Water heating takes up the second spot in the highest household energy consumption after air heating and cooling. For this reason, it is important to choose the correct hot water system for your home that meets the needs of your household and also operates efficiently.
The two main things you must consider when choosing your hot water system is the usage of hot water per household and the type or model of equipment.
Hot Water Consumption
On a typical day each person should use approximately 50L of water a day, this may increase however if you were to have longer than average showers, wash clothes in warm water or use your dishwasher frequently.
To measure usage, households are broken up into three standard sizes. For most households, a solar hot water system can be the most efficient and cheapest to run. If that’s not an option, there are other options.
- SMALL – 1-2 People (Continuous flow hot water system (gas or electric) or small gas storage hot water system.)
- MEDIUM – 3-4 People (Gas systems (continuous flow or storage), or a heat pump.)
- LARGE – 5 People or more (Multiple continuous flow hot water system may be an option but gas storage units may be more economical. Large heat pumps are also an option.)
Usually it is easy to calculate the amount of hot water needed per household, but sometimes different variables may change this.
A trusted plumber or hot water system supplier will be able to analyse your water consumption needs and determine what to choose that best suits your family.
They will look into:
- The number of people who live in a home
- The total amount of hot water used in a day
- The time of day or night that hot water is high in demand
Proper analysis of hot water use is necessary if you shower at different types of day e.g peak and off peak.
Which system to choose?
There are 5 variables when deciding on your hot water system:
- Heating method
- Storage or continuous flow
- Energy efficiency
- Each of these variables impacts both the cost and energy use of your hot water system. We can help you understand these better in order for you to feel confident in selecting the right one.
There are four different ways in which your hot water system can run. These are natural gas, electricity, solar or via a heat pump. All of which have both advantages and disadvantages.
Storage or continuous flow
You will find most hot water systems use a storage tank. Others will heat water instantly and provide hot water on demand.
The size of your hot water heater is very important and based on the needs and usage of your household. Too small and you run out of hot water and too large risks your hot water heater losing the ability to maintain optimal water temperature.
The cost of your hot water system also includes maintenance and operating costs. It is also important to understand things like some heaters that aren’t fully insulated can lose heat quickly which wastes energy and therefore are more expensive to run.
The more energy efficient your hot water system is, the more savings you will make in the long run of operation. A cheaper model may sound good at the time however running costs may be higher, so it is always good to weigh up long term savings as well and short-term costs.
We do hope this has provided some clarity for you when shopping for your hot water system, should you have any further questions please give our friendly team a call on 0421 572 008 and we will be more than happy to help you on your hot water journey.