Understanding Your Options
If you want a new water heating system, you may be wondering what hot water heater is right for you. Gas or electric? Tankless or tank-based? Find out more about all of your common options in this blog from Wilco Plumbing.
Gas Water Heaters
Gas hot water systems burn natural gas (LPG) to heat up your water for daily use. Gas heaters usually cost less to operate than electric systems, since gas is cheaper than electricity in most of Australia.
However, gas water heaters tend to be a little bit less efficient overall compared to electric models, resulting in higher overall emissions. They also must vent spent gas, which leads to further heat losses and emissions.
Electric Water Heaters
An electric hot water system uses electricity to heat up a “heating element” which heats up your water, and provides you with the hot water you need for your daily tasks.
Electric water heaters have high efficiency, and the installed cost of electric water heaters is about the same as gas water heaters.
Storage Tank Heaters
You can buy both electric storage tank heaters and gas water tank heaters. This type of heater uses a heating element and a large, insulated storage tank – usually between 130 to 200 litres. The water is heated, then kept in the tank until it’s needed for your daily use.
Storage tank heaters can supply a lot of hot water at once, but they take a long time to replenish used water, and they are not that energy-efficient, since water is heated and stored even when you’re not using it.
Tankless Water Heaters (Continuous Flow)
Both electric and gas continuous flow water heaters are available. These heaters do not use a tank, hence the term “tankless” water heater. Instead, they use a very high-powered gas or electric heating element to heat water immediately on-demand as it flows through the unit on the way to your taps.
As long as you don’t exceed the flow rate of a tankless water heater, you’ll never run out of hot water. For example, a heater with a flow rate of 24 litres per minute can usually supply hot water to 3 taps simultaneously.
Tankless heaters are very efficient, require less maintenance than tank-based heaters, and are smaller than tank-based units. However, they cost more to purchase and install, and if you buy an improperly-sized unit, you may frequently run out of hot water – carefully consider how much capacity you need before buying a unit.
Solar Hot Water Systems
A solar hot water system uses a specialized “collector” mounted on the roof of your home. This collector captures the solar energy of the sun and heats up, then sends heat to a water heater storage tank using a heat exchanger.
Then, the water heats up and is kept at a steady temperature for home use. A backup heater that uses electricity or gas may also be installed, just in case there is not enough sun to heat up the water to the proper temperature.
Benefits of hot water systems include near-zero greenhouse emissions and minimal running costs – they get a 5-star rating for energy efficiency. However, they usually cost a lot more to install than other types of water heaters.
Get A New Hot Water Heater From Wilco Plumbing Today!
Still not sure which system is right for you? At Wilco Plumbing, we make it easy for you to get the right hot water system for your home. Our experienced technicians can learn more about you, your family, and your budget – and recommend the right unit for your particular needs. Call now at 02 9186 3371, or contact us online to get started with experienced plumbers in Sydney.