Gas vs. Heat Pump: How to Choose the Best Hot Water System for a Mid-Size Family

Gas continuous flow and heat pump water heaters are more energy-efficient than traditional storage tank systems. Tankless or continuous flow water heaters heat water on demand; thus, they do not store hot water. Conversely, heat pump water heaters are advanced storage units that draw heat from the air for water heating. These two units are ideal for mid-size families. Below are some factors you should consider when choosing the best system between the two.

Hot water consumption

The consumption of hot water during high-demand hours is a key factor to consider when purchasing a unit for your home. What time do most of the household occupants take showers? Do you use hot water for other jobs during this time? The key is to ensure you have an endless supply of hot water when you need it the most.

Tankless or continuous flow systems provide hot water on demand. Therefore, if your family takes showers in the morning, one person at a time, a tankless unit will be reliable and efficient. If you intend to access hot water at multiple points, buy a tankless unit with a high flow rate. 

Conversely, a heat pump may run out of hot water if it isn't properly sized. You should calculate your peak demand and choose a heat pump size that can supply enough hot water before recovery. For example, if each person uses 70 litres per shower, three people will require at least 210 litres of hot water. 

Installation considerations

Tankless hot water systems are compact and easy to install due to the absence of a water tank. You can place a tankless unit anywhere in your home. A tankless heater is ideal if:

  • You have no installation space for a storage tank
  • You have a new home that has no existing water heater connections 

Conversely, heat pumps require more installation space for the storage tank. If you are replacing a standard electric water heater, heat pump placement will be fairly straightforward. However, make sure there is enough space around the unit for optimal performance.

Efficiency and operational expenses

Both heat pumps and tankless systems utilise modern water heating technologies that optimise energy savings. Tankless units only consume energy when you need hot water, so heat loss is minimised. If you live in an area with low gas prices, a tankless hot water system would be ideal for your home. 

Heat pumps don't use fuel to heat water; thus, they consume less energy. However, if you live in a cooler climate, the unit will use electrical energy to heat water, which can lower the annual energy savings. Therefore, you will only realise the maximum benefits of a heat pump if you live in a moderate climate. 

Consider these factors when choosing a hot water system for your mid-size home. For further consultation, contact a hot water installation contractor.

About Me

Pedro's Plumbing Info

Yo! My name is Pedro and my number one passion in life is plumbing. If you are interested in finding out about the joys of plumbing, I invite you to read my wonderful blog. I should point out that I am not a trained plumber. While I have much respect for those who work in the plumbing industry, I have never been trained myself. My knowledge comes from my interactions with plumbing contractors. As well as calling in contractors to complete work around my property, I also like to hang out with them when I get the chance. Over the years, I have learnt all kinds of cool things.



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