Green living: Choosing an efficient hot water system
Getting it right when you’re selecting a hot water system is important – not least because water heating accounts for around a quarter of a typical household’s energy use.
|Picking a system that’s gentle on the environment is key, as there are huge differences in the impact of one system compared to another.
Electricity and gas are the most common fuels for heating water. The ultra-green option, however, is solar power.
Electricity is NOT the eco answerThere are obvious plusses to having an electric hot water system: electricity is available everywhere and it means you can heat water at any time of day or night.
But there are big negatives. Standard electric systems produce about four tonnes of greenhouse gases per year – that’s about three times as much as a gas or solar hot water system.
Because of these statistics, Australian government regulations have been implemented to limit electric water systems, which means they can no longer be installed in new or existing detached, terrace or town houses where there is access to natural gas.
Choose gas for efficiency
First of all, you need to find out if you have access to piped natural gas. If you do, you can choose any low emission water heater.
If you don’t have access to natural gas, bottled LPG is an option, but is likely to be two to three times more expensive to run.
A gas-boosted solar water heater is the most efficient choice. The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s website states: “A gas-boosted solar water heater emits the lowest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in most parts of Australia and is a good choice if you want to do your part in tackling climate change.”
Go green: Solar water heaters
For the ultimate in eco friendly living, and long-term economical benefits, you need a solar-powered water heater. But, if trees or other buildings shade your home, it’s unfortunately not a good option.
Positioned on a north-facing roof that gets lots of sun is the best location for solar panels, but they can also work well on east or west-facing roofs with a support frame to angle them to the north.
Storage or instantaneous water heaters?
Storage water heaters hold a readily available store of hot water. They work by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn the tap on. That hot water is replaced by cold water entering the bottom of the tank.
For optimum efficiency, you should choose a tank that has a thermal resistance (R-Value) of R-12 to R-25.
As the name suggest, instantaneous water heaters heat the water on demand. When you turn on the tap, the system kick-starts and heats the water using a gas burner or electric element.
The right hot water system for your home
Choice has some good advice on which hot water system is right for your household.
Thnx for providing these details online.
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