Avoid Buying the Wrong Hot Water System
Most people only have to choose a new hot water system every 10 to 15 years.
Consequently, it is not surprising if they don’t know very much about it.
It is also not surprising if this lack of knowledge leaves some feeling a bit exposed.
So, it’s time to get empowered!
Take the Plumber's Advice?
The vast majority of Australian homeowners will call a plumber, as their first option, when they need a new hot water system.
Moreover, they will typically purchase their new hot water heater from the first person they call. This makes the plumber the decision maker for most consumers.
The vast majority of plumbers are honest, honourable and hardworking tradespeople.
But like all of us, they have their natural biases.
What they recommend may not be the optimal solution for your home.
One such bias is a tendency to recommend like-for-like replacements.
For example, a plumber would suggest replacing an electric hot water tank with another electric hot water tank.
It is human nature to follow the path of least resistance and convincing a homeowner to follow this advice is generally quite easy.
Like-for-like also requires the least amount of labour and materials to install, as the water and electrical connections are already roughly in place.
Look at the Alternatives
However, you should look at various hot water system types and prices.
Compare the pros and cons of the various alternatives to make a fully informed decision.
You need to look at the type of hot water system, which type of energy it uses and the price you pay.
These factors will affect both the upfront cost of installation and the ongoing running costs.
Given that hot water often accounts for around 25% of a home’s energy budget, it is an important decision.
For an in-depth look at the subject, please see:
Getting a Hot Water System that is Too Large
As hot water accounts for about 25% of the average home energy costs, it’s an area where you can also conserve.
You can save a substantial amount of money by not buying a hot water system that is larger than you really need.
The initial cost plus the ongoing running cost may both be less.
The manufacturers’ sizing recommendations are based on the worst case scenarios, assuming higher consumption than your actual water use.
They have to assume that you have the old style, high water usage showerheads and tap ware.
Once again, the plumbers bias is to follow the path of least resistance.
In this case, that is following the manufacturers' recommendations without asking additional questions about your usage patterns.
Water Saving Shower Head - Save Water & Money
The result is that many people end up buying a larger system than they actually need.
This costs them extra money when they buy the hot water system and will probably increase the ongoing operating costs.
The use of WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) 3 star rated water saving shower head is an important factor in saving water and energy.
Water saving shower head can also reduce the size and cost of the hot water system required.
Please see How to Save Money, Water and Gas for more information on how 3-Star water saving shower head can save you money.
For more details on how to pick the right size hot water heater, please see:
Paying Too Much
Most people buy their hot water unit through their plumber.
While this may end up being a good deal, it may not be the most cost effective way to buy.
The plumber may not have the time to research the best available price or he may have a bias toward one manufacturer or wholesaler.
Because of this, you should compare prices for the unit itself, separate from the labour charge.
Compare Gas Hot Water Heater Systems Prices
Now you can compare gas hot water systems prices for all the major brands of gas hot water systems including Rinnai, Bosch, Kelvinator, Rheem, Dux and AquaMAX.
Click on your category of interest to compare prices:
Gas Hot Water Special Offers
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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.