Winter can be very unbearable when you don’t have a reliable source of hot water. Using cold water to accomplish domestic tasks like bathing, washing dishes and laundry can be quite uncomfortable. It may even lead to health complications if you have underlying conditions. Of course, you can heat water on a stove and use it for the above activities. However, that’d be inconvenient because of the waiting time. It may also increase your annual bills due to energy wastage.
Investing in a hot water system will give instant access to hot water. It also makes your daily activities more enjoyable. It’s worth noting that the cost-saving and convenience you enjoy depend on the device you purchase. So, before you settle on one, assess all the available options. You can start by comparing gas vs electric hot water systems to see the best fit for your needs. The size of your household, the price of the heater and its efficiency are other factors to consider. This article will discuss all of them in detail. Read on to learn more.
1. Understand Your Home’s Water Usage
Water usage differs depending on the household size and the type of daily activities. Your neighbour’s water demand may not match what you need for your daily domestic tasks. Therefore, your first step is to monitor the amount of hot water your household uses over some time. You can use the values you get here to estimate your home’s daily needs. But just as a guide, consider that one person may require around 50 litres of hot water per day. You can expect this value to rise when you include dishwashing and laundry. Determine the time of day when hot water usage is at its peak. It should help you in sizing your new water heater. Choose a tank that can cater to the needs of everyone in your home without any inconvenience. Not sure how to analyze your home usage or don’t have the time for the same? Hire a hot water system supplier to look into it and recommend the best options.
2. Check The Heating Method
A hot water system can heat water through solar energy, natural gas or electricity. Each of these heating techniques has its fair share of pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of each system:
Electricity Hot Water System
- It requires low upfront costs.
- It’s easy to install.
- Using off-peak electricity makes it cost-effective.
- It’s expensive to maintain.
- You’ll need a larger tank to run this system on off-peak electricity.
Natural Gas Hot Water System
- More affordable to run compared with electricity
- The gas rates are constant throughout the day.
- It’s environmentally friendly as it has fewer greenhouse emissions.
- It must be connected outside; otherwise, it should have a flue.
- It’s a viable option only for those already connected to the gas distribution line.
Solar Hot Water System
- It’s environmentally friendly.
- Low running costs and can cut your energy consumption significantly
- You may receive government incentives for installing it in your home.
- More expensive to install than electricity
- Its reliability depends on the weather.
You can use the pros and cons to assess each option and see which fits your financial and overall plans. But given modern trends, it’d be a good idea to invest in renewable sources if you can afford the upfront costs.
3. Consider The Costs
As you can see above, the expenses of every system vary at every stage of usage. Therefore, check the cost of installing, running and maintaining a hot water system before purchasing one. Another thing to note is that most renewable energy systems require a significant upfront investment. For instance, the components of a solar water heater system are expensive. Remember, you’ll also need the services of a professional technician to complete the installation. On the other hand, electric water heater systems don’t cost much. Most of the components are affordable, and the installation process is simple. However, this difference between the two systems is accounted for during their operation phase. For instance, solar water heaters are cheaper to run as they don’t require electricity from your mains. On the contrary, electric hot water systems need electricity to run, and they can increase your annual energy consumption significantly.
Hot water makes life comfortable, especially during winter. However, it can be a huge inconvenience if you don’t choose your hot water system wisely. Some of the things you should consider include the number of people in your household. This determines the size of the tank you’ll need for your water heater. You should also consider the heating method of the hot water system. Solar, natural gas and electric systems each has pros and cons. Analyse each of them before deciding which system to purchase.
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