Hot water is ever so crucial for those living in fear of cold showers. Historically, water heating became a thing, starting with warming water under the radiating rays of the sun. However, people slowly noticed that heat from sunlight isn’t reliable enough to satisfy demand, especially during the night when there is no sun. Thus, the need for a secure water heating system became apparent, and it led to the development of two major systems; namely the solar hot water system and the gas hot water system. The two heating processes involves two different types of energy sources, installation processes, and different levels of effectiveness.
The Solar Hot Water System
Solar heating systems rely heavily on solar heat as the name suggests. It uses a system of heating platforms to concentrate solar radiation on heating water. Usually, these types of heating systems are readily available in areas with year-long warm climates. However, in temperate regions, solar heating might become a problem.
There are three types of solar heating systems available today:
- Heat collecting panels: Every solar heating unit has a flat-plate collector that absorbs the heat coming from the sun and transfers it to water-filled tanks. It’s the cheapest solar water heating system, but it’s not efficient in cold and cloudy weather. This system can be installed on the roof of the house or the ground. The tanks are then attached to the plumbing, where it can be accessed.
- Heat Pump System: In this heating system, sunlight is collected to heat the air, which is used to heat the water. An electric motor is used to pump air into a chamber to heat the water.
- Evacuated tube collectors: A panel of glass tubes are installed to collect sunlight, which transfers radiation to heat the water in containers. It’s more efficient compared to flat-plate collectors, but it’s more expensive than the two other systems.
Advantages of Solar Hot Water System
1. Solar hot water systems lessen bills on electricity and gas
2. The heating system has a low maintenance cost
3. Solar heating systems are environmentally friendly
4. It’s easy to install and maintain
5. Provides access to a renewable source of energy
Disadvantages of Solar Hot Water System
1. Upfront installation cost is often expensive
2. The heating system depends on climate and sunlight
3. The heating system can only heat water
4. Seasonal changes affect heating efficiency
5. Amount of hot water depends on tank capacity
The Average Cost of Solar Heating Systems
According to Angieslist.com, the average cost of a simple solar water heating system is around $3,500 for the components alone (tank, panels, tubing, etc.) The inclusion of labor expenses and other miscellaneous items, the cost may exceed $5000. The price will increase more if more features are added to the solar water heater. The initial upfront cost of installation may put off many from going solar. However, the benefits can be enjoyed many years after the initial start-up outlay.
The Gas Hot Water System
Gas hot water is a type of heating system that is advisable for homes with an existing gas line. In cases where gas lines are not present, the use of portable LPG gas tanks are an option. Gas hot water systems use combustion to heat water and pipe it throughout the house. It’s more efficient compared to solar as it’s still effective even in cold weather and colder climate.
There are two main types of gas water heating systems;
- Gas continuous heating: It is a tank-less of water heating system where water passes through a bent pipe heated by a gas heater. The system provides a constant flow of hot water hence the name of the system. It’s cost-effective and a space-saving option for water heating as it eliminates the need for a water tank.
- Hot water cylinders: This type of water heater is the traditional water heaters seen in many homes today. It comprises of a water tank heated by a gas-fed furnace with pumps that deliver heated water throughout the house.
Advantages of Gas Hot Water System
1. Cost-effective system of water heating
2. Fast water heating
3. A continuous flow of hot water
4. Low-energy cost heating
5. Electronic systems can regulate the water temperature
6. Convenient water heating system
7. Reliable even in cold climate
Disadvantages of Gas Hot Water Systems
1. Problems may arise during power cuts and blackouts
2. Possibility of mould contamination
3. Contribute to carbon emissions on the environment
4. High-upfront cost in installation
5. Need continuous checking and maintenance
6. Need considerable indoor space for installation
7. Have a shorter lifespan compared to solar heaters
8. The constant threat of mishap due to the presence of volatile gases
The Average Cost of Gas Hot Water Systems
According to homeadvisor.com, the standard cost of gas hot water installation ranges from $770 and $1,450. If you include the cost of labor and other miscellaneous expenses, the price may rise to $2,000. It is cheaper compared to solar hot water systems, but the drawback is the impact it has on the environment. Aside from this, the maintenance cost is affordable, unless repairs and replacements are needed. Overall, gas hot water systems are cheaper compared to other water heating systems available.
Solar hot water systems aim to utilize the abundant energy coming from the sun. If people can harness all the solar energy striking Earth in an hour, it is the same energy the entire world consumes in a year. So, a step forward towards green energy is the primary upside for solar-based systems. However, efficiency-wise, solar energy depends entirely on the sun’s output, weather, and time of day. With gas hot water systems, consumers have access to hot water every time, no matter what time, season, or weather conditions may be presented. Power cuts may become a nuisance, but gas burners can easily be used as an alternative. The downside to gas power is the carbon emissions it releases to the environment.
For all your Solar and Gas Hot Water Heating System advice and installations contact Hogan Hot Water and Air Conditioning. Family owned and operated, Hogan Hot Water and Air Conditioning prides itself on providing high quality products and services at the very best value for money!