The second-highest use of energy in a home is the water heating system. This makes it extremely important for you to choose the right hot water system for your household, one that allows you to take that luxurious hot shower and still operates with efficiency. Here are some tips for finding the right system for your home.
Determine Which Type of Hot Water System to Use Based on Size and Cost
There are four main types of water heaters available, each with its benefits and drawbacks.
Electric. You'll need a 125-160-litre tank for a four-person household if you run via a continuous flow. You'll need a larger tank if you run on off-peak electric.
Running off-peak will save you money. These tanks run from $300-$1,500.
Gas. A natural gas water heater is less expensive to run than an electric one. A four-person home would require a tank from 135-170 litres and cost between $900-$2,000.
Heat Pump. This is more energy-efficient than other systems. A four-person home would need a tank from 270-315 litres. These tanks are more expensive to purchase at $2,500-$4,000, but government rebates can help with the initial purchase cost.
Solar. Another more expensive option on the front end, solar systems range from $2,000-$7,000. Again, there are government rebates to help offset the cost. You will need to instal both the tank and solar panels. The tank will need to be around 300-360 litres, to allow for days with less sunlight available.
Consider whether you'll go with a traditional storage tank or a water heater that heats water as needed, known as a continuous flow or instantaneous water heater.
Storage Tank. These tanks are the most common and can be used with any of the systems mentioned above. There are two types: mild-steel and stainless steel. They both rust over time, mild-steel more quickly, but with maintenance, they can last for 10 or more years. Tanks are insulated but still lose some heat — a consideration for your cost of running the unit.
Continuous Flow. These systems heat only the water when you need it. There are electric or gas systems and are less expensive to run than storage tanks. The size will depend on how many hot water outlets you have in your home. The more outlets, the larger the system required.
On average, a person uses about 50 litres of hot water each day. But there are also other things to consider: How many people are in your home? Do you take short showers or long, steamy ones? How often do you do laundry on the warm or hot cycles? How often do you run your dishwasher? These are all questions to take into consideration when determining your hot water system.
Once you've found the right system for your home, it's time to instal it. Call your local plumber for your hot water system installation. They can have your new system up and running quickly.