Choosing which hot water system is best for your home or business, as well as your hot water needs now and in the future, can take a bit of research. However, it’s well worth the effort. Selecting the perfect system will ensure you have ample hot water all year round, you’ll keep your water heating costs down (remember up to 25% of your home power use can go to water heating), and you can reduce your impact on the environment.
Here are a few questions to consider when deciding which hot water solution will meet your needs.
What is it about your current system that you like/dislike?
Does it keep up with your hot water requirements or run out frequently?
If you’re constantly running out of hot water you may need to consider a larger unit or multiple smaller units, depending on your property size, to cater for times of peak use.
Do you have access to Natural gas or LPG?
Gas hot water systems can offer a more energy-efficient alternative to large storage electric models. If you prefer to stay with a storage style unit, gas-powered systems have the advantage of a faster reheat time which, if your usage is spread over a few hours, could present a more cost-effective option.
Choosing a compact instantaneous gas hot water system can offer even more efficiency as this style only heats the water as you use it.
Do you have access to off-peak electricity?
Off-peak electricity tariffs can present substantial savings but you need to make sure your hot water use suits this style. For instance, if most of the hot water is used in your home during the morning (showers, washing machine, etc) there may be a shortage of hot water for evening use as your water heater won’t reheat until the next off-peak period (often between 10 pm & 7 am).
However, purchasing a larger electric storage hot water system as well as being flexible with your hot water habits can combat this problem while still providing the cost reduction benefits of off-peak power.
Is reducing your homes environmental impact important to you?
Solar and heat pump water heaters utilise green energy sources to heat the water for your home presenting very environmentally friendly options. These units are available in a range of styles to suit various home designs, both have close-coupled (integrated) or split styles, and solar can be accompanied by either a gas or electric booster.
More information on the different types of hot water systems available as well as some of the pros and cons of each style can be found here – Types of hot water systems
How many people live in your home?
Households vary in size as families evolve. Two-person households can expand and then contract again over time as children come in and move out of the home. As a consequence, the hot water system that you installed 10 years ago may not be keeping up with the current demand. Alternatively, you may have a large unit which at one time had to cater for a busy family but is now wasting power heating a huge tank of water which you’ll never fully use.
More information on choosing the best size hot water system can be found here – What size hot water system do I need?
What is your budget?
Some hot water system styles can be more expensive to install but present super low operating costs (eg heat pump and solar). Others are more affordable to purchase but come with higher ongoing running costs (eg electric storage).
Stretching your installation budget to a heat pump water heater, for instance, could reduce your home hot water costs by up to 60% (compared with electric storage models) and significantly decrease your greenhouse gas emissions.
Find out more about the costs associated with each style here – Hot Water System Costs