How to save money with a gas water heater
Hot water accounts for around 30% of the average Australian household’s energy bill so finding cost effective solutions is important. When it comes to gas versus electricity, gas water heaters are more efficient to run than electric models, not to mention the fact that gas is cheaper than electricity. But it is possible to make further savings on your gas water heater, as we explain.
Hot Water storage heaters work constantly to ensure there is an available supply of hot water. Once the tank of water has reached the temperature set by the thermostat it switches the gas burner off but that water inevitably starts to cool, whereupon the burner kicks in to maintain the desired water temperature. This continues in an endless cycle of heating, cooling, heating, cooling. A continuous flow hot water system, only heats water when you need it (there is no storage tank) - when the hot tap is turned on, the burner is ignited and the cold water is heated as it passes over the heat exchanger. This makes them energy efficient and cost effective.
A fitted jacket for your water tank will work to keep the water it holds warm, meaning that it will fall below the set temperature less often. This in turn means that the burner will kick in less frequently. Insulating your hot water pipes will also save energy, and therefore money, and has the added benefit of providing the hot taps with hot water more quickly.
Reset your thermostat
The thermostat on many water heaters is set far too high. Take a look at your thermostat - it’s not necessary for it to be set to any higher than just over 60 °C for hot water tanks (to reduce the health risks associated with the storage of hot water) and around 50 °C for continuous flow water heaters. One money saving tip is to adjust the thermostat so it is not set too high. to a temperature that will allow you to achieve a shower that is comfortable without having to add too much cold water. The temperature that you perceive to be comfortable will obviously change with the seasons so make sure you change your thermostat to suit. You may also want to turn the thermostat right down if you go away for any extended period. But don’t forget to turn your thermostat back up when you return.
Be sure to choose a water heater suitable for the size of your household and lifestyle. A big family-size water heater will be costing you a lot more than is necessary if you are a single person or part of a couple. How do you know what capacity is right for you? This depends on how many people live in your household and how high the peak hot water demand is at the busiest hour of usage. The amount of water used at these peak times is the capacity your hot water tank needs to hold at one time.
Continuous flow gas water heaters never run out of water but if you choose a system too small for your needs, the heater may not deliver the required amount of hot water at peak times It’s important to get the right size hot water heater, most manufactures have a simple to use sizing guide that will help you select the best heater for you.
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