In most Australian households, water heating accounts for 25% of household energy usage. So having the right hot water system could save you money on electricity. The two main types of hot water systems are gas hot water systems and electric hot water systems; further divided into storage and continuous hot water systems.
What’s the difference between a storage and an instant heater / continuous flow hot water system?
Storage hot water systems use gas or electricity to heat water and store it in an insulated tank to await usage. Despite insulation, storage hot water systems still lose heat over-time. So it helps to place them somewhere sunny. If you’ve seen a big metal cylinder in your laundry room or outside your house, it was probably a storage hot water system.
Continuous flow hot water systems, or instant heaters, on the other hand, heat water on demand. They may take a few seconds to heat up, but instant heater systems will provide hot water as soon as you need it. They look a rectangular metal box hanging on a wall around the house.
What’s the difference between gas hot water systems and electric hot water systems?
The most obvious difference between gas and electric hot water systems is that one uses a gas-fueled fire to heat water and the other uses electricity; however, their key difference is cost. Electric hot water systems tend to be cheap to install but are more expensive to run. To save some money, you can install storage hot water systems that heat the water during off-peak electricity cost times (off-peak cost times are not available in all area). Instant heater electric hot water systems, on the other hand, are particularly expensive to run because they use full price electricity costs all the time. Meanwhile, gas systems tend to cost more to buy and install but are cheaper in the long run. However, gas prices are on the rise and not all houses have a natural gas connection. Another key difference between gas hot water and electric hot water is that electric hot water systems are easier to install inside. Gas hot water systems are typically installed outside because they require ventilation. However, you can get gas hot water systems with an exhaust flue. This may not matter if you live in a house, but it may affect your decision if you live in an apartment.
Which should I buy?
The hot water system you should get depends on your living situation. If you don’t have a gas line, then electricity might be best. If you have a gas connection, you can save money with gas. If you have a house with off-peak electricity connection, electricity might work best. Otherwise, electricity can be more expensive. However, if you need a cheaper up-front cost, then electricity is the way. Those are just some tips for choosing.
What to do if something goes wrong?
Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric hot water system, things do go wrong. If you have leaking hot water tank, a burst hot water tank, need a water heater replacement, or have a plumbing emergency, contact the team at The Brisbane Plumbers. We’re Brisbane’s 24/7 plumbing and emergency plumbing experts. If you have any questions or would like your hot water system checked, get in touch with the Brisbane plumbers on 0450 932 850.