Choose the right water heating system for your needs
Your hot water system needs to be able to provide plenty of hot water for your entire household, but that doesn't have to mean compromising on efficiency. There's a range of options available to suit every household's needs.
Options for water heating systems
Water heating systems tend to either be water storage systems (like the traditional hot water cylinder) or continuous flow systems (which heat water directly as it runs through it, rather than storing the water).
Not all water heating systems are created equal - some types of water heating are more efficient than others, and efficiency can also vary between models of the same type.
The water heating systems commonly available in New Zealand are listed below. Select a system to find out more about its features, what to be aware of and how it works:
Systems that store water
- Electric hot water cylinder
- Gas hot water cylinder
- Heat pump water heating
- Solar water heating
The water heating tool can help you compare the cost of different systems for your household. Use the water heating tool.
What to think about when choosing a system
Knowing how your household uses hot water will help you make better choices about getting the best energy efficiency, value for money, and experience - ask yourself the following questions when you're looking at a new hot water system.
- How big is your household? How many people live in your house now, and how many might there be in the future?
- How and when you use hot water? Do you need a lot at once? For example, do six people want to shower in the morning? Does your dishwasher or washing machine draw on the hot water system?
- How much are you paying now? Look at your bills over the last 12 months. Your hot water may be detailed separately on your bill. If not contact your energy supplier for help in calculating the cost.
- How close together are the parts of your house that need water? When designing a new home or changing the layout of your existing home, aim to have all areas which require hot water close together - your bathroom, kitchen, toilets and laundry. As well as reducing the initial plumbing costs, you will save on energy costs as there will be less hot water wasted sitting in the longer pipes, and less time for the hot water to get to the end use.
- How much will a new system cost? Keep in mind its upfront cost and installation, as well as ongoing running costs.
- Upfront costs: The upfront costs include purchase and installation. In some cases, they will also include building consent costs.
- Ongoing running costs: Ongoing running costs over a year can vary quite a bit depending on what water heating system you choose, how much hot water you use and your energy tariff.
As an example, the following graph shows costs for a typical three-person household. Running costs for larger households will be higher. Click on the image below to view a larger version of the graph:
Use this tool to compare water heating systems and find the best option for your household.