More and more these days people are switching to a continuous flow hot water system because of its efficiency and guarantee of all-day-and-night hot water.
There’s nothing worse than getting out of bed and into the shower only to discover that someone’s used up all the hot water – or maybe coming back from a weekend away and having to wait for hours for the hot water tank to heat itself back up again.
Continuous flow hot water is replacing traditional hot water storage systems all around the country because of situations just like this. Now you can install one simple system that offers continuous hot water, day in and day out.
Best of all, because a continuous hot water system only heats your water as and when you need it, you won’t waste money reheating a large storage tank again and again when you don’t need it. That means your energy bill is going to look a little lighter, and you’ll also be being a bit kinder to the environment.
What is a Continuous Hot Water System?
Continuous hot water systems – otherwise known as tankless, instantaneous or continuous flow hot water systems – are the alternative to traditional storage-based hot water systems.
The traditional hot water system relies on a large reserve of water held in an insulated tank, which is then refilled and heated as water is taken out. The major problem with this system is that once the stored water has been used, with the larger family size hot water heaters, it takes a long time for the system to heat the new water in the tank.
The traditional storage system also works to keep its water reserves at a certain heat, even if the water is not being used for hours or even days at a time. That means the system is constantly using energy to keep water hot, especially if the power source is not in the off peak cycle. Depending on how good the insulation is on your tank, that can really hurt your energy bill, as heat is continuously leaving the tank.
By contrast, a continuous hot water system doesn’t keep a large store of water – it simply heats water as and when it is needed. This provides 4 main advantages:
- The system never runs out of hot water, so you never have to wait for it to refill.
- The system is cheaper to run because it doesn’t waste energy keeping water hot over long periods of time.
- The system is more environmentally friendly because it uses energy more efficiently.
- The system can be space saving in your household because it doesn’t need a larger area to fit the storage tank.
How Does a Continuous Flow Hot Water System Work?
There are a few different types of continuous hot water systems, but they all run on the same fundamental principle: the system takes cold water from your house’s water pipes, pushing it through a heat exchanger or element pot that is heated by either an electric or gas power source.
The system is in standby mode all the time, but it only begins to use energy when a tap is turned on – this activates a flow sensor, which then triggers the heating element.
A gas continuous flow hot water system will take gas from your gas line, igniting an internal burner.
An electric continuous hot water system simply uses your regular electricity supply to trigger a heating element.
Most systems have a slightly lower level of pressure than traditional tank systems, particularly if running two or more taps at once.
Types: Gas & Electric
Electric Continuous Hot Water System
An electric system simply hooks up to your three phase electric power source. Generally, an electric system is slightly less efficient than a gas system and a little bit more sensitive to the cold water inlet supply flow that can affect the hot water outlet temperature.
Gas Continuous Hot Water System
A gas system is usually more efficient than an electric system, and also in the lower litre range can be a cheaper overall purchase. It also produces less greenhouse gas. A gas system does require that you are connected to, or can be connected to, an existing natural gas supply line. If you’re unsure whether your house is connected to gas, or whether it can be, just give us a call or come in and see us.
A continuous hot water system is a great option to consider in a new home, or as a replacement for an old hot water system. They’re cheaper to run, good for the environment, and provide all-day hot water. Australian Hot Water offer models from the world’s top manufacturers, including international brands Rheem, Bosch, Rinnai and Australia’s Dux. Give us a call, or come in and see us, and we’ll answer all the questions you might have.