You may know tankless hot water systems as instantaneous hot water system, instant hot water systems, or as a continuous flow unit. There are many reasons why you would (or would not) switch to a tankless hot water system, but the main factors that will help you make that decision are the existing type of hot water system, availability of gas or high demand electricity, budget, age of hot water system and household dynamic.
What types of tankless hot water heaters are there?
There are two main types of tankless hot water system: electric tankless hot water systems and gas tankless water systems.
The electric system is very simple – it operates by circulating water over a number of heating elements like you find in a kettle. These instant heat water heater units generally use between 20 and 60kw of power per hour. By comparison, your standard electric hot water service generally uses around 3.6kw of power per hour, but they obviously need to heat over multiple hours, and continuously keep the stored water hot for future use.
The gas system can use either natural gas or LPG, and like the electric systems, it uses a lot of gas at once to get the heat into the pipework as required, rather than storing it like a storage system.
What are the tankless electric water heater Pros and Cons?
There are three main reasons you would opt for an electric tankless hot water system: price, space and availability of gas (or lack thereof).
Tankless hot water systems are relatively cheap compared to all the other options, and can be supplied and installed for less than $1000. Because they are so compact, they can pretty much fit wherever you like. They can be installed in bathrooms, ceilings, or under benches. They can be as small as a standard toaster, which making them perfect for units, flats and areas with no outside room and no excess cupboard space.
When it comes to servicing, they are also very cheap with minimal moving parts.
The cons though are operating costs and power availability. The fact that they can use from 20-60kw on a standard domestic install means most existing properties do not have big enough wiring to run the unit. They also cannot run on any off peak tariffs, solar or batteries, meaning a standard families power bill would be double that of standard storage electric hot water heaters.
What are the tankless gas water heater Pros and Cons?
Like electric systems, there are three main reasons for a gas tankless hot water system: price, natural gas or LPG availability, and space.
Like the electric units they are relatively cheap to install compared to a storage system, they usually have around a 6-star energy rating and have a lot more control and options compared to a storage system.
From temperature control units to a hot water recirculation system option so you don’t have to run cold water from the tap before the hot comes through. A standard home hot water service is also relatively small and compact and come with options for indoor and external installations.
When it comes to cons there is two main factors. The first of which is generally only an issue outside of metro areas, and that is reliable power supply, as these units generally ignite by electronic ignition. The second and main factor is gas type. While natural gas is relatively cheap compared to electric systems, either tankless or off peak storage, LPG is quite expensive and you can run out of gas meaning if you don’t keep track of consumption you could have not hot water for a few days.
Are tankless hot water systems right for me?
The answer is yes and no. When is comes to water heaters, gas are generally a great additional with numerous cost and environmental savings to be had. When contemplating instant hot water heaters, electric can be hard to say yes to. We would generally only recommend them when solar, heat pump and off peak tariffs are not an option, or when there is one fixture in the house that is a long way from the hot water supply, then an under-sink water heater may be the only option.
So where to next?
Give us a call 0450 932 850 or visit our page for any queries or questions. We would love to discuss long term costs, saving, family factors and personal preferences.