We all love a good hot water system. From having a nice warm shower to ensuring a deep clean around the house. It can be easy to take our hot water systems for granted. Only when we turn the tap on to get a downpour of icy-cold water is when we realise the importance of a good hot water system. What is even better than a traditional hot water system is a solar hot water heater. It offers a seamless flow of hot water, whilst being good for the environment and on your hip pocket in the long run.

Instantaneous gas hot water storage tanks

There are two main types of gas water heating systems, gas storage and instantaneous hot water units. The two have slight differences in the way they operate and serve.

The instantaneous type of system provides continual seamless hot water anytime you turn the tap on.

They are often dubbed as tankless systems since they just heat the water as it flows through the unit. Therefore, no storage tank is generally required, which implies that you get a seamless continuous flow of hot water at all times.

Such heating units are small, similar to the size of a briefcase. Comparatively, they are smaller as opposed to a storage tank heater and, therefore, they are highly sought after by most homeowners since they occupy less space, deliver hot water on demand and look attractive.

These systems are very durable and can last up to 2 decades with low or no maintenance, while a conventional storage tank has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. The fact that these systems need less maintenance and replacement costs makes them a highly preferred choice for household application.

Solar hot water systems

A solar hot water heater has evacuated tube collector panels and a storage tank. A typical household that includes around 4 people needs around 30 evacuated tubes and 300L tank. For days that have minimal sunlight, a larger tank will be required. Alternatively, if you are a household that uses a lot of hot water, then again, a larger tank is needed.  A general rule is 1 evacuated tube is needed per 10L of stored water.

With a solar hot water heater, the evacuated tube solar collector needs to be installed in the right location. They need to be placed in a good sunlight collection area facing north preferably at an angle of 10 Deg + latitude to maximize winter solar gain.

The tank will traditionally have an electric element or gas booster to be used as a backup heat source, in case there are days with very little sunlight. Compared to other systems, solar hot water heater systems can actually be inexpensive and take a lot less time to set up, depending on how well you choose the system. Although they are known for being quite costly, in the long term, they will save you money due to its low running costs.

There are also government rebates available to help you purchase the system for less.

Points to ponder

While buying a new gas water-heating unit or a solar hot water heater, make sure you check its efficiency rating that confirms how energy efficient the system is. In terms of gas heating, a higher rating ensures less gas is consumed during the heating process, which saves on your bills, and the higher the rating the lesser greenhouse gas emissions will take place during the heating process. Whichever unit you opt for, ensure it will not just be economical but will be more eco-friendly at the same time.

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