Choosing the right Hot Water System

Water heaters tend to finish their life abruptly and not only are they a sizeable investment initially, they also account for around a quarter of a typical household's energy use. So, it is worth taking the time to think about the solution you would like to move on with when it is time to replace your current hot water system. If you are looking to replace a hot water system and you have gas, your options are; continuous flow hot water, gas storage or gas boosted solar. If you are looking for a solution that doesn’t require a gas connection your options are; heat pump, electric boosted solar or electric storage. Hot water systems have a life span of approximately ten years. If you are nearing the ten year mark or building a new home, review your hot water usage before you start to look around for a replacement solution. Below we have detailed what the different systems do, the costs associated, their energy efficiency and environmental impact.

Heat pump hot water system

This is an much more efficient way to heat water than a standard electric storage hot water system. Heat pump systems work similarly to a refrigerator, extracting heat from the atmosphere using a refrigerant gas and a compressor, then storing it until it is required. Purchase cost: Medium/High Installation cost: Medium Ongoing cost: Medium Energy efficiency: High Environmental impact: Low/Medium

Gas boosted solar hot water system

Solar hot water systems harness the suns energy to heat water, they are very environmentally friendly but all need a booster for days on low sunlight. Purchase cost: High Installation cost: High Ongoing cost: Low Energy efficiency: 5 star Environmental impact: Low

Electric boosted solar hot water system

Solar hot water systems are the cheapest to run but the investment to have them installed is greater, meaning you need to have them for a while to see a return on investment. Purchase cost: High Installation cost:High Ongoing cost: Low/Medium Energy efficiency: 5 star Environmental impact: Medium

Continuous flow hot water systems

Continuous flow hot water systems make sense as they only heat water as it is required, meaning you only pay for the hot water you use. Purchase cost: Medium Installation cost: Medium Running costs: Low/Medium Energy efficiency: 5 - 7 stars Environmental impact: Low/Medium

Gas storage hot water system

This system stores hot water ready for use, a 5 star plus rating is the best option in this range. The lower rating units are less upfront cost but much less efficient. Purchase cost: Medium Installation cost: Low Running costs: Low/Medium Energy efficiency: 5.5 stars Environmental impact: Medium

Electric storage hot water system

An element heats the water and it is stored, ready for use in this hot water system. Purchase cost: Low Installation cost: Low Running costs: High Energy efficiency: 5 star Environmental impact: High


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