Choosing the right hot water system for you

The low-down on your options

Everyone wants to save on energy bills, right? We may try and do so by turning off a power switch here and there when not in use or switching off lights when exiting a room. Being conscious of energy use is indeed wise, but what many people are unaware of is the fact that hot water usage accounts for up to a third of a household’s energy bill. On this note, it’s important to assess whether or not your current hot water system is the most cost-effective system for your householders’ needs.

Electric Hot Water System

Electric hot water systems have been the most commonly used from of hot water systems in Australia for several decades now. Many people still use them due to their reliability and the units being relatively cheap to purchase. However, due to ever-rising electricity costs and the fact that electric hot water systems emit greenhouse gases, more and more Australian householders are opting for cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Gas Hot Water Systems

Gas hot water systems require a gas burner rather than electricity to keep the water in the water tank heated. Compared with electric hot water systems, gas hot water systems emit significantly less greenhouse gases. They may also have much lower usage rates (depending on where you live), resulting in this type of system being a much cheaper option in the long run. It’s important to mention that gas hot water heaters must be connected to mains gas and have to be placed outside, otherwise and exhaust vent is necessary for installation indoors.

Solar Hot Water Systems

Solar hot water systems produce energy through attracting heat from the sun via solar panels mounted on the roof of a property. The heat generated warms the water in the water tank. What is not widely known is that solar hot water systems can actually reduce your water bills by up to a whopping 90 percent.

Of course, hot water solar systems are the most environmentally friendly of all the hot water system options.

Needless to say, in order to function, an adequate amount of sunshine is required. However, if you’re located in an area that isn’t sunny most of the time, you can have a booster with installed that allows you to heat up the water in your tank during overcast periods.

The main disadvantage for some when it comes to solar hot water systems is the upfront cost. They can cost in the thousands. Having said that, once installed, your future energy bills will be much lower than ever before.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps effectively work in the same way as a reverse cycle air conditioner does. They draws heat from the outside air and the hot water is reserved in a hot water tanks, as is the case with all the other hot water systems. Whilst they are very environmentally friendly (having a low carbon emission output) and are rather efficient, they are also costly. The upfront cost of heat pumps is high, plus with many moveable parts, there are also ongoing maintenance costs to bear in mind. Furthermore, they are really designed for warmer climates.

There are many factors to consider when upgrading your current hot water system or considering changing to a different type of hot water system altogether. Factors such as cost, climate and carbon footprint are important to weigh up when choosing the system that is right for you and the members of your household.