There are a number of different water heating systems that you can opt for from gas to electric to solar amongst others. It can be a difficult choice determining which one is best for your home and your energy consumption. Water heating costs can be anywhere up to 25% of your total energy costs for your home so you definitely want to be making the right choice for your family and lifestyle.
Before going out and deciding the type of hot water system you want to have there are a few questions that you need to answer in order to form the basis of your decision:
- What is available for my home?
- How many people/how often will it get used and for what purposes?
- How much space do I have available?
- How efficient is the system going to be?
- What can I afford and how much the running expenses of the chosen system will be?
Electric hot water system
Electric hot water systems are definitely the most energy intensive and are becoming slightly less popular. These systems produce a lot of greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity production and energy required to heat the water. The water is heated and stored in a tank meaning that you have instant hot water until the tank runs out and requires refilling and reheating.
There are ‘off peak’ systems available that mean when you are likely not using hot water (e.g. throughout the day when you are at work) the system effectively slows down reducing the energy consumption. However, because they are generally energy intensive, these systems can be expensive to run despite the low installation costs.
Gas hot water system
These systems work almost identical to the electrical systems but used gas instead of electricity to heat the water by way of natural gas of LPG. This means that they are far more cost effective than the electrical systems but you access to gas is one thing that needs to come into consideration.
Gas hot water systems are most often installed outdoors and the installation costs can be a little more than the electric ones. However, the running costs are cheaper and it is slightly more environmentally friendly. They usually take up less room as well making them a great option for smaller homes.
Choosing your hot water system comes down to the access you have to electricity and gas and how often you will be using hot water. The size of your home and the number of people living in it also must be considered. Ultimately it is a personal choice as to the costs, efficiency and accessibility.