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3 Different Types of Gas Hot Water Systems


Advantages of Gas Water Heating Solutions

In an age where it seems like the price of electricity is showing no signs of settling, let alone decreasing, many homeowners are making the switch to gas hot water systems.

They’re not only more cost effective to run, but can be faster to heat and do not lose heat in power outages. It should be said that a gas hot water system can be more expensive to purchase, however, the benefits can certainly make that purchase worthwhile.

Whether powered by natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), a gas hot water system will provide reliable hot water and energy efficiency. If you’re looking to make the switch from an electric hot water system, it helps to understand the differences between the numerous different types of gas hot water systems available.

Let’s take a look at each of them a little further.

Your Gas Hot Water Heater Options

Gas hot water systems typically fall into three categories. You can choose between:

  • Gas storage hot water heaters
  • Instantaneous or continuous flow gas hot water
  • Gas-boosted solar hot water heaters

How similar are they? What are their benefits over electric hot water systems? Each of these options come with their own benefits and drawbacks, so let’s explore each in more detail.

Gas Storage Hot Water Systems

As the name suggests, a gas storage hot water system stores and heats water inside of a tank with the aid of a gas burner located underneath the tank.

Storage systems typically feature a pilot flame that remains constantly burning, and lights the main gas burner when necessary. That generated heat is then transferred from the burner to the tank via a cylinder.

A few quick points to note about a gas storage hot water system:

  • Tank sizes range from about 90 to 170 litres for residential properties
  • Most units have a thermostat that enables you adjust the water temperature
  • Tanks can last between 5 and 10 years, depending on what they are made of
  • Energy ratings usually vary between three and five stars

They’re also one of the most popular gas hot water systems on the market, due to the fact that they deliver hot water to your home at mains pressure.

What does this mean for you? It means that you can be in the shower and not lose any water pressure or heat when someone turns on the bathroom or kitchen tap.

Gas Hot water options at home

Instantaneous/Continuous Flow Gas Hot Water Systems

Unlike gas-powered storage tank heaters that heat your collected supply of water, instantaneous or continuous flow gas hot water systems only heat your water when you need it.

Continuous flow gas hot water heaters use a gas burner to heat water as it flows through a heat exchanger. When you turn on the hot water tap, the gas burner starts and only keeps working while the tap is on.

When you no longer need that hot water, the burner stops. This means that there is less heat lost, meaning greater energy and cost savings for you!

Instantaneous flow gas hot water systems offer numerous benefits that include:

  • Continuous hot water supply that doesn’t run out
  • No need for a storage tank to be installed, therefore less space is needed
  • Cleaner water due to not needing a tank
  • Minimised greenhouse gas emissions due to the burner not operating 24/7
  • User friendly temperature control
  • Can last up to 20 years; significantly longer than a storage hot water system

It’s worth noting that the water pressure from continuous flow units does not always compete with a storage tank heater. That pressure is also likely to reduce when a second tap is turned on.

Gas-Boosted Solar Hot Water Systems

A gas-boosted solar hot water system provides the most energy efficient and cost-effective water heating solution. They make up roughly 13% of all hot water installations across Australia but can be the most expensive at the initial point of purchase.

As the name implies, this type of unit uses a solar collector to harness the energy from the sun and then uses that energy to heat water stored in an adjacent tank.

But if we’re talking about a sun-powered hot water system, why are we doing it here in an article about gas hot water systems? The key factor in a solar heating system is the energy from the sun.

Of course, there are certain times of the year where that energy is not at its highest, so your hot water system needs a little extra assistance. Which is where the booster comes in.

Many solar hot water systems come with either an electric or gas boost to pick up the slack when the sun isn’t at its most powerful. With LPG and natural gas boost options available, it might be considered an unofficial member of the gas hot water system family.

Enjoy a Long-Lasting, Efficient Hot Water System

There are numerous factors that can impact on the overall lifespan of gas hot water systems. They can include the system type, the quality, the amount of usage and the water quality.

You will certainly want to consider these factors when shopping around for a gas hot water unit to ensure you get the most from your unit.

For all your gas hot water installation and maintenance needs, get in touch with the professionals at Mr Emergency today.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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