A Rundown Of The 3 Main Types Of Hot Water Systems For The Home
Hot water is a necessity that most homeowners take for granted until there are issues with the hot water system. Like any appliance, they have a shelf life and will need replacing every so often. Sometimes, the problem comes on gradually, and you have time to research a good replacement system. More often, the first sign of a problem is no hot water, and you'll need to get your plumber in ASAP to install a replacement.
Choosing a new hot water system can be confusing when you're faced with all the different options and need to make a decision quickly. Here is a rundown on the three main types of hot water systems available to help you decide which is the best option for your home.
As the name suggests, electric hot water systems utilise your home's electricity supply to heat water. Generally, these are the most cost-effective system to supply and install, but they are more costly to run because of the high cost of electricity and the amount needed to properly heat water.
To reduce the electricity costs needed for this type of system, it's best to opt for a system that heats and then stores hot water. This means you can set it to heat the water during off-peak times when electricity is cheaper, providing you with hot water during the high-cost on-peak electricity periods.
Gas hot water systems are a great option if your home has the fittings and connections available for gas appliances. These systems are slightly more expensive than the electric versions, but they'll save you money in the long-term because they're considerably cheaper to run. Gas prices are higher than in the past, but they're still a lot lower than electricity.
This type of system is also good if you want to have a continuous hot water supply that doesn't require a storage tank. Gas rates are the same all day, and it won't cost you any more to heat water during the day as it's required.
An increasingly popular choice for many Australians is a solar hot water system. These are the most expensive type of hot water system to supply and install and require more extensive work to install. However, once they're set up, you'll enjoy a virtually cost-free supply of hot water which will mitigate the initial expense after a few years.
Solar hot water systems use roof-mounted solar panels to provide energy to heat water. The water is then stored in a tank to be used as needed. If you live in an area that has frequent days without sunshine, an extra-large tank is a wise idea so that you can have enough water stored for overcast days.