Home Design Guides: Hot water
Using hot water enhancements can not only improve the supply of hot water to your bathroom, but also help to reduce the amount of water you waste.
No hot water? Hot water tank leaking? Don't panic! Depending on what's wrong, there are a few basic steps you can follow to assess and control the situation.
The wrong hot water system can end up costing you far more than it needs to over the long term. Check our handy table to decide which is right for you.
The wrong hot water system can easily account for the lion's share of your electricity consumption. In fact, electric tank systems are being phased out. Find out how different systems compare in terms of efficiency.
Find out why DIY solar hot water kits are dangerous, and how they're likely to cost you much more than you bargained for.
There are a few different choices when it comes to types of hot water systems. Fuel types are one - and the heating mechanisms are another. Find out what's available, and what fits best with your household.
Depending on the work you need done, you may need to give a little thought to who's going to do plumbing or gasfitting work in your home. Read our guide on how to choose the right plumber.
Getting the right hot water system for your particular needs is impor
Modern natural gas hot water systems are a cost effective and efficient choice. Options exist for this fuel type to serve households of most sizes and levels of demand.
Electric systems are inefficient and relatively expensive to run. For this reason they are generally only favoured these days where no alternative is possible.
Solar boosted systems are solar-based systems that use a gas or electricity booster to maintain a sufficient temperature, regardless of how much sun there is.
LPG (or liquid petroleum gas) is very similar to natural gas, but is more expensive to use due to the higher price of the fuel.
Heat pump hot water systems extract heat from the air using a heat exchanger. These systems are popular where solar and gas aren't a realistic option.
Home fuel cells create a lot of heat and in most cases incorporate a hot water system. HFCs are still prohibitively expensive though, and as a result are uncommon.
Geothermal systems pump refrigerant through underground pipes to draw heat from the ground. While relatively cheap to run, they are expensive to install and therefore fairly uncommon.
Continuous flow hot water systems are an efficient choice for households with 3 or fewer people. Most of them run on natural gas but they can also run on electricity.
Tank storage hot water systems are ideal for larger households. These systems can easily be used (or even adapted) to support a wide range of fuel types.
While still a relatively new type of hot water system, hybrid tank/tankless systems offer the best of both types of systems to efficiently provide constant hot water.
These devices allow you to automatically set the exact temperature of water from a given tap, and in some cases even to specify to what level a bath or sink should be filled.
Also known as 'comfort pumps', these systems pump hot water through your pipes to ensure that it's always available when and where you need it.