4 Different Types Of Hot Water Systems

Almost 150 years ago (1868 ) in London, England, the first Hot Water System was developed in a form of a storage model and the first instantaneous domestic water heater was invented and it didn’t use solid fuel. The invention made cold water at the top flow through pipes that were heated by hot gases from a burner at the bottom. Hot water then flowed to a sink or tub. This was somehow dangerous because there was no flue to remove heated gases from the bathroom.

The invention also influenced and inspired advancements in tank-type and tank-less water designs and operations that are used in almost every water heating systems around the world. With years of experiments and observations, scientists found ways to innovate heating systems to help and improve the technology, environment and the peoples’ lives.

Common Types of  HWS (Hot Water Systems):

  • Electric – electrical storage tank system is usually cheap to buy and install, but normally is the most expensive to run. It can be installed indoors or outdoors and is also available on electric instantaneous water heaters. Energy saving off-peak electricity is cheaper to run but not is not available to every homes in Australia.
  • Gas – A very good option if you have the connection for it. It maybe cheaper than electricity but gas prices are currently rising. Because gas rates don’t vary through the day, gas water heating systems only heats water when needed. Usually installed outdoors due to venting concerns, but with a flue, it can be installed indoors as well.
  • Solar – Solar collector panels with storage tank is the normal set up. A four-person household needs 2 solar panels (of standard 2x2m each) and a 300L tank. The tanks should be large to allow for days with less sunlight or days with high hot water usage. Solar water heating systems are expensive and time consuming to install, but eventually will allow users to save more in the long run. Plus it’s environmental friendly.
  • Heat Pump – The most efficient of electric storage tank system that works by extracting heat from the air and using it to heat the water tank. Just like the usage of air in air-conditioning and fridges. It’s just using hot air though, but of the same mechanism. The tank also has a compressor but other heat pump system are split with separated tank and compressor. The compressor however, tends to be noisy when turned on, so it better be installed in place where it is far or hidden to a nearby neighbour. Best option for warm and temperate regions, but other designs also works well in cold conditions too, with booster element for days of cold weather or high hot water usage.

A century and a half later after its first prototypes, the progression of water heating systems has evolved and became more sensitive to risk factors that could and may affect human and environmental health. People now have wide options to choose on which water heating system they would like to use in their houses.

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