When your old hot water system suddenly stops working, it’s a sinking feeling. You can look forward to a freezing cold shower, complaining kids, and a big water bill if it’s leaking. You might even feel a pang of regret that you forgot to do your hot water system maintenance. But with every setback, a new opportunity awaits – because modern advancements in water heating have sped up big-time in the past few years. And if you need to install a new one in, the big question is: should you go for a gas or electric hot water system?
Undoubtedly, a question on homeowners’ minds when they need a new hot water system installed is this: Should I choose a gas or electric unit? And rightly so. For most households, heating water accounts for a quarter or more of the entire energy bill. It means the gas vs electric hot water question is one you need to get right.
Both gas and electric types of hot water systems are available as storage units where heated water is stored in an insulated tank and instantaneous or ‘tankless’ systems where water is heated on demand. So that aside which type of hot water system should you put in? It depends on your property, the way your family uses water, and a number of other factors. Luckily, the hot water specialists at Gold Coast Plumbing Company are standing by and more than willing to give you advice about which way to go. Let’s get the lowdown on gas vs electric with 3 important things to know about each.
Essentially, electric hot water systems heat your water overnight with an element and store it in a big tank for you to use throughout the day and evening.
If you think ‘hot water system’, you’re probably thinking about the electric tank systems you grew up with. However, with climate change now on everyone’s lips, households and governments are trying to spruik more efficient alternatives.
And why is the tide turning against electric? Because heating water with an electric element is inefficient. However, technology is speeding ahead to make electric hot water options much more efficient, and you can also ask your power retailer about off peak rates that mean heating water overnight is less costly.
With an up-front price and because they’re easy to install or replace, electric hot water is still an extremely popular choice.
Fundamentally similar to electric, gas hot water systems simply use a different heat source – LPG or natural gas.
It’s just a fact: gas is cheaper than electricity. That normally translates across to the cheaper running price of gas hot water systems, and there’s also no need to worry about ‘peak’ or ‘off-peak’ tariffs – because your gas costs the same no matter when you’re using it. One downside is that if you’re not on mains gas, your shower can go cold if your bottle runs dry.
Actually, the price-tag on gas or electric hot water systems are similar, even if a new gas system will cost a little more. For your extra money, though, you get an extra benefit in the form of a slightly smaller unit and lower running costs.
Although visually similar to an electric unit, gas hot water systems are definitely the way to go if energy efficiency is on your mind. The tide of government legislation is, therefore, turning away from electric and towards gas or solar, even though Queensland has been slow to adopt the latest provisions of the Building Code of Australia.
So, the verdict is in – in the gas vs electric hot water race, which is the winner? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Our final piece of advice is to grab a piece of paper and a pen and answer these questions:
With your answers, give the friendly experts at Gold Coast Plumbing Company a call on 1300 390 361 and we’ll be delighted to give you advice! We do dozens upon dozens of gas or electric installations and replacements every year in houses near you, so we’re looking forward to your call.