Read out to learn more about the different types of hot water systems and how to buy the best hot water system.
If a hot water system malfunctions and it is unexpected, you are in for trouble. It is a time when you do not have the room to sit and study the different types and models of hot water system available and the merits and cons of each. Unless you want to freeze while taking cold showers. You have to make a quick replacement, but you really don’t want to get stuck with a low-quality product.
Electric Hot Water Systems
An electrically heated storage tank is cheaper and easier to install. However, they are an expensive system to run on electricity and will increase your utility expense. Systems that operate on off-peak times are more affordable to manage. However, you will need a huge water tank as you need the water to last the whole day that you heated the earlier night.
Secondly not all the homes have the off-peak electricity options. A four-person family usually requires a 125–160L tank for an uninterrupted system or a tank with a capacity of 250–315L for off-peak. The electrical systems can be set up indoors or outdoors. The average price is between $300 to $1500. The installation charges are as per requirement.
Gas Hot Water System
Natural gas is a better choice especially if you have a connection available for it. Although gas prices are rising they are still relatively cheaper than electricity, and gas prices do not fluctuate during day and night time. A tank capacity of 135-170L is sufficient for a four-person household. They also offer a system with instantaneous and automated running. The gas systems have ventilation requirements so they are installed outdoors, however using a flue system these heaters may also be set up indoors.
The gas system holds the energy efficiency star rating. Some systems come with a pilot light and consume less gas. Electric ignition is affordable, but in the situation of a blackout, you will gradually lose the hot water supply as the heating would go down.
Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) bottles are another option to consider over the use of natural gas, but it cost more to run the system on LPG. The average price of these units is between $900 to $2000. Installation charges are separate.
Solar Water Heaters
These systems run on solar collector panels and use a conventional storage tank. For a 300-360L tank serving a household of four-people requires an area of four square metres to set up the solar collector system. The system requires a larger tank capacity and solar system needs exposure to sunlight.
Ideally, the solar panels should be installed where they have access to natural light and if the panels are not set up in the ideal place, the efficiency of the system will go down. In an ideal scenario, you need a large collection area to set up this system. The system has a built-in gas booster to keep the water warm on days when there is less sunshine.
Although the system is expensive and it takes more time for installation, however, this investment is worth the cost as the system operates on low running expenses. Using energy efficient systems also makes you eligible for government incentives and rebates that will offset your initial investment. Look out for our solar system water heater guide for more details. The average price of the system excluding the installation is anywhere between $2000 to $7000.
Heat pump Water Heaters
A better option for water heaters that work in a similar way like a fridge or air conditioners are the heat pump water heaters. This system captures and extracts heat from the air in the environment and use it to heat the water in the tank. Most unit comes with an internal integration of tank and compressor but they are also available as separate units. The systems are ideal to install in ventilated areas, and mostly these systems are set up outdoors.
However, the compressor makes noise so you cannot install it close to your neighbours. Although they give the best performance in an area with moderate temperatures there are models that function well in the cold as well. They use boosters and are efficient when there is a high demand for heating.
A four-people household will find a 270-315L tank sufficient and these systems also come with incentives and government rebates that will offset the cost of purchase. The price of this system is between $2500 to $4000, with separate installation charges.