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Gas vs electric hot water systems

So your hot water system has kicked the bucket. Shopping for a replacement can often be a challenging task, as there are many options to choose from. But which system is best for your household?

As heating hot water contributes to around 25% of household energy costs, it is important to select a system that suits your home and lifestyle.

Electric hot water systems

Electric water heaters can be further divided into three categories: the storage tank system, continuous or heat pump system. 

The storage tank system has been one of the most common choices for Australians for decades. However, the rising cost of electricity and the carbon footprint it leaves behind has seen its popularity wane. 

This is in part helped by legislation which aims to restrict their use. 

If you purchase a unit which continuously heats water during the day, you will have chosen the most expensive option – especially if they are enduring heavy use in peak hours.

The heat pump system extracts heat from the outside air in a similar fashion to the way a reverse cycle air conditioner warms up a room. 

This option can be reasonably efficient and produce low emissions, but will initially cost more to purchase. 

There are a handful of “cons” associated with this system which has seen them lose favour.  Their maintenance costs tend to be higher than their counterparts, as it incorporates an air conditioning unit.   

This may also require additional tradesman to diagnose or fix certain problems (ie. an electrician or air-conditioning mechanic).

Their compressor and fan noise can also be problematic, especially if the system is running in the later, off-peak hours when it is colder outside. 

Continuous electric hot water systems are usually three phase electric systems which ensures you have continuous hot water when you need it. 

Three phase continuous electric systems are suitable for multiple outlets, while single phase continuous electric systems are designed for single outlets. 

If you are not quite sure which hot water system best suits your application, the team at No Probs Plumbing and Gas are available to provide obligation free advice to ensure you are informed when selecting your new hot water system. 

Gas hot water systems

Like the electric systems, gas hot water systems come in both storage or continuous options. 

Gas storage units are energy efficient and have much lower emissions compared to their electric equivalent. 

If your home is already connected with gas, installation will cost about the same as the electric units. 

On the other hand, Gas Continuous Flow systems  (aka. Instantaneous or tankless systems) heat the water as needed. 

The much more compact unit heats the water as it flows through, which means two things; there is no need for storage and you will never run out of hot water. 

Storage tank water heaters (both gas and electric) are susceptible to bacterial growth within the tank. This prompted the World Health Organisation to recommend hot water be stored at 60 degrees Celsius or higher.  

The tankless system avoids this issue, which means water only needs to be heated to 50 degrees Celsius, helping to decrease running costs. 

While both storage and tankless gas systems are slightly more expensive to purchase and install, the running cost of the unit is much lower than the electric units. This makes it a more economical choice over the lifetime of the unit, as the initial difference should be recouped within a few years.  

Considerations

Before making the final choice for your home, consider these questions:

  • What energy/heat source do you currently have available?
  • Was your previous system storage or continuous?
  • How much space do you have available?
  • How many people will be using the system?
  • What is the climate like?
  • What will be the cost of installation compared to the ongoing running expenses?
  • How energy efficient will the unit be?

No Probs Plumbing and Gas are Perth’s hot water specialists

The No Probs Plumbing team knows that as soon as the hot water goes on the blink, an uproar ensues. That is why if we can’t repair, service or replace your hot water system on the day, we will loan you one at no extra cost, so you don’t have to go without. That is our promise to you!

No Probs’ Perth plumbing experts are available seven days a week (including weekends and public holidays) to repair, service or replace your old gas, electric or solar hot water system – ensuring you don’t need to go without a hot shower or bath.

Our fully licenced and qualified team can undertake all plumbing and Perth gas fitting work, and are a valuable source of information and advice. We are more than happy to talk you through the options available. 

We pride ourselves on providing competitive pricing on hot water system servicing, repairs and installations.

As well as installation, our gas fitters can assist with servicing the gas appliances in your home or business or be on call for gas leak emergencies. 

Call now on (08) 9315 5545 for an obligation free quote. 

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No Probs Plumbing also provides a range of residential and commercial plumbing services, with no call out fees. View our list of services here.

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