Gas water heaters make up approximately 48% of water heaters in Australia. There are three main types of gas water heaters: gas storage hot water systems, continuous flow or instantaneous hot water systems, and solar water heaters with instantaneous gas boosting, all of which use natural gas (NG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
In this article, we will be focusing on gas storage hot water systems. If you plan to buy a new gas storage hot water system, read on to understand how it works, the considerations before buying, and the pros and cons.
How it works
Gas storage hot water systems use a gas burner underneath the storage tank to heat the water. This type of gas water heater usually has a continuously burning pilot light flame that ignites the main burner when needed. Heat is then transferred from the gas burner through the bottom of the cylinder. As it warms, it rises to the top and is siphoned off into your hot water piping when you turn on the hot water tap.
Selecting the right gas storage hot water system
There are different models of gas storage hot water systems to choose from. Selecting the one that suits your household depends on the following factors to consider.
Type of gas
What type of gas is available to you? Natural Gas (NG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are the two commonly available for properties in Western Australia. NG is found in most suburbs in the Perth metropolitan area, while LPG is often found in the Perth Hills and the surrounding semi-rural and rural areas where the gas network has not yet reached.
How much water do you need to hold and heat in your storage tank? This also depends on what fits your available space and the number of people using the hot water system in your household. Most gas storage hot water systems come in 90L, 135L, and 170L. For example, 170L would be recommended for family homes.
Gas storage hot water systems are covered by energy efficiency regulations wherein they must meet Minimum Energy Performance (MEPS) requirements determined by the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS).
Higher efficiency units are designed to provide better heat transfer and insulation. The more efficient the unit, the less gas is consumed to heat the water. You can look at each unit’s energy rating label to check its energy efficiency.
The pros and cons of using gas storage hot water systems
Even if using a gas storage hot water system is generally not a problem for your home, there will still be some benefits and disadvantages that come with it. Knowing these will help you compare units and decide on what to buy.
Benefits of gas storage hot water systems
- Energy-efficient. Gas storage hot water systems are more energy-efficient than other hot water systems, especially if you buy the new 4- or 5-star models.
- Environment-friendly. Gas storage hot water systems produce low greenhouse gas emissions, which is good for the environment.
- Fast heating and reheating. Gas storage hot water systems can heat a 170L tank in about an hour. The recovery rate, which is the time it takes to reheat a tank of water, is much faster than its electric counterpart. This is perfect for a big family, such as a family of four, as no one will have a cold shower.
- Working during a power outage. Since this type of hot water system runs on gas and not on electricity, it will continue to work even during blackouts.
Disadvantages of gas storage hot water systems
- Operating costs. LPG are good alternatives to NG when the latter is not available but using LPG can increase operating costs as LPG bottles tend to be more expensive.
- Required ventilation. If your gas storage hot water system is installed indoors, you may need to think about a strategic place where it can have proper ventilation. A Licensed Plumber and Gas Fitter will advise the correct place to install an indoor model that complies with all the rules and regulations.
- High upfront costs. While your energy bills will likely be lower with a gas storage hot water system, gas models cost more upfront. They can also be more costly in terms of maintenance and installation.
Have your hot water system replaced by Link Plumbing and Gas Service
Link Plumbing and Gas Service specialises in the service and repairs of all types of hot water systems, including brands like Rheem, Thermann, Vulcan, Aquamax, and Everhot, to name a few.
Our plumbers and gas fitters are all licensed, and our services comply with the standards and regulations in WA. Our team will also be more than glad to help you make informed decisions on the right water heater model for your home. Call us now on 6252 0326 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your hot water needs.