As the temperatures continue to drop and Australia heads into the midst of Winter, your family and home will need access to hot water when and where they need it. Winter is not the time to be dealing with faulty systems that cannot manage the requirements of your family or ones that cost an arm and a leg to provide you with enough hot water for your needs. If you’re thinking of replacing or upgrading yours (or perhaps adding a new system in a home you’re currently building), you’ll want to make the right choice the first time around. This blog will expand on the various hot water systems available and explain what each has to offer so that you can choose the one that suits your needs best.
Electric Storage Tank Systems
An electric hot water system relies on electricity to keep your water at a set temperature, where it is stored in a tank size of your choosing. With this option, you can choose a single or dual element, which can be run using peak or off-peak electricity. It provides the best pressure supply, but with this comes high running costs
Best For – those that often travel, with predictable water consumption needs and homes with limited space. With this option the tank will only heat water when needed, so you won’t have to worry about it using electricity and storing water if you’re out of town or away. It also is the smallest and most compact system, making it suitable for homes where space is a concern.
Electric Continuous Flow Systems
With this hot water system, you access water at points of use directly or from specific phase units. It ensures a never-ending supply of hot water when and where you need it, but unlike other models it doesn’t offer the best water pressure. The costs of running such a system are average, and you can expect your system to last you up to five years, depending on the brand you choose.
Best For – Large families, homes with multiple showers and homes with bathtubs. With continuous flow hot water, you can comfortably cater for your entire family, provided you select a tank that is large enough. This option also comes with a Water Controller, allowing you to centrally select a temperature of hot water for the household to eliminate fluctuations.
Electric Boosted Solar Systems
In the electric boosted solar systems, the power of the sun is used to heat the water needed, and only if there is no sun available does electrical water heating kick in. This can dramatically reduce your family’s energy consumption and bills, making it an affordable and environmentally friendly choice. Low cost to run – but its overall installation will be higher than with other systems. Depending on your situation, you might be eligible for certain rebates for choosing this option.
Best For – Anyone wanting to keep their monthly bills low and are willing to invest a bit more at the outset for the privilege. This option is well suited to new home builds or renovations as this makes installation easier. Also, you can apply for an Australian Greenhouse Office Small Scale Technology Certificate that will officially note how much energy you’re saving. Depending on which of the five solar zones in Australia you reside in, you will be eligible for a rebate from the government.
Heat Pump Systems
A heat pump system uses electricity to transfer heat instead of generating it. This means it extracts heat from its surroundings to heat water, using less power to do so. It’s a system that will save you money and is good for the environment like a solar system but doesn’t require roof panel installations or sunny weather to operate.
Best For – homeowners who want to reduce their heating costs of emissions without going through the cost, time and effort required to install a solar panel system.
Before You Decide…
While the above recommendations can point you in the right direction, other factors will impact your decision. It will also depend on the amount and type of showers you have, whether you live in a warm or cool climate, the design of your home (and distance from the system to its outlets) as well as whether you have an external or internal installation).