How to choose the right hot water system for your home

There are several types of hot water systems on the market, but how do you know which water heater fits your family’s needs? Water heaters account for up to 20% of your home’s annual energy use, so choosing the best one for your home is crucial for saving money. They can also help preserve the environment. So how do you choose the right hot water system for your home?

Before you decide on a hot water system for your home, it is important to know what types are available.

Types of Hot Water Systems

[] Solar Hot Water System – Expensive but it can greatly reduce your electric bills and lower the cost of heating water

[] Heat Pumps – An efficient way of heating water, which uses only 70% of the electricity that other electric water heaters use

[] Natural Gas Hot Water System – This has both storage capacity and continuous flow available

[] LPG Hot Water System – costs three times the price of natural gas or off-peak electricity for its running cost average.

[] Bio-Fuel Hot Water Systems – Fuel costs vary here; it can either be used alone or in combination with “off-peak electric /solar” systems within a constant pressure storage unit. This version is not to be used with main pressure systems without a “heat exchanger.”

[] Off-Peak Electric Hot Water Systems – In this system, the water is heated overnight and supplies enough hot water for the whole day, but can only be applied to storage systems with 160-litre capacity or greater.

[] Peak Electric Hot Water Systems – Used for continuous flow, and storage water heater with a capacity less than 160 liters and with a heat pump type of storage system

You can find out more about each of these hot water systems’ features online, and which are readily available in your area.

Selection Criteria

[] Fuel type – The fuel type and energy source used in water heating will affect cost, size and efficiency.

[] Availability – Make sure that the type of water heater system you want is readily available. Price will depend on availability.

[] Cost – Best to get an estimate of its annual operating costs and make a comparison.

[] Size – Consider the area in the home that the water heater is needed.

[] Energy efficiency – Know how efficient the water heater is before you buy. The higher its Star rating, the more energy efficient it is.

If you are unsure about this checklist, the following questions should help you in gathering information you need in choosing your water heater system.

[] How big is your household?

[] When and how do you use hot water?

[] How close are the areas that need access to water in your house?

[] Are you able to afford a new system, plus installation? Bear in mind that there are up-front costs and installation charges to be considered, as well as ongoing costs.