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How to Choose the Best Gas Hot Water System for Your Home

What Gas Hot Water System is Best for You?

Having reliable hot water – and plenty of it – is one of the most important factors when it comes to keeping a household running. If you use natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for water heating, what is the best gas hot water system for your situation?

The type of gas hot water system that best suits your home will be determined by several different factors. These can include the size of your home, the number of householders, the type of gas you’re using and even your main power source.

To assess the best gas hot water systems for domestic use, let’s examine gas hot water systems in more detail.

What Choices Are There in Gas Hot Water Systems?

If you’re looking around for a gas hot water heater, you’ll be choosing between two main types of systems.

These hot water systems include:

  • Gas storage tank – Ideal for all types of households, with tank sizes ranging from 90 litres to 170 litres. These gas hot water systems have the lowest supply and installation costs. Running costs can be quite reasonable too. It’s considerably cheaper to run than an electric storage water heater. Systems are available with three-to-five-star energy ratings. A gas storage tank system delivers water at mains pressure. It keeps the water heated at a temperature above 60°C (to prevent Legionella bacteria from developing) and is delivered at 50°C.
  • Gas instantaneous/continuous flow – This type of hot water system works by sending water through hot copper pipes. There is a flow sensor which is triggered when the hot water tap is turned on. It means no hot water is stored in a tank and therefore no heat is lost in the process. Another advantage over a hot water storage tank is that this system never runs out of hot water. A continuous flow unit is smaller than tank storage systems, which means it can be mounted on a wall either indoors or outdoors or in a cupboard, if you’d prefer it out of sight. Hot water is delivered at a reduced pressure compared to a tank storage system. These systems are rated at up to seven stars in energy efficiency and come with a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger. Not as well suited to a large household as a storage tank system.
  • Solar hot water systems – While this is a different kind of hot water system, these eco-friendly, energy-efficient water heaters can be boosted by gas on overcast days. It’s one of the few units that are more efficient than gas hot water systems.

Which System is the Most Energy Efficient?

There’s no question which type of water heater is the most efficient – it’s a gas-boosted solar hot water system. The only downside is that it can be expensive at the outset, particularly if you’re not already set up with solar panels.

Gas is a more efficient hot water system than electric hot water systems when it comes to energy and running costs, so you’re already ahead of the game if you’re using gas.

However, a gas-boosted solar hot water system is the definitely best choice for energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness. Despite the upfront costs, you’ll soon notice the difference in power bills. There are also government rebates and other incentives that make it more appealing.

A solar water heater can provide between 50% and 90% of your hot water needs, depending on the amount of sun you get, and gas can boost the system on overcast days (electric hot water heaters can do the same thing).

Here are some of the many advantages of a gas-boosted solar hot water system:

  • The most energy efficient system
  • Can power all types of gas hot water systems
  • Available with tank sizes from 160 litres to 330 litres
  • The least greenhouse gas emissions
  • Available with gas boosters from 18 litres/minute to 32 litres/minute
  • Medium to high water pressure
  • Warranties range from five to 10 years
  • Government rebates apply

Natural Gas or LPG?

Once again, this is an easy one to answer. If you can connect to mains natural gas, it is more cost-effective for gas hot water systems than using LPG.

The other advantage of natural gas is that you have a constant supply and never have to replace or fill tanks, which is necessary with LPG. Natural gas also emits less greenhouse gases than LPG.

However, LPG tanks are portable and well suited to rural areas which don’t have access to mains gas lines.

Pros and Cons of a Gas Hot Water System

Like almost anything else – including all the good things in life – there are pros and cons when it comes to gas hot water systems.

Having already examined the many advantages of gas hot water systems, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of using gas.

The pros are:

  • Cheaper to run than electricity
  • More energy efficient than electricity
  • Gas-boosted solar hot water is the best system for energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness
  • Not affected by power blackouts

The cons are:

  • Gas can’t do it all – you’ll always need electricity
  • Gas is a fossil fuel and will eventually be phased out
  • While it is cleaner than other fossil fuels, it does emit greenhouse gases
  • Gas can be dangerous – gas leaks and carbon monoxide leaks are potentially fatal

In conclusion, a gas hot water unit is generally safe, energy efficient and economical to run. It is certainly more efficient and environmentally friendly than an electric hot water system.

Knowing what your choices are will help in your decision on what gas hot water system best suits your home. If you need more advice, don’t hesitate to contact the gas hot water unit experts at Mr Emergency.

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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