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Choosing the Right Size Hot Water System for Your Granny Flat

Granny flats can be a fantastic addition to your household, providing a second dwelling that can accommodate family members and tenants or serve as an Airbnb. Of the many factors you’ll need to consider is the correct type of hot water system for your granny flat.

The ideal system will balance cost-effectiveness and performance for years to come. Let’s delve into essential information to guide you through selecting the right size hot water system that will best suit the unique needs of your granny flat.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a System for a Granny Flat

When considering the best hot water system for your granny flat, there are several key factors you’ll need to keep in mind. If you’re able to address the following considerations adequately, it’ll go a long way to determining the best choice for you.

Size and Occupancy

Knowing what exactly you’re expecting from your hot water system is a great starting point. Think about the size of your granny flat and how many occupants it needs to cater for. This evaluation directly influences the demand for hot water and aids in determining the appropriate system capacity.

If you’re unsure how many people will be in the granny flat (for example, you’re planning to rent out the granny flat or use it for an Airbnb), it’s best to try to cater for the maximum number of occupants you plan to allow.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient hot water systems not only reduce your impact on the environment but also have much lower running costs. Choosing a solar-powered or heat pump hot water heater will cost more initially, but over the long run, they will significantly reduce your energy bill. There are often rebates available for eco-friendly hot water systems, which can knock a couple of hundred dollars off your purchase.

Space Considerations

Given the limited space offered in granny flats, it may be best to opt for a compact design that takes up less room. Water units with storage tanks take up a large chunk of floor area, whereas tankless systems are much more compact.

Determining the Appropriate Capacity

No one likes running out of hot water halfway through a shower, so it’s essential to choose the right capacity for your granny flat. Too small and you’ll be receiving complaints from your tenants that they’ve run out of hot water again. Too big and you’ll be needlessly overspending both on the initial purchase and potentially on running costs. Some of the specific factors you need to consider include:

Daily Hot Water Demand

Think about how many people will be using hot water daily. The general rule of thumb is to allow 15–20 litres per person per day. For two to three people, we’d recommend a system size of around 50–80 L, though this can vary depending on the type of system you’re buying. Knowing the daily hot water demand is important when choosing the right size.

Space Constraints

Evaluate the available space in your granny flat. If space is at a premium, lean towards compact tankless systems. Their on-demand heating capability is suitable for smaller living spaces and is cost-effective in the long run.

Climate Considerations

Different types of water heaters will excel in different climates. Certain water heaters will perform better than others depending on where you’re located in Australia. For example, heat pumps are less effective in colder climates. Talk to your local installer about the best hot water system for your local weather conditions.

Specific Requirements for Small Living Spaces

When working in the limited space provided by a granny flat, it’s crucial to use the available area wisely. Here are a few factors to remember when considering the size of your next heater.

Proportional Sizing

You’ll need to ensure the size of the hot water system you have in mind will comfortably fit in the available space in the granny flat. In smaller areas, compact designs have a distinct advantage, so consider a model without a water tank.

Tankless Solutions

Given the limited space, opt for tankless or instantaneous hot water systems. Not only are these models compact, but they are also highly efficient. Taking up less space while being more efficient? Sounds like a win-win situation.

Professional Consultation

Talk to a professional plumber or hot water expert about your upcoming purchase and installation. With years of experience under their belt, they can offer their advice on which model to purchase for your specific property.

Slimline Hot Water Heater on a wall

Tankless Hot Water Systems: Perfect for Granny Flats

Efficiency and Compact Design

Tankless hot water systems, also known as Electric Instantaneous Hot Water Heaters are an excellent choice for granny flats. Renowned for their efficiency, they guarantee a continuous supply of hot water without the need for a large storage tank. Moreover, their compact design works well with the space limitations of granny flats.

Longevity and Reliability

Tankless systems boast longevity and durability, ensuring your granny flat’s hot water needs are met for years to come. Their reliability makes them a worthwhile investment in the pursuit of a sustainable and efficient hot water solution.

Recommended Brands and Models

Rinnai Infinity 20 Litre

An excellent compound continuous flow hot water system that can run on either natural gas or LPG, this is a great option for granny flats with a gas connection.

