Did you know that hot water accounts for around a quarter of average residential energy costs? That’s a huge chunk of your income, so you want to get everything right. If you’re sensitive to dropping temperatures or you live in a colder climate, you’ll have to spend some money on your hot water system. You see, there is less hot water output as the incoming supply gets colder. So, with this in mind, let’s look at how you can stay warm as it gets colder outside without making any costly or uncomfortable mistakes.
The 25 Degrees Celsius Debate
Recovery time calculations and flow rates for hot water heaters tend to be based on the belief that all incoming cold water is 25 degrees Celsius. In hotter months or in a temperate climate it can be reasonable to suppose that the water will be around that temperature. However, in an area that gets very cold winters, that will not be likely to be the case.
Lower Temperature Incoming Water
Ground temperatures tend to drop in the winter no matter where you live. For people residing in cold climate areas, temperatures can drop by as much as 15-20 degrees Centigrade. You see, the cold outside will have a direct impact on the temperature of the incoming water due to the pipes passing through the earth.
If you currently have a rainwater tank, the drop in water temperature can potentially be even greater. Tank water may freeze in colder areas, making the water cold too. What this basically all means is that this 25 degrees assumption in terms of flow rate data and manufacturers’ recovery time is pretty meaningless when it comes down to it. Additionally, hot water tank recovery times will be longer whereas tankless units will have colder water and lower flow rates.
Now you know all this, we need to address the big problem – colder incoming water will probably leave you with a lack of hot water. Bearing this in mind, the selection of size and type of your hot water heater is a crucial decision. Thankfully, our team at Baywood Plumbing & Gas can provide you with lots of hot water system installation advice and practical solutions so you’re sure to have piping hot water no matter the weather!
Some Crucial Information
Generally speaking, the average shower temperature is between 38 to 42 degrees Celsius. As your hot tap water will be around 50 degrees Celsius, you’re no doubt going to have to mix hot and cold water to hit on the right temperature. That’s a given.
When it comes to their hot water system, Perth people know and trust Baywood Plumbing & Gas to provide them with the best advice on the best hot water systems. Although our climate here is not necessary freezing in the winter, temperatures can drop, so it’s crucial to have the right hot water heater.
You see, as you withdraw the hot water from your tank, cold water takes its place. The colder the water that’s coming in, the more heat it takes out of the hot water in the tank. Consequently, you end up with less available hot water. You’ll also end up wasting water by mixing in more of the hot stuff to reach the temperature you’re looking for. Not only that, but water costs money. And, let’s face it, saving those dollars is something we could all be doing with right now. What’s just as annoying is that under these circumstances, your hot water won’t last as long as it does when the weather’s great. Horrifyingly, it may even run out!
So, What Can You Do?
Taking a look at your options is always the best way forward. For people in cold climates, heat pump water heaters pose their own problems. These are a poor choice because they extract heat from the air which isn’t much use if you live somewhere cold. There are various fundamental determining factors to take into account when you’re figuring out what the best system is for your specific needs. You need to ask yourself the following:
- How many people are in the home?
- When and how do they use hot water?
- Do they take showers in different bathrooms at the same time?
- Do they generally take showers around the same of the day or night?
- Do some family members prefer to take baths (which use more hot water)?
- Do you have a larger than average bath that you’ll need more hot water for?
- Is your dishwasher connected to the hot or cold water? If it’s hot, is the appliance used while hot water is being run elsewhere in the home?
- Do you tend to use the washing machine while people are showering?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can then speak to our team about your next steps.
To summarise, the type and size of hot water system you need is dependent on your peak usage period, when you’re using additional hot water and the temperature of the incoming water. It’s not, therefore, dependent on the number of people or bathrooms. For more helpful information on installation, maintenance and hot water system service, simply get in touch with our team. We have been in business for many years. Throughout this time, we have installed thousands of new systems for our customers.
Generally speaking, if the temperature in a home at any given time is substantially below 25 degrees Celsius, the hot water tank will need to be on the larger side. And, if you only tend to use one shower at a time, tankless is an incredibly positive way to go. Imagine not needing to worry about running out of hot water or about recovery times – perfect for your hot water needs and ideal for your pocket too!
So, let us help you to take the time to consider your actual usage so you can have piping hot water all year round whether it’s dull and cold or lovely, sunny and hot outside.