How hot water heating systems work, what they cost and how to install the right heat pump hot water system for your home or business
Heat pump hot water systems are becoming an increasingly popular way to heat homes in Australia. They are a cost-effective alternative to standard heating systems such as gas, electric or storage heaters. With the increased interest in renewable energy sources, heat pump hot water systems have become an effective alternative to using fossil fuels and can considerably reduce your yearly water heating expenses.
When considering the purchase of a heat pump hot water system, there are a number of factors to take into account. Hogan Hot Water and Air Conditioning has put together this useful guide to determine the overall price of a heat pump hot water system so you can evaluate whether it’s a cost-effective option for your home.
How heat pump hot water systems work
Heat pump hot water systems work by moving outdoor heat indoors. They can be used on their own or as alongside a gas or electric heating system.
The heat pump water system is usually placed outside of the property and takes heat from the air and heats it to your preferred temperature using a heat pump. The pump uses electricity, but it should be more energy-efficient compared to other water heating methods.
Heat pump hot water systems work in the following way:
- The heat pump takes in air from outside to heat the liquid refrigerant.
- Using electricity the pump compresses the liquid to increase its temperature. This then condenses back into a liquid to generate stored heat.
- Stored hot water can be used for household needs such as taps, showers and baths.
- Depending on the system you choose, some units can be used to provide air conditioning or residential ventilation.
Selecting a heat pump water system
Heat pump hot water systems usually require a higher initial investment than conventional storage water heaters. However, the operating costs of a heat pump water system are significantly lower, which can compensate for their higher purchase price.
The time it takes to recoup the cost of the heat pump water system in energy savings depends on how efficiently your system works, the type of heating system you’re exchanging and how you will be using the generated heat from your water pump.
Before buying a heat pump hot water system, you should consider the following:
Amount of heat needed
When installing a heat pump hot water system, it is important to choose the right one to suit the needs of family and lifestyle. One that’s too big will increase your energy bills, but one that’s too small won’t provide enough hot water.
A properly sized heat pump hot water system will meet the hot water needs of your household while operating at high efficiency. Therefore, before purchasing a heat pump water system, make sure it’s the correct size.
If you are unsure of what size of heat pump hot water system would be best for your home, get in touch with us.
Efficiency of the heat pump
Australian Regulations mean that heat pump hot water systems have to have an Energy Label Rating on them. The label gives information about the energy efficiency of the heat pump hot water system and rates products so you can compare the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances before you purchase them.
Heat pump hot water systems are given between 1 and 10 stars, with one being the least efficient and 10 being considered super-efficient.
Heat pump hot water system price
Heat pump hot water systems definitely save you money in the long-term, but how quickly you break even depends on how much you initially invest for your unit. You’ll typically need a 270–315L tank for a four-person household, prices range from approximately $2500 to $4000, not including installation.
There are government rebates and incentives available to help offset the initial cost of purchase.
Calculate the running costs of a heat pump hot water system
When comparing heat pump hot water systems, you can use the Energy Rating Label to estimate running costs with some basic maths in 3 easy steps:
1. Find out how much you pay per unit of electricity
In New South Wales, we pay approximately 26 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), for standard peak rate electricity. 1kW = 1000 watts
2. Find out how much input power the heat pump uses in kilowatts (kW)
You will find the input power marked on the heat pump water system, on the packaging or in the user manual in watts. Using a heat pump water system that is rated at 2000 watts as an example: 2000 watts ÷ 1000 = 2kW
3. Estimate the hourly running cost
Multiply the input power in kW by the price of your electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh).
2kW x 26c per kWh = 52 cents per hour.
For example, if the Energy Rating Label of your heat pump hot water system says it uses 2000 watts or 2kW, it means it will cost roughly 52 cents for every hour it is on. You can then multiply this figure by the number of hours you intend to run the heat pump hot water system to determine the daily, weekly and yearly running costs of the unit.
Installation and maintenance of a heat pump water system
The proper installation and maintenance of your heat pump hot water system is an essential factor in ensuring its high energy efficiency.
There are multiple factors that come into consideration when installing and maintaining a heat pump hot water system including local building code requirements, safety issues, the size of the system and the frequency that the heat pump hot water system will be used. We always advise that you use a qualified heating professional to install and maintain your heat pump hot water system.
When selecting a qualified professional for a heat pump hot water system installation in New South Wales, you should do the following:
- Ask for a quote in writing
- Request references from previous clients
- Check the company’s reputation online
- See if the company understands New South Wales building codes.
Find the best installers of heat pumps in New South Wales
Heat pump water hot systems present an excellent opportunity for upgrading your home. They not only provide you with a substantial return on investment but they also increase the quality and value of your property.
If this article has piqued your interest in heat pump hot water systems, get in touch with us on 0488 029 618 or via our online contact form to get a no-obligation quote from one of New South Wales’ trusted installers serving Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland and the Central Coast.