Portable Water Heaters: Hot Water Anytime, Anywhere

A portable water heater is, quite simply, a means of ensuring one has hot water wherever one goes, especially in places where heat is a rare commodity. It is perfect for use in camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities where the nearest electrical outlet could be miles away. In areas where there is little to no available electricity portable water heaters have to have their own autonomous power source to be able to function. During the fall and winter months when temperatures become very low, especially at night, the need for heat in the outdoors becomes acute.

An Eccotemp portable water heater

Portable water heaters available on the open market come in a wide variety of configurations but all of them have limited volume—usually no more than 5 gallons—and run on rechargeable electric batteries. Small size makes them easy to carry just about anywhere and batteries enable them to function on their own for extended periods of time. Despite being primarily designed for the outdoors, portable water heaters are also often used at home for washing cars, pets, and rugs and for thawing frozen exterior fixings like water and gas pipes during the winter.

Somewhat surprisingly, portable water heaters actually benefit both their users and the environment, albeit indirectly. Having an independent power source with which to heat water makes the device only sparingly reliant on electricity. Having to plug it in power outlets only for it to recharge reduces electrical consumption that translates into a lower required power output. It may be insignificant as a solitary example, but if more and more people switched to portable water heaters, not having to plug in as often as before means that power output need not be as high as before. The less demand on a power provider, the less its generators need to work. Generators require less fossil fuel to operate because they’re not working overtime, thus the amount of harmful fumes that are released into the atmosphere is reduced.

While electric portable water heaters help preserve the environment, as well reduce the charges on one’s utility bill, some creative minds have gone a step further and designed portable water heaters that draw power from one of the first and one of the most readily available sources of renewable energy—the sun. These heaters are totally dependent on solar power, meaning they can produce hot water only when the sun is up and the sky is clear. They therefore do not operate with the same capacity and produce the same output as do their electrically-powered counterparts. Nonetheless, they are still easy to carry and actually cheaper and easier to make because they are made of common household items and have none of the rather expensive components like wires and batteries. Re-using household items and doing away with wires and batteries actually helps cut down on the amount of solid waste piling up every year.

With energy costs skyrocketing and with the current state of the environment, portable water heaters have made small yet significant contributions towards ensuring a cleaner world in addition to providing hot water anytime, anywhere. -E.MESKHI

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