With your hot water system taking up as much as 25% of your home energy consumption, it’s a good idea to think about installing a more efficient water heating system. The two most common systems are electric and gas hot water heaters. However, choosing the best hot water system for your family can be confusing to say the least. Hughes Plumbing Contractors have done all the hard work for you and weighed up the benefits of each type of hot water system so you can choose the best one for your needs. So if you’re in South East Queensland and considering installing a new hot water system – read on.
Electric Storage Heaters
An electric storage system uses an electrical element to heat water and stores it within the tank. Although hot water is immediately available, the tank may run out then need to be refilled and reheated. Recent legislation has also regulated the use of energy intensive electric hot water systems to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Pros of Electric Tank Heaters
- Easy and inexpensive to install
- Available pretty much anywhere
- Indoor and outdoor installation options
- Available in many sizes from 25L units to 400L units for families
- More suitable for off-peak or economy tariff connections
- Twin elements options for extra heating
Cons of Electric Storage Heaters
- More expensive over the longer term
- Electricity costs vary throughout the day
- Higher greenhouse gas emissions
- Shorter life expectancy of around 10 years
- Limited hot water supply if used over long periods
- Energy wasted from radiant heat loss
- Tank may corrode without proper maintenance
Gas Storage Heaters
Operating like electric hot water systems, water stored in the tank is heated by a gas element. Gas can be supplied by either mains gas or LPG cylinders. Generally, gas systems are cheaper over the long run but may cost slightly more to install.
Pros of Gas Storage Heaters
- Cheaper to run than electric systems
- Heats water quicker then electric storage systems
- Around 25% less greenhouse gas emission than electric models
- Take up less room than electric tanks
- Constant gas prices don’t affect costs
Cons of Gas Tank Heaters
- Best for mains gas connected properties
- Needs to be located outdoors or else have a flue
- LPG costs may be more expensive than natural gas
- Possibility of no hot water during power outages due to electric ignition
Have you thought of Choosing a Tankless Water Heater?
A newer heating option that many people are using is instantaneous hot water. Also known as continuous flow or tankless systems, these units provide hot water on demand and only heat water as it passes through. This removes the need for a tank and ensures you never run out of hot water. Besides saving energy on heating a full tank of water constantly, tankless heaters also remove the threat of bacterial growth causing Legionnaire’s disease present in storage heaters.
Pros of Continuous Flow Water Heaters
- Lower running costs that storage tanks
- Consume up to 30% less energy than traditional tank heaters
- Can be mounted on a wall to save space
- Minimal amounts of energy wastage
- Virtually endless supply of hot water
- Life expectancy approaching 20 years
Cons of Instantaneous Water Heaters
- Hot water flow may be slightly limited by unit size
- May be slightly more expensive to install
- Water may take a couple of seconds to heat up
- Temperature may vary slightly
Book a Free In-Home Consultation with Hughes Plumbing Contractors
Hughes Plumbing Contractors are highly experienced local plumbers and experts on the different types of hot water systems. We offer a complimentary in-home consultation and can come to your home at a convenient time to discuss your hot water heating needs. Our licensed tradesmen will present options and talk about what system would be best for your family. During our free in-home consultation, we’ll discuss your personal preferences, which system is most economical and also look at possible installation locations amongst other important considerations. We service customers from the Sunshine Coast right down to the Gold Coast including all areas of Brisbane.