Guide on Hot Water System

Your ultimate hot water system guide! Choose wisely, maintain, and optimize energy efficiency. A seamless flow of hot water awaits!

Guide on Hot Water System

Published on

By Xing Gou

Energy Comparison

If You’re feeling guilty about using a little too much of hot water everyday- whether it is spending that extra 5 minutes in the shower or running your washing on hot water, you are not alone! Although, all of it does add up and a huge chunk of it may be seen on your bills. Don’t fret, there are plenty of ways to save on water heating costs.

Consider these factors in choosing what’s best for you:

Adopt a Heating Option between Electric, Gas, Solar or Heat

Electric Hot Water Systems

  • Heats water using an electric- powered element which sits at the base of the unit and stored it in an insulated of tank.
  • Can be programmed to work on heating during off- peak periods.
  • Can be installed indoors or outdoors.
  • Cheapest to buy but most expensive to run.
  • Have high greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Cost: $200 to $2,000.

Gas Hot Water Systems

  • Use a gas burner to continuously heat and maintain water in tank at 60°C.
  • In this kind of system, a burner is used which lights up when the water is required.
  • Only feasible if connected to main gas, as bottle gas are more expensive and creates the risk of running out of hot water.
  • Must be located outside or have an exhaust vent if inside.
  • Most economical when operated on natural gas.
  • Have less greenhouse gas emissions than electric systems.
  • Cost: $800 to $1,900.

Solar Hot Water Systems

  • Generate heat from the sun using panels installed on the roof, heat is used to warm and maintain the water in the tank.
  • This reduces the energy consumption of your hot water system by approximately 90%
  • Some models may also be unreliable on overcast days, most will kick-over to gas or electric back- up heating if the water isn’t hot enough.
  • Cheapest and most environment friendly type of water heating to run in natural gas- boosted solar.
  • The purchase cost can be offset by government rebates and other incentives.
  • Expensive to buy and install but running costs is cheaper.
  • Cost: $2,000 to $8,000.

Heat pump water heater

  • Uses a fan that draws warm air into system which is transferred to the water storage tank.
  • Most energy efficient hot water system.
  • Usually installed outdoors to allow free air flow
  • Suitable in warm environment though some comes with boosters for cold weather days or for high demands.
  • Avoid setting up the compressor unit next to a neighbor’s home as it can get noisy
  • Cost: $2,500 t0 $4,000.

Choose a Hot Water System Design: Storage tank or Continuous flow (instantaneous)?

Storage Tank

  • Most all hot water systems use a tank.
  • Heats and maintains warm water in a tank until it’s ready to use.
  • Provides instant hot water but limited by storage capacity.
  • Mild-steel tanks can corrode overtime, maintenance every few years can prevent this.
  • Stainless steel tanks are more expensive but last long and don’t require much maintenance.
  • Local water quality may dictate which type is best for you, check your area.
  • Install in a sunny spot or in an insulated space.

Continuous flow

  • Referred as “instantaneous”, a continuous flow system that heat only as much water as you needed.
  • Take few moments to heat up, especially when there’s a fair distance of pipe between the hot water system and the tap.
  • Most models use gas, but electric models are available.
  • No heat losses as with water stored in a tank.
  • Cheaper to run than storage systems.
  • Electric models use the full electricity tariff for whenever they are in use, so running costs may be higher than for an off-peak tank, but less than a continuous tank system.
  • The size (flow rate in liters per minute) depends more on the number of hot water outlets the heater has to serve than on the number of people in the household.

Know more about getting a New Hot water System.

Other Factors

  • Household size and water usage.
Determine the right system for your family needs.
  • Energy Star Ratings

Gas hot water system have efficiency star rating label, the more start the more efficient the water heater.

Remember this:

Electric Storage System should be on a controlled load (dedicated circuit or two- rate tariff). This is an arrangement where the hot water system is metered separately to the rest of the house and charged a lower usage rate on electricity. The hot water system will heat the water and store it for later use, usually during off- peak hours (11pm to 7am).

Energy Comparison
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