Which Size Hot Water System?

Which Size Hot Water System?

How hard can it be to pick a hot water system? Turns out, it can be a lot harder than you think. There are so many things to think about and none of it will probably come naturally to you.

Read on to learn about hot water system types and sizes.

Types of Hot Water Systems

About 21% of the energy used in your home goes to heating hot water. This means that choosing the energy source for your hot water system has a big effect on your wallet. Here are some popular options.


Upfront, electric water heaters are the least expensive choice. Installing the system is relatively easy and they are not overly expensive. However, your electric bill can skyrocket, particularly if you let the system run all the time instead of restricting it to off-peak hours only.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is an inexpensive alternative — at least for now. The system itself costs slightly more than electric systems, but you can get gas at a lower price.

But don’t forget that natural gas is a fossil fuel and prices may skyrocket as more of the world tries to stop burning these types of fuel.


That great big ball of energy in the sky is a great way to get free energy to heat your water. All you need are a couple of solar panels set up in a sunny location.

The problem with solar is that the systems can be expensive to install. Government rebates are available to help offset the cost.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are electric hot water systems’ more efficient little brother. They run off electricity but also pull heat from the air to heat the water thus using less electricity.

They work best in areas with a moderate climate but some cold-weather models are available.

Heating Method

Once you’ve got your power source, you need to decide on the heating method.


Storage systems heat the water ahead of time and store it in a holding tank. This system is less efficient since there is always a certain amount of heat loss from the tank, though minimal with proper insulation.

Continuous Flow

Continuous flow systems heat the water at the moment you are using them. The flow of water when you turn on the faucet triggers the system to begin heating.

To figure out the size you need, you’ll need to know the flow rate in litres per minute. Each unit can only heat a certain amount of water instantaneously.

Household Size and Water Usage

Choosing the right size system is crucial. Too small and you will constantly be running out of hot water. Too large and you’ll be wasting money in the form of evaporating heat.

Hot water system installers can help you choose the best system for your particular situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for expert advice if you
feel in over your head.

Relax With a Hot Shower

After all the work of picking out a hot water system, it’s nice when you can finally enjoy it. With the right system in place, you’ll enjoy that hot shower even more knowing that you’ve picked what works best for your home — and your wallet.