Gas hot water systems
Gas hot water systems are becoming more popular across Australia, mainly due to their cheaper running costs although gas is now becoming more expensive as an energy source. Find out more about your options below.
Gas offers a viable alternative to electric for heating your water. Of course a primary requirement is that you have a supply of gas to your home, either piped natural gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottles. Gas water heaters also generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electric storage systems.
Similar to electric water heaters, the main type of gas water heaters are storage and instantaneous.
Gas Storage Hot Water system
Although at first glance the gas storage hot water system appears very similar to the electric one, the key difference is that the water is heated by a gas burner rather than an electric heat element. They usually have a pilot flame that burns continuously and lights the main burner when it’s needed.
Gas storage hot water units are energy efficient, particularly if you choose one of the new 4 or 5-Star models, and they have much lower greenhouse gas emissions. Also, there are no time-of-day tariff issues with gas which means the tanks do not need to be as large, as the gas burner can operate whenever required.
Gas Instantaneous Hot Water Systems
Instantaneous (or Continuous Flow) gas hot water systems don’t have storage tanks and heat water only when required. This means you have hot water only when you need it and you never run out.
When you turn a hot water tap the water is then heated by a gas burner as it flows through a coiled pipe, heating only the amount of water that is required instead of continuously heating a full tank. With no heat loss through a tank these systems are very energy efficient.
However, if you like a shower with a strong pressure the instantaneous system may not be the best option. This is because these systems slow the water down as it passes through the heat exchanger so as to allow enough time for heating, thus leading to lower pressure.
If you have access to either natural or LPG gas then a gas water heater system may be the best option for you. Even if you are currently using an electric system it is still possible to switch to a gas system and AJ’s Plumbing (owners of Australian Hydronic Heating and Cooling) can advise you on the best system to suit your individual needs.
Solar Water heaters
Gas also plays an important part within solar water heaters where it can provide “boosting” when the water temperature is low.