So what’s the best hot water system for my house? This is a common question I get asked by my customers, and my answer is always the same “that depends on how you consume your hot water”. The best water heaters are the ones that supply you with an adequate amount of hot water at the cheapest possible rate.
For example, at my house we have two adults and 1 young child:
- We wash our clothes with cold water
- Our dishwasher has its own heating element
- We shower generally of an evening and in the morning for roughly 7 minutes each
- We do have water saving devices installed in our shower heads
- My house has a perfect north aspect with no shading
And therefore I have installed a solar hot water system with 300 ltr highline (tank and panels on my roof). This unit operates and supplies my family with more than enough hot water for our needs without the use of an electric boost 90% of the time.
As you can see there are many different scenarios that we need to consider when selecting the best water heater for you and your family, so ask yourselves these questions in order to make an educated choice:
- How many people do I need to supply hot water for, now and into the future?
- How do i currently consume my hot water and can I reduce it?
- What’s our average shower time per person?
- Is my house suitable for solar?
- Do I have PV panels installed?
- Do I have gas installed at my property?
- Whats my budget?
- What rebates are available for energy efficient water heaters?
By asking these few questions before beginning your search for a new water heater, you will be well ahead of the game when it comes time to chose what is best for you. Ensure that you call your plumber and quiz him on what he believes is the best water heater according to how you answer these questions, and remember try and be prepared before your water heater needs replacing.
Otherwise, you may find yourself making a decision on a product or type of heater that really isn’t the best choice for your needs. I visit houses on a daily basis and often find the incorrect sized water heaters supplied and installed by professionals. This baffles me as we have so much information and knowledge to offer the best solutions, yet it seems that as plumbers the easiest option is taken rather than the best option.
For example I see the replacement of hot water units all the time, where the customer may have a 125 litre electric system that is servicing 4 people, this poor little unit is working flat out to provide hot water and just churning through the energy to do so.
Where a more adequate unit should have been installed that would provide hot water at far less energy expense like a 315 litre unit on off peak power.