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How to Optimise Your Hot Water Usage for Cost Savings

Hot water is an essential feature for all households and water heater running costs can make up a significant proportion of your overall energy bill. With the rising costs of living putting pressure on many Aussie families, we’re all looking for ways to cut our energy costs.

Through your choice of water heater, appliances, and water usage habits, you can make a noticeable difference in your hot water consumption. Let’s take a look at how you can optimise your hot water usage and make some savings on those bills.

Understanding Your Hot Water System

The type of hot water system you purchase plays a huge role in your overall energy efficiency. Remember, you’ll need to weigh up both purchase and installation prices and compare this to your long-term costs like running and maintenance. Here’s how some of the most popular options on the market stack up.

Traditional Storage Tank Models

The most common type of hot water heater you’ll find in Australian homes is the traditional storage water heater. These models will either be gas or electric-powered and feature a water tank where hot water is stored.

While these models are usually the most affordable to purchase and install, they tend to have a higher running cost due to the need to keep the stored water at a safe temperature. The storage tank is also vulnerable to corrosion and sediment build-up, which can increase maintenance costs.

Gas Hot Water Heaters

There are two key gas sources in Australia. The most common is the LPG gas tanks you might have seen in people’s homes and the other is natural gas, which isn’t as readily available across the country.

Gas hot water heaters can be cheaper than electricity ones, particularly in larger households. Many instantaneous heaters are gas-powered, and these units have low running costs. However, these on-demand models are more expensive to purchase initially.

Tankless Options

Some modern designs forgo storage tanks and instead, water is heated on demand. This technology removes the need for a hot water tank, which increases the lifespan of the system, reduces the amount of space taken up by the unit, and cuts down on running costs.

While more expensive to purchase and install, instantaneous flow hot water systems have much lower running costs than systems with storage tanks. These systems provide a good solution for smaller to medium-sized houses.

Solar Power

The big advantage of solar power is it can optimise energy from the sun, making it both an eco-friendly and efficient energy choice.

Solar hot water systems usually require two panels for a household of four. The system will include either an electric or gas-powered backup system which will kick in when there isn’t enough solar power.

These models obviously rely on getting enough sunshine but can be an efficient way to cut down on energy costs. The good news is many states also offer a rebate for homeowners who install solar panels.

Strategies to Reduce Hot Water Usage

boy washing hands in sink

Here are a few tricks and tips that can improve the efficiency of your system and reduce your energy consumption.
Adjust Thermostat Settings

Having your temperature settings adjusted can alter the amount of energy your hot water heater consumes. Talk to your hot water specialists about finding the right temperature for your home.

1. Ensure Hot Water Systems Suit Your Environment

Certain types of hot water heaters will work better in certain environments. For example, solar panels thrive in areas with constant sunlight and heat pumps can struggle in colder climates.

2. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances

Using washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances with high energy ratings will reduce your water consumption and, therefore, your energy bill.

3. Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Low-flow showerheads, faucets, and taps will both reduce your carbon footprint and cut your energy bills. Quality low-flow products use less water without sacrificing water pressure.

4. Insulate Heaters and Pipes

Insulation for your pipes will help reduce heat loss through your plumbing. One key long-term benefit of this is your hot water system not needing to use as much energy.

5. Maintain Your Hot Water System

Regular services will help your hot water system run smoothly and at its peak efficiency. Issues like faulty parts, leakage, inconsistent water pressure, or sediment build-up can increase running costs and cause long-term damage to your system. Frequent checks also provide a chance to catch any problems early and hopefully reduce repair costs.

6. Energy-Efficient Appliances and Upgrades

When it comes to reducing ongoing energy costs, some hot water systems have a clear advantage over others. Here are some of our top recommendations for people looking to cut down on their household bills.

7. Solar Power Heaters

Well-installed solar-powered hot water heaters can help cut down on both your carbon footprint and your overall energy consumption.
Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pumps use ambient air to heat your water, usually like technology found in air conditioning. By using existing air, a heat pump doesn’t rely on constant electricity as heavily as other systems do.

8. Continuous Water Heaters

These are on-demand, tankless systems that save space and energy costs. By heating on-demand, there’s no need to keep stored water at a constant temperature.

9. Behavioural Changes to Save Hot Water

Cutting down on water costs comes down to a few different factors, including your own daily habits. Everyone can make small improvements that will help cut down hot water usage, so here are a few techniques to think about.

10. Take Shorter Showers

We’ve all been guilty of spending a little too long in the shower, but something simple like a shower timer can help with water conservation.

11. Wash Clothes in Cold Water

Washing some loads using cold water rather than hot will make a noticeable difference to your water usage.

12. Wait For Full Loads

Waiting until the dishwasher or washing machine is full before turning them on means fewer overall washes.

13. Fix Leaking Taps

Acting sooner rather than later with leaking taps and fixtures is important when it comes to water usage. The drips from the faucet add up over time and can be pricey.

14. Teach Your Children Good Water Usage Habits

Educating your family and little ones on good water-saving practices will not only save you money now but will also help them develop their own good habits.

Take Your Hot Water Efficiency a Step Further

hot water system between water tank and ducted aircon

There are plenty of techniques you can use to improve your overall hot water usage and improve cost savings. One of the key ways to influence your energy efficiency is your choice of water heater type. Though usually more expensive to purchase, tankless, solar power, and heat pump systems will provide savings over time.

Along with purchasing eco-friendly appliances and fixtures, there are also government rebates to help cut costs. Additionally, smart technology is becoming more common with hot water systems and Wi-Fi controllers can be used to program and monitor your hot water usage.

Same Day Water Service can help with all your hot water needs, including suggesting energy-efficient options for your household. To discuss optimising your hot water system or any other hot water queries, get in touch with our friendly expert team today.

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