is lower than ours. Right now 1.25 CAD/Litre for 91 Octane gasoline which my car needs. There are two known cases of minor quakes due to fracking, one in Northern B.C., one in Northern Alberta. Fracking co, is hurting too because of low price of oil...

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 6:49 am
wrote:

Wow. I'll have to watch myself to see if I can discern my risk of deaht.

Cause and effect. Maybe the ones about to die are too weak to turn the heat up?

I've had furnace problems over the years, and I now keep 2 thermomoters next to the bed. When it's below 60 it's hard to get out of bed, even to go push the Reset button on the furnace.

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 31, 2015, 6:52 am
Micky wrote:

You need furnace remote control?

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 1:54 pm
On 12/30/2015 11:32 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

During the Carter years, "55; it's not just a good idea... it's the law!"

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• posted on December 31, 2015, 3:40 pm
On 12/30/2015 11:32 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

Domestic abuse is like that. The woman feels powerless and fears leaving. Don't know the reason here, but it could be a factor.