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Haier's heat-exchanging Power Pad promises to make long, hot showers a little more efficient

Tim Stevens

Major appliances are major energy drains, and if you have a traditional, tank-based hot water heater it can be a major factor in your monthly utilities bills. Haier's Power Pad promises to make those things have less of an impact on people's finances -- at least when it comes to showers. It's a heat exchanger that you stand on whilst washing that man right out of your hair, water running off your toned body and through the vanes in the Pad, warming the cold water that's pumped through it. That water is then deposited into the hot water tank, which now has a little less work to do. Haier is hoping to get this to market in China within the next two months for ¥4,000 (about $600) and, by that time, boost its efficiency to 30 percent. That's still 10 percent lower than the EcoDrain we spied last year, but we have a more practical concern: what happens when that thing gets clogged with hair and various bathing products? It doesn't look particularly easy to clean.

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