Hot water systems are one of the many underappreciated household appliances we don’t usually notice until they malfunction. Whether you need to wash up the dishes from last night’s dinner or need to escape the cold on a frosty winter morning, hot water proves crucial to our daily lives.
That’s why it pays to invest in a quality hot water system that can accommodate your daily routine. Whether you’re building a new home or considering an upgrade, it’s important to make sure you select the right system that can satisfy your needs. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve written this go-to guide to help you make an informed decision that suits your water requirements. Join us as we discover the benefits and drawbacks of four different types of hot water systems that you might consider installing in your home.
Electric Hot Water Systems
Electric hot water systems are used in approximately half of Australian homes, and they offer an efficient and readily accessible heat source. A modern alternative to the more traditional gas systems, these systems use an electric element to heat the water in the tank, providing a reliable and consistent supply of hot water to your shower, sink, and all over your home.
Many Australians consider them the best hot water systems because their heating is extremely efficient, with many models boasting an energy efficiency rating upwards of 95%. Electric hot water heaters also offer great versatility, because they can be installed in various locations, such as apartments or homes without access to a gas supply. Their compact size allows for easy installation within a few hours, and they’re a convenient option for households with limited space. These water heating systems are also favoured because they tend to require minimal maintenance beyond regular servicing and upkeep.
Despite their cheap installation and set-up costs, these systems suffer from the highest running costs among the alternatives. They also produce the highest greenhouse gas emissions among all water heaters, contributing to greater environmental concerns.
Nevertheless, electric hot water systems remain a viable option, particularly for smaller households that require smaller volumes of hot water. If efficiency, versatility, and low maintenance are your priorities, and you have a manageable budget for energy costs, an electric hot water system may be a suitable choice for your home.
Solar Hot Water Systems
For the most environmentally conscious homeowners seeking a sustainable product, solar hot water systems offer a great solution. These systems use solar panels to harness the power of the sun and heat your water, providing significant energy savings and reducing your carbon footprint.
One of the notable advantages of solar hot water systems is their potential to reduce your energy consumption by up to 90%. By utilising renewable solar energy, these systems can significantly lower your reliance on traditional energy sources. Additionally, solar hot water systems are environmentally friendly, as they produce minimal greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment. You may also be eligible for rebates or government incentives that further reduce your upfront costs in installing these systems.
However, it’s important to consider the drawbacks of these hot water systems, which largely revolve around cost. Although you’ll incur cost savings in the long run, a significant initial investment is required, and the installation process can be time-consuming and may require modifications to your roof or property. Additionally, solar hot water systems are naturally weather-dependent, meaning they can be far less efficient on cloudier days.
Ultimately, if you’re willing to make an upfront investment and prioritise environmental sustainability for long-term cost savings, a solar hot water system can be a wise investment for your home.
Gas Hot Water Systems
Gas hot water systems are a more traditional type of water heating system fuelled by butane, propane, liquified petroleum gas, or natural gas. The heater is connected to a source of gas which uses a valve to control the gas flow, and heat is ignited by an electric filament.
One of the most significant advantages of gas hot water systems is their cost-effectiveness. Unlike electricity rates, gas prices are consistent throughout the day, and this predictability can help you better manage your expenses. These hot water heaters also emit fewer greenhouse gases than electric water heaters, making them a more suitable option for environmentally conscious consumers.
However, these systems can’t be used without a vacant connection to a gas main. If your home doesn’t have access to a gas supply, installing a gas hot water system can be a costly and impractical solution when other more easily accessible water heating options are available. And while gas heaters emit fewer greenhouse gases than electric systems, they still contribute to carbon emissions, making them less attractive and sustainable options in the long term.
Before opting for a gas system, ensure you have an available gas connection, and consider your budget and your environmental concerns. Gas hot water systems can be an excellent choice for larger households or areas with a stable gas supply when cost-effectiveness and reliability are key.
If you’re after a more efficient form of an electric storage tank system, then a heat pump might be the right water heating system for you. Rather than generating heat directly, these appliances work on the same principle as an air conditioning system or a fridge. They operate by extracting any heat from the air and using it to heat the water within the tank.
These systems are known for their great efficiency because they use far less energy than other electric water heaters that directly heat the water. Heat pumps are particularly favourable if your home already uses solar panels, because this allows your hot water system to be powered by ‘complimentary’ electricity, allowing for minimal running costs to be incurred.
However, it’s important to note that these systems must be well-ventilated, and outdoor installation is recommended. They can also generate some noise during operation, which may be a concern for noise-sensitive areas. Heat pumps may also incur higher servicing costs when compared to other hot water systems, as they require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. These water heaters are also far more effective and reliable in warmer climates, which further restricts their locations of use.
However, if you live in a region with a warmer climate and you’re after a highly effective hot water system, a heat pump may just be the right choice for you.
Invest In A Quality Hot Water System Today!
Regardless of your needs and preferences, there is a hot water heater out there for you. If you require any further assistance or information, reach out to our experienced plumbing team for further insights and personalised advice on which system best suits your requirements.
No matter which system you opt for, it’s best to call on a reliable plumbing provider for assistance installing and regularly servicing or repairing your hot water heater as needed. This will ensure it operates as efficiently as possible and will work towards preventing any issues from arising in the future.