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7 Reasons to Switch to a Heat Pump Hot Water System

Author:

Rory Dixon

Hot water—it’s essential for showers, baths, dishes, and keeping those mugs of tea steaming. But in Australia, where water makes up about 25% of a household’s energy consumption, it often comes at a hefty price, both for your wallet and the environment. 

If you’ve already got a solar panel system installed in your home, you’re on the right track; you’re likely already using solar-powered electricity to heat your hot water. However, because this isn’t the most reliable or efficient water heating solution available, you might be interested to know that there’s a better alternative.

Enter the heat pump hot water system. This clever contraption uses renewable energy from the air itself to heat your water, slashing your bills and shrinking your carbon footprint. So how does it work? And what makes it better than your standard solar hot water system? 

How does a heat pump hot water system work?

The easiest way to explain how a heat pump hot water system works is to think of it like a refrigerator—but in reverse. It transfers the heat outside the unit to the water stored inside the heater through a heat exchange system.

If you want to get technical, the heat pump system draws external air into an evaporator that contains a particular refrigerant that has an evaporation or boiling point of -26 °C, enabling it to work even in very cold temperatures. 

The air that’s drawn into the system turns the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. A compressor then pumps this gas through a small valve, compressing it and generating heat, which is then transferred to a tank where water is stored. 

All you really need to know is that, unlike solar water heaters, heat pump systems don’t use heat directly from the sun; they use it from the air itself. That means that they use a lot less power than solar water heaters alone. Plus, even if there’s not much sunlight, you can still have hot water on tap.

What’s the difference between a solar water system and a heat pump water system?

Solar Hot Water System

Solar hot water systems use heat directly from the sun to heat your water. Typically, this system consists of a hot water storage tank connected to solar collector panels. As the sun shines on a collector panel, it heats the water in the pipes inside the collector. This water is then circulated out through a pipe to the storage tank. 

Solar hot water systems work really well during the warmer months, but they usually can’t collect enough energy to heat the water during winter or if it’s cloudy. That’s why they have an extra form of heating—a ‘booster’ powered by either gas or electricity—that comes on automatically when required. This is a great addition, but your electricity bill can skyrocket with the additional usage.

Heat Pump Hot Water System

Hot water heat pumps, on the other hand, are highly energy-efficient no matter the weather. Because they work by extracting heat from the surrounding air and using it to heat the water rather than generating heat from scratch, they’re a fantastic cost-effective hot water alternative.

Yes, heat pumps always use electricity, but because they reclaim heat from the air, they use a lot less power to heat the water. If a timer is set to have your heat pump system operating during the middle of the day, it could be fully powered by your rooftop solar panels for the entire year, depending on the overall household energy usage and the size of your solar system.

7 reasons to make the switch

Now that you know a little bit more about how a heat pump hot water system works, here are some key reasons why switching to a heat pump hot water system in Australia is a smart move.

1. They give you more control

Because heat pumps can be timed to operate whenever needed, they offer you more control over your energy consumption. You might want to make use of off-peak tariff prices, run your system more efficiently during the day due to higher temperatures, or use any excess solar power.

2. They’re built to last

With a lifespan of 10–15 years, heat pumps are a durable and cost-effective water heating solution. Although they’re made up of more components than other water heaters, heat pump water heating systems require little maintenance. 

3. You can install them virtually anywhere

Unlike solar hot water systems, heat pumps work their magic anywhere, making them perfect for any home. If you have a roof that’s quite shaded, a solar hot water system alone might not be able to collect enough solar energy.

4. They work in harmony with your existing solar system

If you already have a solar system installed, you can use a heat pump system in tandem to reduce your overall energy costs. Simply install a heat pump hot water system and use a timer to have it running during the day when your solar system is generating the most electricity.

5. You get a consistent hot water supply

Rain or shine, heat pump hot water systems keep your water hot. They provide a continuous supply, so you can enjoy long, luxurious showers without the panic of a cold blast—they even work in icy temperatures, ensuring you’ve got steaming showers all year-round. 

6. They’re safe for your family

Say goodbye to scorching tanks and potential burn hazards. Unlike other water heating solutions, heat pump water systems stay cool to the touch, making them safe for families with young children and pets.

7. They’re part of the government rebate system

Similar to the solar hot water system rebates, there’s a heat pump hot water system rebate as these products also qualify for Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs). The heat pump rebate criteria is largely the same as that of a solar hot water heater, but note that if you’ve already qualified for a solar panel or solar battery rebate programme, you might be out of luck.

So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call to make the switch to a heat pump today and unlock a world of savings, comfort, and environmental responsibility. Remember, every watt saved is a victory for your wallet and the planet. 

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