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4 Different Types of Electric Hot Water Systems

4 Different Types of Electric Hot Water Systems

When it comes to that steaming hot shower in the morning, electric hot water systems are the most popular and reliable of options.

But are you using the right hot water system for your needs? When it comes to choosing the right option for your household, the best idea might be to check out the range of electric water heaters that are on the market. You possibly already have an electric hot water system.

So, let’s take a closer look at four of the options that are available if you’ve either been forced to make a change or you’re choosing to upgrade your electric hot water system.

1. Electric Storage Hot Water System

Electric storage tank hot water systems are the most common type of water heater in Australian households, with about 50% of homes using them.

Electric hot water systems with storage tanks operate much like an electric kettle, using an element inside the tank to heat the water.

An electric storage system keeps water heated in the tank at a selected temperature above 60°C to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria. These units are available in either single or dual element models.

These hot water systems are the most affordable, reliable and easiest to install. You’ll very rarely get the shock of unwanted cold water from your hot water outlets.

But if you’re using mains electricity, they are the most expensive type of hot water heater to run. Because they use fossil fuels, they are considered non-sustainable and are being phased out by the government (which has been in action since 2010).

Here are some other features of electric tank storage hot water systems:

  • Tank sizes range from 25L (litre) to 400L.
  • Dual element systems from 160L to 400L can be run on “off peak tariff” electricity. Not available for single element 25L to 160L systems.
  • Last for about 10 years if well maintained.
  • These units have either 5, 7 or 10-year warranties on the tank.
  • Can be installed indoors or outdoors.

2. Electric Continuous Flow Hot Water System

Continuous flow (or instantaneous) hot water systems are usually powered by natural gas but are also available as electric models.

Electric instantaneous water heaters are more energy efficient and cost effective than tank storage models as they only heat the water when you turn on a hot water outlet. This means hot water is never being stored in a tank.

Instant flow hot water systems are available with flow rates from 5L per minute to 27L per minute. This type of electric hot water system works best in small to medium-sized households.

Here are some other features of highly efficient electric continuous flow hot water systems:

  • Endless supply of hot water.
  • Optional temperature control panels (with some models).
  • Medium running costs.
  • Medium to high installation costs.
  • Water pressure is low to medium.
  • Available with five-year warranty.

Different types of Electric Hot Water Systems

3. Electric Heat Pump Hot Water System

An electric heat pump hot water system offers one of the most energy efficient ways to heat your water. An electric heat pump water heater uses a refrigeration system which extracts heat from the air to heat the water.

Electric hot water systems using a heat pump work best in warmer climates. They are generally more expensive to buy than standard electric hot water systems but are cheaper to run.

There are two main types of electric heat pump hot water systems – integrated (in which the tank and compressor are combined) and split (tank and compressor are separate).

Other features of electric heat pump hot water systems include:

  • Available in tank sizes from 150L to 340L.
  • 240-volt power required for heat pump.
  • High water pressure (mains pressure).
  • Can be solar powered without roof panels.
  • Saves on water heating costs.
  • Usually installed outdoors.
  • Warranty of up to 5 years on the tank.

4. Electric Boosted Solar Hot Water System

Considering that water heating accounts for about 30% of an average household’s greenhouse gas emissions, making a change to an electric-boosted solar hot water system makes a considerable difference to emissions.

It also makes a huge difference to your energy bills. A solar hot water system can provide between 50% and 90% of your hot water requirements, depending on your climate and the model of heater.

In fact, solar hot water systems are probably the most economical type of water heaters on the market.

The upfront cost to install a solar hot water system is higher than standard electric hot water systems, but the savings on energy bills will make up for it over time. There are rebates available that will reduce the installation costs. You’ll eventually have more money in your pocket with a solar unit.

There are a number of features that go with an electric-boosted solar hot water system, including:

  • Emits fewer greenhouse gases than standard electric hot water systems.
  • Save from 50% to 90% on hot water bills (depending on your usage).
  • Lowest running cost of all electric hot water systems.
  • Available in 180L to 400L tank sizes.
  • Warranties from 5 to 10 years.
  • High water pressure.

To conclude, when it comes to electric hot water systems, there are clear choices in upfront pricing, running costs, energy efficiency, eco friendliness and other factors.

Know Your Choices

By knowing what your choices are, you’ll be prepared when a replacement water heater is necessary.

If you need help deciding between electric storage, heat pumps, gas water heaters, solar panels and all the other choices on how to heat water, contact the experts at Mr Emergency for valuable advice.

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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