Hot water – who among us can live a single day without it, especially now that we’re moving into winter?
And since we’re headed into colder weather, more of us are turning our attention to our hot water, with many contemplating hot water repairs in Melbourne to ensure we get through the coming cold.
Of course, that isn’t the only thing you can think about when it comes to your hot water – have you thought about how much your hot water usage might be driving up your bills?
Why is my water heating bill so high?
And how can I fix it?
There is no denying that 21% of the total energy usage in your typical Australian home goes towards heating and cooling.
What you might not realise is that in many homes, hot water systems account for a large portion of that percentage – if you want to bring your bills down, this is a good place to start.
Before you convert to cold showers however, it’s important to remember that there are many factors that affect your hot water usage.
Our local climate and household size are probably the biggest ones, with the most important arguably being your hot water habits.
For instance, long showers are naturally going to use more electricity or gas!
However, there are also a number of other factors at play – for example, system efficiency and hot water leaks both have a role to play in determining how much energy your hot water habits use.
Does turning down the temperature on a water heater save money?
How setting the temperature too high can be a problem
In addition to the increased chance of scalding and burns, as well as the risk of wearing your system out prematurely, a water heater temperature that is set too high can also drive up your energy and gas usage.
As a general rule, water inside hot water tanks should be set at a minimum of 60ºC in order to minimise the risk of infection and other health problems – however, that doesn’t mean that you need to turn it up higher than that.
A higher temperature requires more energy to reach and maintain. As such, setting the temperature of your system too high might result in higher energy bills, too.
Get old and outdated water heaters fixed or replaced
As technology develops, newer and more efficient models of basically any device will hit the market. Your water heater is no exception!
If you’re relying on an outdated heater, you might be missing out on all these developments.
Not only that, but old and outdated water heaters may also be suffering from wear and tear, leading to their energy efficiency declining the longer they go without being replaced, and as issues like leaks and worn-out heating elements start arising.
All of this can lead to high energy costs as your water heater struggles to keep up – all the more reason to replace it as it reaches its use-by date (or has even passed it!)
Fix water leaks
Drips and leaks in your hot water system not only waste water, but energy, too. So if you’re experiencing leaks in your hot water system, it is better to have it checked by emergency plumbers to make sure you aren’t wasting money unnecessarily.
Our professionals can fix all sorts of issues including broken drain valves, sediment build-up and worn seals that can cause hot water to leak out.
Take shorter showers
Really, this should go without saying – shorter showers means less hot water, which means a lower energy bill!
Use more cold water
This is yet another obvious solution – however, it’s one that a lot of households in Melbourne seemingly overlook or fail to consider.
There are certain things that simply don’t need hot water. For example, food preparation can be done using cold water most of the time, as can brushing your teeth.
Many laundry detergents also market themselves as effective in cold water (not just hot) so you can also make a conscious decision in the laundry to run a cold wash, rather than hot.
While these may seem like small changes, they can make a difference over time. Not to mention, they’re so minor that you almost don’t have an excuse to not take them up!
Schedule hot water system maintenance
Hot water systems will also need regular care. Domestic plumbing maintenance will help your system function better and last longer. It’s also the opportunity where potential or growing problems are identified and rectified before they escalate.
How can I save money on my hot water heater?
It all starts by taking a look at the very appliance that’s responsible for providing all of your hot water…
On-demand vs tank-style hot water system: which is more efficient, and is it cheaper to have hot water on constantly?
There are two types of hot water system available:
- Tank water heaters
- On-demand water heaters
Like the names suggest, the first type keeps a tank of hot water heated up and in reserve, while the second heats up water as required.
Most homes in Melbourne use tank water heaters – something that people typically assume uses up more energy.
While that may sound like the case, the fact of the matter is that it actually depends on your needs.
In our experience, while on-demand systems don’t need to use energy to maintain a reserve of hot water, the act of heating water up inherently uses more energy than keeping already-hot water at a consistent temperature.
After a certain point, heating water on-demand actually ends up using more energy.
As such, which type is more efficient will depend on the size of your household, with smaller households benefiting from on-demand systems while properties with high hot water consumption may be better off with a tank.
Replace electrical hot water units with gas-powered systems
“Now you’re washing with gas!”
As a general rule, electrical water heaters are much less efficient than gas-powered systems – in fact, they’re generally the least efficient type of water heater to run, unless they’re connected to a solar panel.
Not only that, but gas is also cheaper than electricity at the moment, meaning that a gas hot water system is cheaper to run.
If your home is still using an electrical system, we strongly recommend replacing it with a less energy-hungry gas alternative, especially if your system is approaching the end of its useful life anyway.
Our hot water plumbers don’t just carry out your installation – we also work with you from the very beginning, helping you choose a system that:
- Matches your hot water requirements
- Offers the best balance between efficiency and performance
- Is compatible with your plumbing system
- Fits your budget
How can I make my hot water last longer? Call Watermaster Plumbing today!
We’re halfway towards winter – and that makes NOW the perfect time to get your hot water system looked at.
In addition to repairs for unexpected problems, our emergency plumbers in Melbourne can conduct regular inspections and maintenance for your hot water system to make sure that everything is up and running as usual, and that you’re ready for the coming winter.
Let our skilled domestic plumbers in Melbourne inspect, maintain, and fix your hot water woes with our prompt, reliable and efficient plumbing services across Bayside.
Our Melbourne plumbers have more than 20 years of experience in looking after all sorts of plumbing issues, from small domestic frustrations to larger commercial installations.
We service the entire south-east – whether you need plumbing in Sandringham, St Kilda or Frankston, we’re here to help.