Hot Water Systems
When your hot water system dies a sudden death leaving you with cold showers, you don’t really have the luxury of time to mull over your choices for a replacement because let’s face it, we need hot water daily.
Its a good thing that Easy Solutions Plumbing Sydney have a 24 hour emergency plumbing service to save the day!
So you would want a damaged one replaced or repaired as soon as possible. However, you don’t really want to rush into buying a whole new system without any idea on what you really want or need for that matter.
To help you out, here are some of the important things that you need to know about hot water systems. You’re thinking that maybe you’ll just get the exact same kind that you had before.
Before you do that, did you know that water heating takes up about a quarter of your household’s energy usage? Considering that fact, you would definitely want to get the most cost-effective system this time around.
Now water heating systems use different types of energy to heat water. Here are the different types of hot water systems based on energy source:
ELECTRIC HOT WATER SYSTEMS
- Easy to install and costs less than others.
- Most expensive to run, especially when it’s on 24/7.
- Homes that have off-peak electricity costs may make use of larger tanks that can supply their need for an entire day, so that they can heat and fill the tanks during off-peak hours. However, not everyone has access to off-peak costs.
- May be installed outside or inside the house.
- Instant electric heaters are also available and are ideal for those with limited water supply.
- Electric water systems costs anywhere between $300 to $1500, exclusive of installation.
GAS HOT WATER SYSTEMS
- Making use of natural gas is cheaper and also more cost-effective. Gas prices don’t vary all throughout the day. They remain constant so you don’t have to worry about the best times to heat your water.
- There is also the option for instant gas heaters for those with limited water supply or those with no room for large tanks.
- Most often, gas heating systems are installed outdoors for safety purposes but they may be installed indoors with proper ventilation installations.
- These are highly energy-efficient.
- Take note that some gas systems have an electric ignition so if you use these, you might lose hot water during power blackouts.
- If you prefer not to use natural gas, you may opt to use liquid petroleum gas or LPG, but these increase your running costs.
SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEMS
- A solar water heating system is composed of solar panels (that collect energy from the sun), and a storage tank.
- It is important for this type of system that the panels are ideally located, otherwise they become inefficient.
- This system needs an electric or gas booster so that water is kept hot during those times when sunlight is scarce.
- A solar hot water heating system requires an expensive upfront cost but will end up saving you more money in the long run since it has very low running cost.
HEAT PUMP HOT WATER SYSTEMS
- A heat pump works a lot like an air conditioner. It’s very efficient since it extracts heat from the air and uses that heat to heat the water.
- Most of the time a heat pump is integrated where the compressor is attached to the tank, however, the two may be separated if needed.
- A heat pump has to be installed in an area that is well-ventilated, preferably outdoors.
- The system can be noisy because of the compressor so you would want to install it away from a neighboring home to avoid causing a disturbance.
- Since a heat pump extracts heat from the air, it works great in warm regions but there are also some models that are made especially for cold weather.
Another important consideration for choosing a water heating system is whether you are going to get a system with a storage tank or one that heats water as needed or what is called a continuous flow system. To give you a general idea on the difference between the two, here are some considerations to think about.
HOT WATER STORAGE TANK
- A storage tank may corrode over time. You can choose to install a stainless steel tank which lasts longer than a mild steel tank.
- Most heating systems require a storage tank.
- Your choice of tank material will largely depend on the type of water in your area so it is best to consult your local plumber.
- Although tanks are insulated, you can expect heat loss at some point so it is best to install your tank somewhere that is insulated or where there is direct exposure to sunlight.
CONTINUOUS HOT WATER SYSTEMS
- A continuous hot water system only heats water when you need it. It’s also called an instantaneous heating system although it generally takes a few seconds for the hot water to actually flow.
- This system mostly uses gas but there are some models that are electric.
- Since this does not require a storage tank, there is no heat loss so it is less costly to run.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Another important consideration is your household’s need for hot water.
Typically a small household of 1-2 people needs about 50L-100L of hot water per day so a continuous hot water system that uses gas or electricity is enough or a storage tank system that uses a small tank will also do.
A household of 3-4 persons will naturally consume more hot water so a gas continuous heating system is more cost-effective than an electric one. A heat pump is also a good alternative in this case.
For large households of 5 people or more, you can choose to install multiple continuous hot water systems throughout the house, or, install a gas storage unit. Another option is a large heat pump.
As you can see, whatever your choice is, the deciding factors are really the extent of your household’s need and your budget. To make the best choice on which hot water system to choose, call us today.
Easy Solutions Plumbing Sydney has competent and experienced plumbers that can help you make the right decision and can install your system for you. Give us a call and we will talk about your options.