A vital question…but with so much to consider before you finalise your next purchase of a hot water system for your Melbourne home or workplace, it can be an overwhelming prospect. If you find yourself asking which hot water system should you buy, consider these tips below and if you have any questions, feel free to give Doherty Plumbing Solutions a call!
Opting for a system that fits your budget and hot water requirements can dictate the savings on your energy bills, as well as reduce greenhouse emissions. We at Doherty Plumbing Solutions understand the various factors that play into which hot water system is best suited to meet your needs.
A standard hot water unit operates for around 10 years on average, whereas a quality hot water unit can last for at least 15 years. This, however, depends on the type of hot water unit and its usage since its installation.
Read here as we list the 6 most important factors to consider before you replace your existing hot water unit with a brand new one.
In this guide, we will also explore the different types of hot water units you can find in the Australian market.
Storage or Instantaneous
The two basic categories of hot water systems that you can install include storage and instantaneous type hot water units.
Storage hot water systems heat water through ignition from a main burner and store this hot water in an insulated tank – ready for use. Once the stored hot water capacity is exhausted, it takes time to reheat more water, thereby consuming more energy resources.
While instantaneous hot water units only heat the required amount of water as it flows through a coiled metal heat exchanger. Instantaneous hot water units are often referred to as continuous flow or tankless units. They only heat the water as the tap is turned on, with no water being actually stored in a container. Therefore, tankless systems offer better energy ratings due to only heating the water as it is required.
Storage heater systems can operate using solar, gas, electricity and air-sourced (heat pump) energy, while continuous flow systems run on electricity or gas.
For a household / workplace with a smaller capacity and space availability, tankless systems are a more cost-effective and practical choice than storage hot water systems, with the latter requiring additional space for installing the tank.
Depending on the energy source being used in either a storage type or a tankless type of hot water unit, these are the following options available:
Electric Hot Water Systems
For storage electrical hot water units, the temperature of the stored water needs to be maintained around 60-80 degrees celsius. As the unused hot water begins to cool over time due to heat loss, these systems consume more energy to reheat the water. Although relatively cheaper to install, they are more expensive to maintain in the long run with higher electricity bills.
Despite requiring a 3 phase electrical supply, instantaneous electric hot water units are a more economical option considering future running costs and electricity bills, as the water is only heated as per your requirements. These are more suitable for smaller households / workplaces, being able to supply hot water to a limited number of water outlets.
Gas Hot Water Systems
Be it a storage type hot water unit or an instantaneous one, natural gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) are a common fuel source to heat water.
Particularly those units using natural gas can have cheaper running costs than electricity-based hot water units but emit more greenhouse gases due to the burning of fossil fuels.
Some new-age gas-based hot water units are equipped with a flue system that circulates the hot gases around the unit more efficiently, compared to older models.
Solar Hot Water Systems
Upfront installation costs for solar hot water units are relatively higher and take longer to set up. But with the abundance of sunshine in Australia, these are a more attractive and greener option due to lower future operational costs and reduced greenhouse gas discharges.
Thirteen percent of all hot water units in Australia comprise solar heating systems. Government rebates for solar system installations provide another incentive for households and businesses.
However, the solar panels’ collectors need to be put up in an ideal location, to act as the best sunshine catchment area. Otherwise, the whole system’s efficiency is likely to be reduced.
Additionally, booster units (electricity or gas-based) need to be fitted to the storage tank of a solar-powered hot water system, to heat water in low-sun conditions.
Heat-pump Hot Water Systems
An environmentally-friendly and efficient mechanism, heat-pump systems isolate and distribute the heat from the air around the unit to the water contained in a tank. Heat-pump systems use electricity to run a compressor and a fan, which help with the gathering and circulation of the heat around the tank.
This technology works well when installed outdoors, with areas having good ventilation, and is estimated to be three times more energy efficient than a conventional electric hot water system. The latter uses electricity to heat the water directly, which raises energy consumption, and in turn, increases your bills.
Similar to solar-powered units, government rebates and incentives can help subsidize the cost of installing heat-pump hot water units.
Where can you get hot water plumbing service in Melbourne?
The team of licensed plumbers at Doherty Plumbing Solutions provide complete hot water services in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, including repairs, maintenance and replacements/installations.
When you choose Doherty Plumbing Solutions for your Melbourne hot water services, you will receive top-of-the-line, quality workmanship.
We will work with you to determine the choice of a hot water unit that is suited to your home, budget, family, and lifestyle.
We work with industry-leading Australian brands for hot water units and can make the necessary arrangements to order and install it in your Melbourne home or business.
Our preferred Australian hot water system brands include Rheem; Vulcan; Aquamax; Dux; Rinnai; Bosch.