Hot water systems are essential in many households. I mean we all love a steamy shower especially during winter. Water heating does contribute to your households energy costs therefore its important to select a system that will perform at its optimum level and cost effective for your home.
In this article, we discuss the different kinds of hot water systems you can choose from for your home. Whether you just want to upgrade or your previous hot water system has become faulty, these points will come in handy.
Types of hot water systems
Hot water systems come in four different categories;
Gas Hot Water Systems
This is the most common hot water system in Australia because of its affordability and operation. This is the best option if you have a gas line or you can access it. Although gas prices are rising, these are cheaper than electricity in terms of running expenses. In addition, these systems are also a great option for big households with high water demand. Gas hot water systems have an energy efficiency star rating. You also have a choice between natural gas and liquified petroleum gas (LPG).
There are two types of gas hot water systems. The first one being gas storage systems which heat and store water so it’s ready for immediate use. The water is always hot and ready to flow when hot-water taps are turned one while the second one which is the continuous flow systems heat water when it is needed rather than heating large amounts of water for later use.
Electric Hot Water Systems
These systems are gradually being phased out due to their greenhouse emissions and high running costs. These systems are usually cheaper to install though the down side comes in when it’s running on a full day rate which makes it expensive. They come in different sizes and can either be installed indoors or outdoors.
Solar Hot Water Systems
These systems utilize the power of the sun’s rays to heat the water. The dark panels absorb heat from the sun which warms the water in the process. They are environmentally friendly but they are the most expensive to buy and install. There are two types, the first one being roof mounted systems and the second one ground mounted systems. For the second one, the tank is mounted on the ground to reduce the structural load on the roof. Most solar hot water systems include a booster for extra heating on days when the sun is hiding.
Heat pump hot water system
Very little electricity is used to heat the water as they draw heat from the surroundings(air) and due to this they may not function as well in cold areas though some are designed with boosters to add extra heat. They are usually installed outdoors where there is proper ventilation and the unit can be noisy. Just like the solar ones, they are environmentally friendly too.
What size would you need?
For this it’s best to get a professional to analyse hot water usage in your household. He or she will ask you questions like;
- How many people live in your home?
- If you have a pool, do you need pool heating?
- How frequently do you use hot water?
- What time of the day do you use hot water?
- How many bathrooms do you have in your house?
- Do you use a washing machine or dishwasher and whether you use hot water for them
This will help the professional or the supplier advise you on which hot water system is best for your home. Also another determinant is whether you want a storage system or continuous flow system. For a storage system, the size will depend on the number of people living in your home while the continuous flow will depend on the number of hot water outlets. For a continuous flow system, if it’s too small to meet your needs it means that you can only use one outlet at a time.
Always check how energy efficient a hot water system is to maximize savings on cost and power consumption. Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) will help remove energy inefficient models from the market.
Hot water systems take up space. Tanks in general need somewhere for excess water to run off to and if you’re planning on installing solar hot water systems, you need to consider whether or not you have the necessary roof space. If your household accommodates four people or more, you may have to install bigger tanks than a household that accommodates a single person. Ensure there is enough space around your property to avoid inconveniencing your neighbors.
As a homeowner, it’s important to always be one step ahead. Do this by monitoring your system’s performance and arranging regular check ups with a professional plumber. Save yourself from having cold showers. If you are having problems with your hot water plumbing, feel free to contact us and we will be at your doorstep without delay.