It’s a question we often get asked: ‘What sort of hot water system I should install? Electric or gas?’ The simple answer is its dependant on the hot water demands of your home or business and the services you have available.
The advice we give to all our customers is don’t just replace your hot water system with a similar type or brand to the one you have. There’s been great advancements in hot water system technology and performance over the past 10 years and chances are there is a better hot water system available to meet your budget and hot water demands. Your local plumber should provide you with professional advice and the best available options to meet your needs and enabling you to make an informed decision.
Types of Hot Water Systems to Consider
Things that need to be considered in making your decision on what type of hot water system is best for your situation is what services do you have available to you (gas, electricity, LPG)? Where is the current hot water service located on your property, is it an internal or external hot water system? Is there a better location for your hot water service to be situated that may increase efficiency and or lower install cost? Your plumber should provide you with all the information you need to make the decision as easy as possible.
Electric Hot Water
Electric hot water systems are generally the least expensive to install but most expensive to operate. You can connect your electric hot water system to off peak tariff meaning the water only heats at night on the cheaper electricity rate but if your electric hot water system is a storage type the hot water in the tank will need to last till the next day, this isn’t an issue unless you are the last one in the shower for the day and all the hot water has been used. By connecting solar or wind power you can lower the running cost when the sun is shining, or the wind is blowing and electric hot water systems are available in both internal and external models.
- Cost effective to purchase and install
- Safe to operate
- Flexible installation - indoor or outdoor options
- Compact models perfect for limited hot water applications such as small apartments or office kitchens.
- High operating costs if on a continuous (anytime) tariff
- Slow heating time recovery
- Greater greenhouse gas emissions than gas.
- Less energy efficient than gas.
Gas Hot Water
Natural gas hot water systems are now far more energy efficient than their predecessors, produce less greenhouse emissions and have lower usage rates than electric hot water systems. Gas hot water systems are available in 3, 4 and 5 star efficiency models making them a cost effective option for your hot water delivery. You must have access and be connected to the town’s gas main though to operate these systems. You can buy LPG (bottle gas) hot water systems but this will significantly increase the running cost of your hot water service. Gas hot water systems can be installed both internally and externally.
- More energy efficient than electric and 3,4 and 5 star models available
- Safe to operate
- Cost effective to install
- Indoor (flued) and outdoor models available
- Fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electric options
- More expensive to purchase
- Town gas supply required
The size of your home or business, the location of your hot water system, the services you have available and your budget will all contribute to making the decision on which hot water system is the best fit Gas or Electric.
As a general guide in making your decision we believe where possible choose Gas over Electric. Electric hot water systems have higher running costs and are less environmentally friendly than gas. What you save in up front purchase costs you may lose in the long run in running costs.