When it comes to purchasing a hot water system, many do not realise the importance of research. In many instances, hot water systems are only replaced when they are damaged. When they are replaced, it is often done with haste, which can lead to unnecessarily expensive purchases. Understandably, research time is never an option when your system breaks down and you require a hot shower in the morning. However, if you do your homework and select a quality hot water system, it could last you 8 – 10 years for electric and gas, and 15 – 17 years for solar.
You first need to decide on the type of energy source that is best suited for your household; your options are electric, gas, solar and a heat pump. Smaller households made up of 1-2 people could make use of gas or electric while a larger household (made up of five and more individuals) should consider the solar or gas option.
If you prefer this option, then you would be making use of an electrically heated storage tank system or a heat pump. The electric storage option is inexpensive and the installation process is easy. A household of four people will need an average of 125 – 160 litre tank. Budget $1300 to $1500 if you are considering the storage tank. Only use the heat pump if you live in an area with constantly warm temperatures. The price for a heat pump ranges from $2500 to $4000.
While gas prices are rising, it is still a reliable source of energy. If you select the gas option, you may use gas storage or a gas instant. Gas storage makes use of a gas burner, located under the storage tank – this is how the water is heated. Gas instants only heat water when required and do not store any hot water. This means there is no heat loss from the tank, which helps you save energy and costs. Plan to pay $1100 – $2000 for gas instantaneous heating and a tank of 135 – 170 litres will cost approximately $1400 – $1900.
Solar heating needs solar collector panels and a storage tank. A household would need two panels and a 300 – 350 litre tank. To plan for days with less sunlight, use a solar gas or electrical booster. Although it is expensive to install, you will save on running costs. Budget about $3000 to $4000 for this option.
Keep your water usage in mind
One person uses an average of 50 litres of hot water a day – more if you prefer long showers. Take note of the amount of showers taken during the course of the day and the average time spent. Machines such as the dishwasher and washing machine also use a considerable amount of water. Note the amount of times they are used in a week. Ask an expert to investigate your home and provide recommendations. Also remember to ask questions about the products available. Call on an expert you trust. Contact our specialists for more information on hot water systems.