In an effort to reduce our greenhouse emissions, there are now government regulations in place limiting the use of electric hot water systems in areas where natural gas lines are available. The Australian government and environmental leaders are also encouraging the use of LPG gas wherever natural gas is not available. Gas hot water systems are not only cleaner and greener than electrical systems, they are cheaper to run. This guide to gas hot water system prices will take the mystery out of them and help you decide which system is right for you.
Two Types of Gas Hot Water Systems
There are two types of gas hot water systems - storage and instantaneous:
- Storage water heating systems are still the most commonly used in Australia. These consist of a large capacity storage tank that heats water with gas or electricity to a set temperature, usually 60 degrees Centigrade or more and has a thermostat to reheat the water when it falls to below a certain temperature. Since heat rises, the hot water gauge is located near the top of the storage tank and the first water to be removed from the tank is the water near the top. This helps save on energy costs, but also results in gradually cooler water the longer you run the water.
- Instantaneous water heating systems (also called continuous flow) heat water when you need it by means of a heat exchanger. In the gas versions of these, the gas burner is located below a coil. Modern instanteous gas hot water systems are electronically controlled and able to maintain a constant heat level at a designated rate of flow. For home systems, the heat can be adjusted for various applications. For example, the water used in the laundry room can be set to 60 degrees while the water for the bathroom can be limited to 40 degrees to prevent scalding. Standard models of instanteous gas hot water systems have pilot lights, which waste some gas. Newer models offer the option of electronic ignition, which costs a little more initially, but pays for itself over time.
When choosing between a storage or continuous flow gas hot water system, the cost of the system itself should not be your main consideration, since most of these systems are similarly priced. Instead, you should choose the type that will work most effectively and energy efficiently under your circumstances. As a rule, instantaneous systems work best in small to medium sized households, while having a storage system may be better in a large household where several individuals may be needing hot water at the same time.
Gas Hot Water System Rebates
In order to encourage users who now have electric hot water systems to switch to gas, State sponsored rebates are available to eligible consumers throughout Australia. These are significant rebates, often between $300 and $700, depending on your circumstances, so check with your gas hot water system
supplier and find out about rebates in your area. While you're at it, look into solar hot water systems
and gas assisted solar systems. Rebates are available for these as well and over time, you will enjoy enormous savings on your LPG or natural gas bills.