What Hot Water System Should I Buy?
Is your hot water system on its last legs? Been wondering what hot water system you should buy to replace it?
Hot water is a life necessity, we all know that. So if your hot water system decides to kick the bucket, chances are you don’t have time to sit and do careful research into which system is best for you.
This is why it’s important to get a good understanding of the different brands, types and models available on the market. This will help you determine which hot water system you like best.
Should I Keep the Same Type I Had Before?
There are two sides to this. Going with the same model would make for potentially easier installation because all the connections would be in the same place. On top of this, there is no doubt you will be used to the way in which your hot water has been delivered to you all these years.
However, there are definitely reasons to upgrade to a newer model hot water system. For one, your current model may not be made any more due to being phased out. This is particularly common with some electric and storage hot water systems, due to their inefficiencies. The plus side to this is that upgrading to a gas or solar system will save you a heap on your energy bills down the line.
Secondly, it could be as simple as the fact that you’ve outgrown your current hot water system. Maybe it’s been with you since you bought the house and was adequate to provide for two people then, but now you’ve got three kids and the hot water system simply isn’t big enough.
That could’ve been the reason its conked out to begin with. Hot water systems come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 12 Litres to 400 Litres, so there’s something for everyone.
You never know what you’re missing out on if you don’t test the hot water system market and see what you can upgrade to.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hot Water System
When it comes to choosing a hot water system, several factors should be taken into consideration. By evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision that meets your specific needs. Here are the key factors to consider when choosing an efficient hot water system:
- Energy efficiency: Look for systems with high energy ratings and certifications. Energy-efficient hot water systems can save you money in the long run by reducing your utility bills.
- Size and capacity: Determine the demand on your hot water system based on the number of people in your household and their usage patterns. Choose a hot water system that can meet your needs without being oversized, which can lead to energy wastage.
- Cost and budget: Consider the initial purchase cost, installation expenses, and maintenance requirements. Evaluate the long-term return on investment to ensure the system aligns with your budget.
- Fuel type: Decide on the hot water system fuel source based on availability and cost. Options include gas, electric and renewable energy sources.
- Climate and environment: Different systems perform better in certain climates. Consider the climate in your area and the environmental impact of the chosen hot water system.
- Maintenance requirements: Assess the regular maintenance tasks and the system’s durability to ensure you can meet the necessary upkeep.
- Space availability: Determine the space available for the hot water system and choose one that fits appropriately. Consider alternative placement options if space is limited.
- Water quality and hardness: Some systems may be affected by water quality and hardness. Evaluate whether additional water treatment is necessary.
By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose a hot water system that suits your needs, saves energy, and provides reliable and efficient hot water supply.
What Types of Systems are Out There?
There’s a strong selection of hot water systems on the market these days and the right one for you depends on your household, location, climate and family size, among other things. The main systems are:
Within these different energy sources, you then have the different types of delivery methods. These are:
- Continuous flow water heaters (aka instantaneous)
- Storage hot water system
For a basic understanding, continuous flow systems will heat the water as needed by sending it through pipes that are extremely hot. Storage systems will hold water in a large tank at the desired temperature, replacing and reheating it as it gets used.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each …
Gas Hot Water System
You’ll find in your research that gas hot water systems are by far the most common out of the four types. They’re available in either continuous flow or storage systems and have always been cheaper to run than electricity, due to cheaper rates. On top of this, natural gas rates do not vary during the day like electricity.
Installation is usually quick and easy for your local Plumber Near Me, and they have the ability to be installed indoors or outdoors. As for the cons, there isn’t a whole lot with natural gas systems. As stated, it’s far healthier for your wallet, and is very reliable in the long term – that’s really all there is to it.
Electric Hot Water System
Electric hot water heaters are generally on the cheaper end to buy and install, and are very reliable long term in terms of functionality.
However, they are being phased out due to poor efficiency ratings. There’s a good chance that your energy bill will skyrocket and you won’t be doing the old environment any favours. Electric systems would only need to be considered if you were unable to have a gas supply line to your house, and solar was out of the question. Speaking of which …
Solar Hot Water System
Solar hot water systems are by far the most expensive to buy and install, but don’t let this scare you off. As with normal solar panels, solar hot water systems pay for themselves over the long term. By using the sun’s rays as a source of free energy, you’re doing lots of favours to your bank account, and the environment. Solar systems are a little different to gas and electric in terms of their delivery method.
There are two main types of solar hot water systems – split system and close coupled. Split systems will utilise a ground-mounted tank that stores the water at ground level. After it’s been heated through the solar panels on the roof, the water is sent here for storage until you use it.
Conversely, close coupled will have the tank and the panels conjoined together on the roof, with no ground-mounted setup. This is a very basic explanation. Solar systems are rather complex, but the general principle is there.
As for which hot water system is better, most would lean towards the close coupled systems because they are cheaper and installation is less involved.
However, split systems are more reliable and have the ability to be boosted by a gas or electric continuous flow system so that you get hot water no matter the time of day.
Heat Pump Hot Water System
Heat pump hot water is probably the least talked about system out there. They are an efficient and very innovative technology that makes use of one of Australia’s best natural features – hot air. Heat pumps work like a fridge, extracting heat from the air around it and converting it to energy that is used to heat your water.
Because of this, they do work better in warmer climates. However, they can still turn colder air into hot water, sometimes down as low as -10°C. On the other hand, they do suffer from a couple of disadvantages.
They are fairly big and bulky units, requiring a large, open, well-ventilated area for installation. No internal installation for heat pump systems. They can also be on the noisier side when it comes to hot water systems, which you won’t find with other kinds.
What Brand is Best For Me?
This is a tricky question. Hot water has become a highly competitive market, with a lot of so-called “leading” brands. You’ve got the big names like Bosch, Rinnai, Rheem and Dux, or lesser-known brands like AquaMAX, Chromagen, Wilson and Stiebel Eltron that still bring a lot to the table in terms of design and functionality. Some like to specialise in certain types, while others cover a broad spectrum of systems.
All the top brands in Australia offer decent warranties, usually between 5 and 10 years depending on the model. On top of this, they’ve all put a massive emphasis on improving their energy ratings over the years, with some as high as a whopping 7 stars. So it’s fair to say that brand wise you can’t go too wrong in Australia.
So, What Hot Water System Should I Buy?
To summarise, you’ve got a lot of choice for hot water systems, which is a good thing I assure you. One thing to ensure is that you get it installed by a professional. By doing this you will avoid problems with functionality in the long term. It’s an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember you can always talk to your friendly local hot water expert at Plumber Near Me.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.