It’s one of the downsides of moving out of the nest and on to your own greener pastures; that dreaded electrical bill eating up hundreds of unnecessary dollars. You’ll soon realize that hot water is the main culprit and depending on how serious you are about reducing your consumption, you might even consider having cold showers. It doesn’t have to go this far. There are options and ways to reduce your hot water system budget. We spoke with the installers at Hot Water Brisbane to find out more.
What’s in Storage?
Hot water is stored in two ways. Economists and environmentalists are still debating which one is the most economical.
Hot water storage tanks keep a certain amount of water heated and stored. This was the most economical way to use hot water. The water was heated during off peak times, leading to reduced costs. The downside with this is that once the hot water runs out, you need to wait for the next heating cycle or prepare for a cold shower.
The other option, and one that is becoming more popular is instant water heaters. Instant water heaters store cold water, and when you turn on the tap, they start a fast heating process so hot water comes out almost immediately.
These days, heating costs are high even during off peak hours as the cost of electricity continues to rise. Since we have more options now, such as solar and gas, instant heating is becoming more affordable.
Turn Up the Heat
Now that we’re clued up on our storage options, we can look at which heating option makes the most affordable hot water system.
An electrically heated storage tank is cheap to buy and install, but expensive to run. Running the heating system during off peak times is cheaper, but then you’ll need a large tank because the water needs to last all day.
If you’re running the electrical heat all day expect your energy costs to skyrocket. Costs for the initial purchase of the hot water system are cheap however and can range anywhere from $300 – $1500 not including installation.
Although the price of gas is increasing, it’s still notably cheaper than electricity. Also, gas prices don’t change throughout the day, so you can have your system running continuously. Natural gas is cheaper than liquid petroleum gas, so it’s a more viable option. Costs vary significantly – from $900 – $2000 excluding installation costs.
An option that has garnered a lot of recognition in the last few years is solar heating. The solar panels are usually installed on the roof to get maximum sunshine. The storage tank will also have an electric or gas booster for days when there’s too little sun.
It’s expensive and time consuming to install, but if done correctly, the running costs will be very reasonable. Expect to pay between $2000 and $7000 for your system excluding installation costs.
A heat pump is like an electric storage tank system, but more efficient. It extracts heat from the air and uses this to heat the water – like the way an air conditioner works. It can get noisy, so it shouldn’t be stored too close to the house and if you’re reside in cooler areas then it won’t be as effective. Government rebates can be claimed however prices range from $2500 – $4000 not including installation by a certified hot water system plumber.