What is the most cost and energy efficient methods for getting hot water into your house? There are several sources of fuel that hot water systems can use. Here is a brief look at the best and worst of these:
Electricity is the most easily accessible and widely available source of energy for hot water systems in Australia. Electricity in Australia is considerably cheap compared to most other countries. However, not all average Aussie homeowners would feel this cost reduction. Electric water heaters can easily run up costs, especially if you are using an older model. If the heater model is older than 2002, you will need a heat trap or an insulation wrap to preserve energy efficiency. Still, electric systems are highly convenient and popular because of low installation costs and widespread availability.
If your home uses a lot of hot water, then a PV system, which uses solar energy, would be the best option. While the upfront installation costs of PV systems are high, the overall running costs are very low. If the system is comprehensive, you won’t need to pay energy bills later at all. Despite popular belief, these systems work even when it’s cloudy overhead. There are many modern systems that makes heating water using PV panels quite convenient. You can even compartmentalise parts of the house that require hot water. For example, if you want a heated pool, consider looking for solar pool heating Sydney. This method is great for eliminating expensive energy bills.
Also known as using a heat pump, this method is available only in some parts of Australia. You will need a heat pump to be already installed in your home to take advantage of this. Despite the limited availability, this system is very eco-friendly. It uses the high temperatures trapped underground to heat up your water. It works in winter as well. It’s similar to using a PV system, except that it’s not as widely used or available. Installation may require digging, which may not be approved for all households.
Worst: Propane Gas
Propane gas hot water systems are known for delivering an unlimited supply of hot water. These systems are typically combined with space heaters and the existing plumbing. If your home already uses propane for winter warmth, then it can be combined with a hot water system. The problem is, propane gas systems are not suited for large homes. You will also need to continuously buy gas cylinders to keep the system running. Buying propane gas in Australia can be expensive. You may not have the LPG bottles you need readily available either.
This refers to using a wood burner as the main source of heat to increase the temperature of the plumbing system. This is very old school and is no longer used heavily. However, if you have a vacation home or a cottage not connected to the grid, you can use the wetback method to get hot water. It’s only recommended if no other form of energy is possible.
If possible, choose a green energy source for your hot water. It’s good for the environment and will also save you money on the long run.