How to choose the right type of Hot Water System
How much will it cost?
25% of your household energy usage comes from the hot water you use to cook, wash and bathe with. Anyone who's ever had to take cold showers knows they're no fun, and it takes too long to heat water on the stove or wait for the bath water to heat again. Consider what you've been paying already every month and how you much you originally spent on the heater.
What's your type?
The question of whether to have your hot water system be electric or gas is completely related to your public utilities. Gas is more expensive up front but usually results in a lower monthly bill. Its rates do not fluctuate daily. Newer houses have an electric water heater phase-out, so you'll want to check your local regulations. Some electric water heaters (the storage type) use off-peak electricity which is cheaper to run but may not be available to your home. Keep in mind as well that if you are switching from gas to electric or vice-versa rather than replacing your system, your installation cost will be greater. On the other hand, if you switch from electric to gas, you might save money.
There are also solar and heat pump hot water systems. Solar panels are costly up front but save you so much on your energy bill; it ends up paying you back what you invested over several months. The eco-friendly choice is great for areas with a lot of sunlight but also changes the appearance of your house by being on your roof. Some people have a split system with solar panels plus electric or gas boosters. There is also a government incentive for purchasing specific energy-efficient systems in return for rebates.
Heat pumps were primarily made for warm weather areas. Their one drawback is that they make noise. Some homeowners get an air-source heat pump system to combine water heating with room heating and cooling if it is inside.
How much water do you need?
Electric and gas water heaters may or may not have storage. If water is life, and your household uses a lot of water, then your quality of life will greatly depend on the hot water system you use to keep it flowing. Yours should have a storage tank. If you don't use much or for extended periods, a tankless (instantaneous or continuous flow) one will fit your needs perfectly -- it heats water only as you need it. The 2014 graph of the penetration of water heaters, according to the BIS Shrapnel, showed that Australians mostly used electric storage, gas storage and instantaneous gas.
How much space do you have?
Solar and heat pumps are installed outdoors, while electric can be installed either indoors or outdoors and gas needs to be purely indoors. Your indoor heater needs to fit in the area you're going to install it in and have enough airflow around it for proper function and easy access. The location you choose will also affect its performance; for example, tankless water heaters do best indoors. It is easiest to install the new water heater in the same location as the old.
A comfortable daily home life depends on keeping utilities. Choosing the best water heater involves asking yourself questions about cost, climate, need and space. Your water heater's condition and how it operates affects you financially as well as physically. If yours is not working properly, it's time to start thinking about choosing a new one.
Fluid Plumbing provides commercial, industrial and residential clients on the Central Coast with 24-hour, emergency plumbing and heating services. We are quick, transparent and professional with over 20 years of experience. If you're experiencing water or gasfitting issues, contact us.