When a hot water system fails it usually happens suddenly and permanently. When this occurs the only thing on your mind is to get it fixed–and fixed FAST!
With time against you… You don’t have the luxury to carefully review all the hot water options available to you. Most people simply get the same type and size system as a like-for-like replacement.
However, doing this could cost you a small fortune as a different water heater might be better suited to your family and situation. In a typical household, running a hot water system can account for a quarter of your power bill, so it’s worth spending a bit of time talking to an expert plumber first before jumping in and buying any old unit.
Types of hot water systems
The standard electric hot water systems Calgary most likely accounts for the majority of hot water systems in homes. This is changing as new technology is coming on board as with the more readily available fuel sources like gas and solar. The government is also making new rules and phasing out electric hot water systems in favour of cleaner energy systems.
Large electric storage hot water systems on an off peak tariff , I think, are still the best option to go with if you have the room available. 300 – 400 litre systems are really great and you have plenty of water. The running costs similar to natural gas system. Water is heated overnight and stored using cheaper cost electricity and switched off in the day time. They usually come with a boost element as well as the main element so you never run out of hot water.
Used for electric continuous flow units, storage water heaters with a capacity of less than 160 litres and heat pump type storage systems.
With the exception of heat pumps, these systems can be very expensive to run, so should only be used when other options are not suitable.
Heat pump hot water technology has taken off in Calgary with many people choosing this option. They are highly efficient and use approximately 70% less electricity than electric water heaters. How they work: Heat is extracted from the atmosphere using a refrigerant gas and a compressor like an air conditioner or refrigerator. The heated water is stored in the usual tank. Be warned though, these units can be quite noisy. Especially in the middle of the night!
A solar hot water system, costs more than electric systems (usually $1,000 – $2,000 more expensive) but can be considerably cheaper to run over it’s lifetime. Some solar manufacturers state that you can get up to 300 days FREE water heating from the sun in the Calgary area.
Gas systems are becoming more popular in Alberta. They come in both continuous flow instantaneous systems and storage type systems.
LPG (Bottled Gas)
Similar to natural gas units. The cost to run are about one and a half to three times the price of natural gas or off-peak electricity. Bottled gas is not as cheap as mains gas. Check your area to see if you have mains gas as you would want to avoid LPG if you can. Also, look at the energy rating label on the unit. Go for the highest amount of stars.