Stiebel Eltron DEL 18

Compact yet energy efficient, the DEL 18 model is an instantaneous water heater that runs on electricity. Takes up little space yet provides fast hot water? What’s not to like?

Bosch 10H

A top-selling hot water system that’s popular for those looking to stay under budget.

Where to Place The Hot Water System

The space occupied by a hot water system in a granny flat varies based on several factors:

Tankless Systems

The most common type used in granny flats, tankless systems are designed to be compact and space-efficient. Wall-mounted and often installed discreetly, they eliminate the need for a bulky storage tank, making them ideal for smaller living spaces.

Slimline Innovations

Technological advancements have led to the development of slimline hot water systems. These units can be discreetly installed under sinks or in cabinets, making the most of the limited space in granny flats.

Woman looking at an energy bill

Energy Efficiency Considerations for Small Living Spaces

Energy efficiency is a critical factor when selecting a hot water system for a small living space like a granny flat. It helps reduce running costs and your impact on the environment. Here are some factors to consider when looking at the energy efficiency of hot water systems:

Tankless Systems and On-demand Efficiency

Hot water heaters with storage tanks use more energy because they need to constantly keep the stored water at a certain temperature. Opt for tankless hot water systems, also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters. They heat water directly, eliminating the need for a storage tank and reducing standby heat loss.

Check the Energy Rating Label

Prioritise hot water systems with high energy efficiency ratings. These choices optimise energy usage, contributing to long-term cost savings on utility bills. These ratings should be prominently displayed on the unit or given on the website you’re visiting.

Electric Hot Water Systems in Granny Flats

Installing an electric hot water system in a granny flat is both feasible and advantageous:

Efficiency and Reliability

Modern electric hot water systems are known for their efficiency, reliability, and ease of installation. Their compact design aligns well with the limited space in granny flats, providing instant hot water without the need for a storage tank.

Technological Advances

Advancements in technology have further enhanced the space-saving features of electric hot water systems, making them an ideal choice for smaller living spaces.

Maintenance Requirements

The best way to ensure a long lifespan for your unit is regular services and maintenance from a plumbing professional.

Regular Inspections

Conduct regular inspections to check for leaks and signs of wear and tear and ensure everything is running as it should. Catching these issues sooner rather than later prevents costly repairs or premature replacements.

Annual Flushing

Sediment buildup can cause performance issues for your hot water system, including inconsistent flow rate and heating element problems. An annual flushing is a simple maintenance task that helps extend the lifespan of your unit.

Temperature and Pressure Adjustment

Periodically check and adjust the temperature and pressure settings to prevent issues and reduce energy consumption. Consulting with a professional plumber ensures specific maintenance instructions tailored to your granny flat’s hot water system.

Safety Regulations

Safety regulations must be followed to ensure no harm to anyone in your home. There are also legal requirements in many cases, so adhering to them ensures you also avoid any nasty fines.

Minimum Clearance

Maintain a minimum clearance around the hot water system to ensure proper ventilation and prevent potential fire hazards. Adhering to these clearances is essential for your unit’s safety and proper functioning.

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves

Install temperature and pressure relief valves to maintain safe operating conditions and prevent damage or accidents. These valves play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the hot water system in a small living space.

Professional Guidance

A professional, licensed plumber will be aware of all the safety guidelines relevant to your area. A professional installation guarantees your system will run safely and that the installation adheres to all regulations and guidelines.

Same Day Hot Water Service Is Ready For Your Call

The journey to an efficient hot water system for your granny flat involves a nuanced understanding of specific factors, thoughtful sizing considerations, and a keen eye for energy-efficient solutions. By aligning your choices with the unique demands of your granny flat, you not only enhance daily comfort but also contribute to a sustainable and cost-effective living environment.

Same Day Hot Water Services are here to help with all your hot water needs. From helping you find the perfect model to installation to repairs and servicing, we’ve got you covered.

We offer value for money on new hot water systems and installation of our products, and we guarantee fast repairs. Contact Same Day Hot Water Service on the Gold Coast today, or call 1300 160 956. Get in touch today to discuss a hot water system for your granny flat!

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