The 6 Main Benefits of Electric Hot Water Systems
In every household, having access to hot water throughout the year is essential, and one of the most dependable ways to do this is with an electric hot water system. Those who use electric hot water systems know they are safe, convenient and affordable.
Whether you are contemplating buying a new unit or considering making a switch, it’s always wise to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of your current system.
Perhaps you’re planning a major renovation project or constructing a new home – in such cases, an electric hot water system is an option worth considering.
Before looking at the many benefits of electric hot water units , let’s examine the types of electric water heaters that are on the market.
Types of Electric Hot Water Systems
There are two main types of electric hot water systems to consider – storage tank and continuous flow (or instantaneous) hot water. However, it’s also worth exploring heat pump systems, which offer unique benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about each type:
- Storage tank – Storage tank hot water systems are the most common type of hot water system used in Australia. These systems work by sending cold water into a tank, where it is then heated by an element (or two elements, depending on the size of the tank). A thermostat is used to control the temperature, which must be kept above 60°C to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. These hot water heaters are available in a range of sizes to suit your household’s needs and are suitable for small or large homes.
- Continuous flow – These are typically powered by gas, but electric models are available. The advantage of continuous flow models is that they only heat water when you need it. As no water is stored, there is no heat loss from a tank and you don’t need to keep stored water at a consistent hot temperature. Continuous flow hot water heaters are compact and often come with remotes for optimal temperature control.
- Heat pump – Heat pump hot water systems use a storage tank and are similar to solar-powered units without the solar panels. Heat is extracted from the ambient air and then transferred to the water in a storage cylinder using a heat exchanger unit. A heat pump system requires electricity to power the evaporator fan and compressor. It is highly energy efficient but it’s only recommended for warmer climates.
No matter what type of hot water system you prefer, an electric model offers a number of advantages. Let’s take a closer look at six of those benefits.
1. Electric Systems are Cost Effective
Electric hot water systems are a popular choice in Australia for several compelling reasons. Firstly, they are highly cost effective to install compared to gas or solar-powered alternatives.
While a gas hot water system may appear to be more economical, it requires elaborate pipe and vent installations to function efficiently. On the other hand, an electric water heater is effortless to install, using what is already in place in your home.
That means electric hot water units are hassle free when it comes to installation, and affordable if you’re concerned about finances.
2. Enjoy the Safety of Electric Hot Water Systems
An electric hot water system is distinguished by its safety features. Unlike gas-based systems, there is no risk of deadly gas or carbon monoxide (CO) leaks with electricity. While homes using gas are advised to install CO detectors, no additional safety measures are necessary for electric systems.
However, there are still potential safety concerns associated with electricity, such as blackouts, electric shock and electrical fires. Nonetheless, as all homes rely on electricity, such issues are inevitable. Regular maintenance of your electrical system is highly recommended and can help prevent most problems.
To ensure the safety of your household, it is crucial to maintain your electric hot water system regularly. Though electricity poses fewer hazards than gas-based hot water systems, it still requires proper care and attention.
3. Electric Systems are Efficient
Gas hot water heaters are often regarded as highly efficient, however, they suffer from significant heat loss due to the combustion process and the requirement for ventilation. As a result, energy is squandered and it takes a longer time for the system to operate at full capacity.
On the other hand, electric hot water systems do not need any ventilation. The water is heated inside the storage tank, which eliminates the need for a flue that is mandatory for a gas system. This not only results in faster heating of water in the tank but also eliminates heat loss, making the electrical system more efficient.
Electric water heaters are extremely user friendly. They require no additional pipes or vents, and can be easily tailored to suit individual needs. For those considering the installation of solar panels, an electricity-boosted solar hot water system is among the most energy-efficient and cost-effective options available.
4. Electric Hot Water Systems Last Longer
Electric water heaters have a considerably longer lifespan compared to gas systems. Typically, electric units can last for up to 15 years or even more, while gas systems last for around 10 years. This alone makes an electric water heater a wise choice.
To ensure that your electric hot water system functions efficiently throughout its lifespan, proper maintenance is crucial. With timely upkeep, you can keep your system in good condition and extend its lifespan further.
In addition to being so durable, electric hot water systems are also an environmentally responsible choice. Unlike gas systems, they do not emit any greenhouse gases, making them a clean and sustainable option.
5. It’s Compatible with Solar
A solar hot water system with an electric boost is an exceptionally efficient and economical option. It outranks gas-boosted solar systems in terms of energy efficiency, but it may not be suitable for powering an entire household.
Although the initial expense of installing an electric-boosted solar hot water unit may seem steep, the long-term savings on energy bills make it a worthwhile investment. A significant portion of your energy bills is typically attributed to water heating costs, which this system can help you save on.
Additionally, it’s worth considering that while natural gas is a fossil fuel, electricity can be produced from renewable sources. Thus, choosing an electric-boosted solar hot water system over a gas-boosted unit can contribute to reducing your carbon footprint.
6. Everyone Has Electricity
Electricity is a ubiquitous power source for all homes, while not all properties have convenient access to gas pipelines. A residence must be situated near a natural gas supply to make it a practical alternative.
Alternatively, using liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders is a more costly and high-maintenance choice than natural gas, as the tanks need frequent refills.
An electric hot water system is a reliable and efficient way to ensure that you have access to hot water in all seasons. With various types of units available on the market and numerous benefits to consider, it’s worth sticking to this trustworthy method, or exploring the electric hot water system option if you’re considering a change.
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.