Gas Or Electric Hot Water Heating
Did you know that your home’s hot water accounts for almost a quarter of your energy costs? Over time, that’s a lot of money wrapped up in hot water! So, the choice between which system – gas or electric, is a crucial one.
To save time and avoid a ‘panic buy’ it’s best to do some research now and replace your aging system before disaster strikes. Usually, when hot water systems come to the end of their life it’s a dramatic ending. So, the answer to whether a gas or electric hot water heater is best depends on your home, family’s needs, and what you value more.
Let’s break it down for you.
If safety is your biggest concern.
Electric heaters are generally the safest option since there is no gas/fuel to lead or potentially explode. The newer electric models combined with ‘off-peak’ electricity tariffs make running electric hot water systems far cheaper than what we have seen in the past.
If you’re aiming for an energy-efficient home.
Gas hot water systems are more energy-efficient as they heat water faster and don’t run as often as electric models. They are typically also smaller units. You can also install a continuous flow hot water system, also known as Instantaneous or Tankless system. These systems heat water as you need it, without a storage tank. That means you’ll never run out of hot water.
To throw another option in the mix for you – solar powered units are some of the most energy-efficient systems available. However, they are typically costly to install and if you need to use a booster in times of minimal sunlight can end up being costly to run.
To find out more about running energy-efficient systems, you can click here.
If you want to avoid costly installation.
Gas hot water units generally come with more upfront costs. If you currently run an electric unit and are wanting to install a gas unit, know that you will need to invest in a natural gas line installation by a qualified gas fitter. That cost coupled with the new gas system could add up to a more expensive initial outlay.
If you want to save money over time.
Although gas hot water systems come with more upfront costs, the savings on your energy and water bill will be seen over time. This analysis is based partially on the fact that natural gas is typically less expensive than electricity and you don’t need to worry about off-peak tariffs.
If you want a cheap option, fast.
If you’re currently using an electric system and it’s failed (or about to, read our list of warning signs here) and you just want to replace what you have, then stick with electric. Just choose a new, energy-efficient electric model to save on your electric bill over time.
If you need a lot of hot water.
Family of 6? Need a constant supply of hot water for lots of showers, washing up and clothes washing? Well firstly, read on how you can save money off your water bill here. then consider the size of your current tank: does it meet your needs or do you need a bigger unit? Then consider a continuous flow option, saving the need for a tank at all and ensuring you will always have hot water.
As you can see, the debate on whether gas or electric hot water heaters are better for you has many angles to consider. Always take time to review options on choice or the government sites which break down energy-efficient appliances.
Plus, you can talk to our expert team at Proximity Plumbing for advice on what will suit your current home. Feel free to call us today on 0420 102 394 for a free quote. We are pros at installing and repairing hot water systems and will gladly answer your questions. Plus, we guarantee to be on-site within the eastern suburbs in 30 minutes!
ELECTRIC HOT WATER UNIT
These have been the more common hot water units in Australia for decades. However this is starting to change, with the rising costs of electricity and high greenhouse gas emissions.
The environmental effects these are having have even caused the government to pass legislation to try and limit their use.
ELECTRIC HEAT PUMPS
Heat pumps heat your water by extracting heat from ambient outside air, in a similar way that reverse cycle air conditioners work.
These have lower greenhouse gas emissions, but the upfront costs (surprise, surprise) are substantial.
The popularity of these has decreased due to their high maintenance and repair costs. Not to mention they are also extremely noisy.
GAS STORAGE HOT WATER SYSTEM
Similar to the electric tank/electric hot water unit, the obvious difference is that it’s run by a gas burner (not electric).
These are far more energy efficient and have lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Gas heaters also eliminate the worry of time-of-day tariff issues. This means that gas storage units don’t have to be as large as electric ones and can run at any time required. Installation costs are the same as electric.
GAS CONTINUOUS FLOW HOT WATER SYSTEMS.
Also known as Instantaneous or Tankless, these systems heat the water as you need it.
These units only heat the water as it passes through, so there is no storage tank. This solves the problem of never running out of hot water.
The upfront costs of this system is extremely low and greenhouse gas emissions are far lower tan electric storage units.
These units are also very energy efficient and running costs are manageable.
SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEMS
If you’re an environmentalist and money savvy, this is the unit for you.
Solar units have some of the lowest running costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but are unfortunately the most expensive to install.
These solar water systems are also equipped with a booster, useful in periods with minimal sunlight. When this booster kicks in it can cause running prices to rise, so it’s important for there to be a sufficient number of panels and tank storage to minimise the use of the booster.
It’s clear that people are steering away from the previously popular electric units and transitioning to gas and solar units.
If you are still feeling a little lost, feel free to give the Proximity plumbing team a call and we can best guide you, tailoring our recommendations specifically to your home, budget and lifestyle.