To make your decision easier, we have compiled a quick guide to help you choose the right kind of hot water system for your home. This is one of the biggest decisions you will make for your property as the ongoing costs can make or break you!
Electric hot water systems
Electrical hot water systems run purely on electricity either throughout the day or on off-peak, which is cheaper. Electrical systems are by far the cheapest to buy and install. They are also consistently effective in keeping water warm.
The downside, however, is that energy costs in Australia are continuing to rise and these systems can become very expensive to run. Another factor to consider is the size of the water heater here. However, instant water heaters are becoming more popular, as they do not have a tank. They work by drawing on high amounts of electricity that heat on demand. However, if your home has significant hot water demands, then it may not be a great choice, simply because it can’t meet the demand.
However, electric water heaters do have a longer life expectancy than gas. Another advantage over gas, is that the heater isn’t a risk to the home should it fail. On the other hand, a gas heater that gets a leak can have major consequences.
Natural gas hot water
A great option for heating would be a natural gas hot water system installed by a qualified plumber. When compared to electric heating systems, gas is much cheaper to run. Furthermore, gas rates are far more stable than electricity and can be predicted to stay as a constant for a long time. A gas hot water system gives instantaneous hot water that is also a continuous output. This is unrivalled, compared to other choices.
Its energy efficiency is very good as well as its durability, price and value for money. Gas hot water systems come in three varieties; these are tankless instant LPG, traditional storage tank gas and gas hot water boosted solar systems. Let us look at each in a little more detail:
These are wall mounted, very compact and very cost effective. This is achieved by the fact that it only heats up the water when it actually passes through the system.
These are floor mounted and come in a variety of sizes; they not only heat but also store the hot water.
This is essentially a solar heating system but has a gas boost. As a result, it can have the lowest running costs and is more eco friendly, through less emissions.
The downside with straight natural gas is that it’s non-renewable and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Installation can also be expensive if you do not already have the required connections.
Solar hot water
Another smart decision to consider would be a hot water system with solar panels and a storage tank. Although, there is a rather large upfront cost, running costs are minimal. Most solar hot water systems can be expected to pay for themselves within 5 to 10 years. If you decide to sell back to the grid, you can make the investment even cheaper. Additionally, there are also leasing options available which can significantly reduce initial costs. Solar panel backpack costs vary greatly depending on location, size and number of panels used. Solar hot water is the most eco-friendly option, and if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you should install a water tank to amplify the positive environmental effects!
Positioning the panels is important, with optimal placement being a section of roof that has full sunlight for long periods, preferably facing north. With a thermosiphon system, it needs to have the water tank also installed on the roof. Therefore, the roofing may need to be reinforced where the water tank is mounted. Solar hot water is also very popular, and therefore in a competitive market, compare several solar hot water quotes if this is your favoured option. However in general, the cost of solar hot water installation here in Australia can be anywhere from $3000-$7000, but is one of the best ways to increase the value of your property.
We have given you a guide that should make your decision easier. However, at the end of the day, it will come down to costs and personal choice. Many of us prefer to cook with gas over electric and the same may apply here. Solar would be the number one choice for many but the higher initial costs make it restrictive. Look to see whether your state government still operates energy efficiency incentive schemes. These certainly help to reduce the financial burden that comes with installing solar, and will help you determine the best option for your home!
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