06 Jun Finding the Right Hot Water System for You
With so many different options out there, finding the right hot water system to meet the needs of your Brisbane property can be confusing and stressful. Every hot water system, whether it’s a gas, electric, solar or heat pump system, has its pros and cons. Usually, when people purchase a new hot water system, they only look at the upfront costs. However, over time, running costs will always trump the cost of installation and given that hot water accounts for around a quarter of your household’s electricity bill, it’s important to get it right. The other thing to consider is the size of the hot water system you need. Do you have a large family? Are you on your own? Nobody likes cold showers, so it is important to compare your options properly:
Electric Hot Water Systems are the most common system in Australia. They are the cheapest and easiest to install, but often the most expensive to run in the long term. Electric systems are always heating even when not in use, constantly using power. While electric systems can be switched to off-peak tariffs to reduce these costs, if water is only being heated during the night, you’ll need a larger system to ensure you don’t run out of hot water during the day.
Common brands: Rheem, Aquamax, Thermann, Everhot, Vulcan, Rinnai
Gas Storage Systems
A Gas Storage Hot Water System is similar to an electric system with the key difference being that the electric heat element is replaced with a gas burner. They are much more energy efficient than the electric system and produce much lower greenhouse gas emissions. Much like electric systems, gas storage systems heat water even when not in use. However, there are no ‘time-of-day’ tariff issues with gas, meaning gas units typically don’t need to be as large.
Common Brands: Rheem, Thermann, Aquamax
Instant Gas Systems
An Instant Gas Hot Water System is more expensive than a storage unit but is a great option for a larger household as Gas Hot Water Systems never run out of hot water. Rather, these units instantaneously heat water as it passes through the system so there is no storage tank needed. They are energy efficient and cheaper to run than solar or heat pump options.
Common Brands: Rheem, Themann, Rinnai, Bosch
Solar hot water systems have the highest up-front costs but typically provide the lowest long-term running costs. Often there are government rebates to assist with installation costs and solar systems usually come with a longer warranty. Solar systems are best when used in combination with gas or electricity to boost hot water production during low-sun periods.
Common Brands: Rheem, Thermann, Apricus, Solarhart
Heat Pump Systems
A Heat Pump Hot Water System heats water by extracting heat from the ambient outside air, in the same way that a reverse cycle air conditioner would heat a room. The hot water is then stored in a tank, similar to an electric system. Heat pumps are expensive to install but have lower running costs and do not require sunlight to operate. They use up to 65% less energy than electric systems but may require a booster if the outside temperature is low.
Common Brands: Rheem, Quantum, Thermann