It really pays to research hot water systems carefully before making a purchase for your home. With a wide range of operating systems to choose from (electric, gas, solar/heat) as well as different system types (continuous flow and tanked systems) and further variations within different brands, sizes, and installation options, finding the right match for your home is definitely not something you want to leave to chance.
To make a good decision on the right hot water system type for your home you’ll need to take the time to sit down and work out your household water needs and budget and apply these to your purchase options. One option to include on your list is heat pump hot water systems.
What is a heat pump hot water system?
Heat pumps operate by drawing the heat from the surrounding environment and using it to raise the temperature inside the unit. This clever strategy reduces your energy expenses and is significantly better for the environment.
How heat pump systems work
A heat pump system relies on the ambient temperature to warm its internal refrigerant chemical. As long as the outside air temperature is consistently higher than the refrigerant, the heat pump is able to effectively transfer heat to the water tank. How much heat is transferred will depend on the climate. The warmer the air, the faster the evaporation process and the more efficient the hot water flow and heat retention is for your home.
Because the refrigerant is so cold, any air temperature consistently above 4C degrees can trigger evaporation. The heat pump uses electricity to engage a compressor to increase heat and a fan to circulate air, but this is minimal compared to the energy needed to heat a water supply directly, making it much more efficient than electric or gas heaters as very little heat are needed to start the evaporation process within.
Pros & cons
It’s important to take a look at the pros and cons to know what you are purchasing and whether it’s right for your home. As well as your own research a good plumber can help you decide if a heat pump system is right for you.
- Low operating costs
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Increased flexibility – the same technology can also be used to heat and cool your home if you like
- Easy to install and can connect to your existing electric hot water pipes
- Expensive compared to other types of hot water units (but less than solar)
- Needs to have an appropriate space for installation that is well ventilated, has access to warm air, and is away from neighbors and bedrooms as the system can be noisy.
- Can lose heat while not in use, meaning that it might not be ideal for small households
- Not well suited to cooler climates.
While choosing the right hot water heater for your home is a big task, understanding your choices and how each option influences your lifestyle, finances, and environmental impact can make it easier to select an option that fits your long-term goals and requirements best.