If you've decided to move home and to build your own property, you need to consider how you are going to fit it out so that it will cater for the needs of your growing household. You may have a family to cater for and perhaps you're building a "granny flat" as well, for ageing parents. You need to make sure that your home will be able to cater for everyone and should buy the best hot water system you can find accordingly. What do you need to think about before you make your choice, however?
Figuring out Your Needs
Look carefully at the size of the household to determine how much water you are likely to use on any given day. Take into account the number of showers or baths that each person enjoys and how many laundry loads you need to clean throughout the week. This will tell you whether you are a light, moderate or heavy user and will generally determine the size of the installation.
Many people choose to have their water heated electrically, simply because there are more options and you can sometimes take advantage of beneficial tariffs.
Harnessing the Sun
You might decide to be "new age" and take advantage of the power provided by the sun. Hot water units powered by solar electricity will typically give you lower monthly bills and work exceptionally well across most of Australia. There are some incentives on offer to help you with the cost of installing the unit at the outset and this should alleviate any worry you have regarding the greater upfront investment. For these to work optimally though, the panels should face north so that they are exposed to the sun as much as possible.
You could also consider electric storage units, which are typically the most affordable of the options here. If you're careful, you can utilise the lowest tariffs provided by your local supplier, so that the water is only heated in off-peak hours. Refer to your earlier calculations, however, to determine if you will need a lot of hot water at peaks during the day. If you've got a system set to only work through off-peak tariffs, you may run out in these situations, as water is only heated during the overnight hours.
Considering Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are another alternative and are quite easy to install. Ambient air is used to heat the water and the system can again be tied to off-peak tariffs to keep the costs down. They work particularly well in the hot areas of the country due to the fact that they harvest the air from outside, but can be a little bit noisy during operation.
Figuring out the Options
To make sure that you choose the best system for your family's needs going forward, have a word with a licensed electrician before you make a final decision.