Choosing a hot water system is a decision you are likely to make only a handful of times in your life. And if you don't know what you need, getting it right can be tricky. On average, homes spend 20 – 30% of their energy use on heating water, so it's a decision that can not only save you money, but also ensure your comfort and reduce your household’s emissions. As your family stage changes, so do your hot water needs. So when selecting a system, consider a combination of usage (household size), energy type, cost and efficiency.
Simply put, the more people living in a home the more hot water is consumed. Usage habits (how people use hot water over time) and water efficient shower heads can influence how much hot water you will use. If you wash your clothes in hot water, plan on growing your family or currently run out of hot water, get a bigger system. If the kids have moved out, save some money and choose a smaller system, but obviously don't leave your property under serviced.
Electric storage, heat pumps and gas storage systems heat water in a storage tank for later use. Gas continuous flow systems heat water as needed, their maximum flow rate is measured in litres per minute (LPM). Exceed this rate and everyone will experience tepid water. A concurrent outlet is a running shower, bath, tap, kitchen mixer or warm load on a washing machine.
|125L||1 - 2|
|160L||1 - 3|
|250L||2 - 4|
|315L||2 - 5|
|400L||3 - 6|
|130L - 135L||2 - 4|
|155L - 170L||3 - 5|
|270L - 325L||2 - 6|
|GAS CONTINUOUS FLOW|
|20L||1 - 3|
|24L||2 - 3|
|26L||2 - 3|
When choosing your system, both the up-front purchase and ongoing operating costs should be considered together. While energy-efficient systems are more expensive up-front, they have reduced operating costs saving you money in the log run. A modern efficient hot water system may also increase your home’s resale value.
While replacing a similar system to what you had is easier, as technology advances there are always more energy efficient options available. If you have gas available to your property, swapping to a continuous flow system will pay for itself many times over and save you thousands. Alternatively, if you have an electric storage system, a heat pump is an efficient and effective upgrade.
If you want something similar to your existing system, pick what ever brand you prefer that uses the same energy type. If you are looking to swap from electric to gas you will need gas available to your property. If you don't have gas and still want and energy efficient system, consider a heat pump instead.
There are 4 main types of hot water systems available.
Electric storage systems are popular, good value, effective and available in almost any size. consist of a storage tank, an electric heating element (or two) and valves. They can be installed to run both on or off-peak to suit your needs. On peak costs more, but will heat water during the day if you run out, off peak costs less, but it only heats water during the night, and if you run out, that's it until the next evening.
Gas storage systems consist of a storage tank, gas jets, a pilot light and valves. A pilot light remains lit at all times and to light the main burner when required. Customers tend to stay with this type of system if they have a ½ inch gas supply line. New units are more efficient and are designed for a straight swap with minimal fuss.
Gas Continuous Flow
Also known as instant gas or instantaneous gas systems, continuous flow systems are are compact, powerful, energy-efficient and never run out. Lit using an electric starter, they operate without a storage tank and only heat water as its needed. They either have one or two heat exchanges to capture the maximum amount of heat available in your gas. With some models, you can control your water usage and temperature from a controller or your phone.
Heat pumps integrate the latest hot water technology available. It is a bit like having an air conditioner running in reverse attached to your system, it extracts heat from the surrounding air and heats your water with it. When there isn’t enough heat coming in, it uses a conventional heating element. They are so efficient, you can offset the cost by applying for government rebates and STC certificates.
Space and Location
When space is a concern, be sure to measure the area or cavity carefully. Please leave access for us to install it, not all installations are possible if the layout is difficult.
Continuous flow systems have spent gases, so please ensure the surrounds are clear from anything combustible. Only units designed for internal mounting can be used inside.