How do you choose the best hot water system?

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Choose the best hot water system

Making a purchasing decision on hot water system

If your hot water system has died, is on its last legs or not giving you enough hot water when you need it, then you may be in the decision process of getting a new system. But not all hot water systems are created equal, so how do you know which one to choose? The following are some tips to help you come to the right decision.

1. Do your research before anything else.

  • How many people are in the household?
  • How many bathrooms are in your home?
  • How many people use the bathroom at the same time?
  • What times in the day do you usually need hot water the most?
  • What utilities (gas, electricity, solar) are already connected to your house?
  • Do you want to reduce your energy bills?
  • Do you have a single rate tariff or a time of use tariff?
  • How important is the upfront price?
  • Are you restricted with space?

2. Choose the type of hot water system that suits your needs and current condition.

Once you know the answers to the questions above then you need to use the information to evaluate the types of systems:

1. Electric storage systems

Electric storage hot water systems are the most affordable unit to purchase the water that is heated by an element and can be enamel or stainless steel tanks.

2. Gas Hot Water Systems

  •  Gas storage systems

Gas storage hot water systems are available with a 4 or 5-star energy rating and the cylinders can be made from stainless steel or vitreous enamel-coated steel.

  •  Gas continuous flow systems

These hot water units heat hot water as it is required, meaning you will never run out of hot water and no money is wasted heating water that isn’t used. Instant hot water systems are much smaller which means you can save valuable space.

3 . Solar Hot Water Systems

Solar hot water systems use the sun’s energy to heat water. These solar units could be categorised into two, depending on the source of the boost. The boost is need for winter months and overcast days, when the energy coming from the sun is not enough to produce the hot water needed. Solar units are more environmentally friendly and you may even be eligible for government incentives.

  • Gas boosted solar hot water systems

Continuous flow units serve as  backup boosters for gas boosted solar hot water heaters . 

  •  Electric boosted solar hot water systems

This is similar to the gas boosted solar hot water heaters but instead the boost comes from an electric element.

4. Heat pump hot water systems

Heat pump hot water systems work best in warmer climates. They work by electricity pumping a refrigerant around the system, which transfers heat from the air to the water. They are more environmentally friendly than electric or gas systems. 

3. Select the hot water brand.

Once you know which system you want then this will lead you in the right direction of which brand to choose. Some manufacturers specialise in certain types, like solar or heat pumps. Warranties vary from one hot water manufacturer to another, so the length of the warranty should be one of the most important factors that you should consider when selecting a brand.

Research on the internet, ask your friends, family or neighbours, and most importantly speak to the experts – the plumbers that install, repair and replace hot water systems. Their advice is worth paying for.

4. Pick the model.

Referring back to your research, when you choose which model or size of the hot water system, think about your usage habits. Tank size and flow rate all depend on how many people are showering, how long they shower for and if multiple showers are in use at the same time.

The manufacturer and your plumber will be able to help you make a decision in this area as well so be sure to ask them.

5. Engage with a licensed installer.

When you are choosing the installer, make sure you are using a licensed tradesperson. Also look at whether they offer any types of warranties or guarantees on top of the manufacturer’s warranty, and if they are the service agents for the brand of hot water system you have chosen. 

By evaluating these benefits, you have the reassurance that if something does go wrong you are going to get the best cover. Remember, the best value doesn’t always mean the cheapest solution. 

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