Types of Hot Water Systems
A variety of hot water systems are available, catering to any environmental and energy concerns.
Types of hot water units include:
- Instant Hot Water
- Gas Hot Water
- Electric Hot Water
- Solar Hot Water
- Gas Boosted Solar
- Heat Pump Hot Water
Factors to think about for a hot water system replacement include:
- The size of the system (does it have to cater for a big family, multiple bathrooms, etc.)
- What type of energy you use or want to use (gas, solar or electric)
- How much space is there for the actual unit
Read on below to find out more about each system and why it could suit your needs best!
Instant Hot Water Systems
Also called an instantaneous or continuous flow hot water system, instant hot water systems have plenty of perks.
It’s a tankless gas system that costs very little to run and will always deliver hot water as you need it.
If you need facts, these are the important ones:
- A space saving and tankless unit attached to the wall
- Heats water instantly and continuously as required only
- Instant gas hot water systems cost less to run
- Energy efficient, producing fewer CO2 emissions
- Water is cleaner and fresher than alternatives as the design prevents bacteria growth
- An instant electric hot water system does cost more to run but can be good for places where there’s no gas on
Gas Hot Water Systems
Most gas hot water systems are instantaneous, but that's not the only option on the market.
Gas water heaters come in both an instant and storage tank option and compared to their electric counterparts are far more cost effective over the long term. It’s important to know:
- Upfront purchasing and installation costs can be higher than electric, but over the long term gas hot water systems are cheaper to run
- Powered by either a gas mains or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) bottles
- Burning gas heats up the water in either a tank or the pipe itself in a wall mounted instant hot water system
- A traditional storage hot water system uses more gas to maintain the water temperature in the tank than an instant system
- An instant hot water system only heats the water as you need it
- Energy efficient with fewer CO2 emissions produced
- Ventilation requirements mean either outdoor installation or indoor installation with a flue
Electric Hot Water Systems
Despite all the praise for gas, don’t forget the humble electric hot water system!
In many cases, it may be the only option, but the positive is many companies now have energy efficient options which Upside Down will happily talk to you about. The pros and cons include:
- Installation and purchase prices are cheaper
- Running costs (electricity bills) are higher than gas or solar
- Older models have a more negative impact on the environment
- Newer models are always a more energy efficient option
- Brands such as Rheem and Rinnai have energy efficient alternatives
- Traditional storage tank options and instant electric hot water systems are available
- Easy installation indoors and outdoors in all climates and conditions
Solar Hot Water Systems
Solar hot water heaters are always a bright idea because nothing warms your heart like the sun warming your bubble bath.
For a modern alternative, solar is your best bet. Leading brands such as Rheem, Rinnai and Chromagen are at the forefront of the latest technological improvements. It’s important to take into consideration:
- Purchasing and installing solar panels and solar hot water systems is a high upfront cost, although government rebates may be available
- The hot water tank can be installed either on the roof by the panels, or on the ground in a split system
- Running costs are incredibly low (your hot water system’s energy consumption could lessen by up to 90%)
- Environmentally friendly with no CO2 emissions
- Cloudy weather conditions can impact efficiency
- Cold conditions may cause extra wear and tear on the solar panels, requiring maintenance or replacement (a service we happily provide at Upside Down)
Gas Boosted Solar
Solar gas boosted hot water systems offer the economical reliability of a backup gas continuous unit if you live in a location that has more overcast conditions.
Think of gas boosted solar as an extra espresso shot in your coffee, it boosts an already efficient solar system so you have hot water under any circumstances. Importantly, it’s still an environmentally friendly choice.
Heat Pump Hot Water
What’s a heat pump hot water system, you ask? Well, a little like Upside Down, it has its quirks!
While running off electricity, heat is sourced by sucking in external air which works through a chemical process to produce heat, kind of like a reverse fridge. It’s a low carbon technology energy option that saves money and is easy to run. Here’s how it works:
- A heat exchange system draws in outside air
- Warm air turns a liquid refrigerant substance into a gas
- A compression process creates heat
- The heat is moved from the gas pipes to a storage tank, and you have hot water
- Despite running off electricity it is much more energy efficient than traditional systems
- Best suited to warmer climates, and not recommended for cold areas
- High purchasing and installation costs
- Long term running costs are low
Hot Water System Brands
Our certified plumbers know every brand, inside out.
We stock many of the big names and can service or repair all the key players. No matter the system, we’re here for you, working with the likes of:
- And many, many more!
Hot Water Systems FAQs
No home uses hot water the same as any other home. Some homes have a household full of long hot shower lovers, while others won’t even use hot water to wash their clothes. The best hot water system for you is a highly personal choice.
When choosing a hot water system, you need to consider:
- Number of people in your home
- How much hot water is used
- What time hot water is used
- Does your washing machine and dishwasher use hot water?
- Plus much more!
A licensed plumber can help you consider all these things and help choose the best water heater for your home.
A well maintained hot water system will last you 8-12 years. We’ve even been to homes where the hot water system is over 20 years old and still alive and kicking!
Once your water heater starts reaching the 8 year old mark and it has started showing problems, it’s time to start looking for a new one.
Absolutely! The expected age range of your hot water system is only accurate provided you follow the manufacturer’s servicing instructions.
Servicing your hot water system will not only ensure it lasts you a long time, but it will also identify parts that need repairs and replacements before they become big problems. This can save you major costly work further down the line. It will also ensure it is working efficiently, so you won’t be wasting energy (and money!).