Compare Gas and Electricity for Water Heating

From bathing to cooking, everyone uses hot water for daily activities. To achieve desirable temperatures, your home has some type of water heater installed. Styles range from centralized units to point-of-use devices that deliver hot water to your faucets and appliances. Depending on your setup, you may use gas or electricity to power your water heater. If you are looking to upgrade your home or cut energy costs, you may want to compare gas and electricity systems to find one that suits your needs.


There are three common types of water heaters, including storage, tankless and solar models. When you compare gas and electricity costs with your personal usage, you can get a better idea of which type will save you the most money on your energy bill.


Storage Water Heaters


Most centralised systems are storage water heaters, which contain a cylindrical tank for retaining hot water. Your boiler may be connected to unvented cylinders for domestic hot water. Storage water heaters accumulate a hot water supply, which refills over time. With the storage model, you have a consistent supply of hot water that is ready to use. This type of unit may seem like the most energy-efficient heater available since it uses energy more slowly; however, the stored water may cool and cause the system to activate periodically for maintaining the desired temperature. Also, if the hot water supply is depleted after a shower, you may have to wait a long time for the tank to refill before gaining access to heated water again.


Storage water heaters use a variety of energy sources, including natural gas, electricity, propane and solar. UK residents often choose natural gas because of existing pipes and the cheaper price per unit. When you compare gas and electricity costs of similar storage water heaters, natural gas is less expensive and can save you money.


Tankless Water Heaters


Tankless units instantly heat your water as it flows through the system without storing water like conventional appliances. Tankless water heaters generally contain copper heat exchangers that bring the water to a desired temperature. Depending on your property size and design, you may be able to choose between a large centralised model for whole-home heating and smaller point-of-use units for individual bathrooms and kitchens. Since tankless systems directly heat the water, you receive a bountiful flow of hot water on a continuous basis. The device will not turn on periodically to heat a stored supply, so these models are viewed as energy efficient. A tankless water heater typically uses electricity. You may pay more for each kilowatt hour used, but the system turns on less frequently than storage water heaters. This option may be ideal for you if your home only requires hot water in a few locations for limited periods of time.


Some households opt to use specialised point-of-use heaters, such as electric shower heads. These devices are tankless heaters that are installed in one location of the home. Several models contain variable settings for customized temperature control. Point-of-use heaters yield cheaper costs compared to centralised boilers due to the limited operation time.


Solar Water Heaters


Whether you have a storage or tankless water heater, you may be able to generate your own electricity for it with solar technology. Experts install solar collectors outside your home, and these panels feed electricity directly into the water heater. Many residents are able to significantly cut their hot water bills by generating the energy needed to operate the system. Certain existing water heats may be retrofitted to accommodate a solar model, and some households will need to upgrade the entire system for a solar water heater.


Compare Gas and Electricity Water Heaters


By comparing different technologies available for water heating, you may be able to gain significant savings on your energy bill. Assess your household’s hot water usage to determine whether you need a central system or point-of-use models. If you use hot water periodically throughout the day, a gas storage water heater may be the most cost-effective solution for you. Residents who only need hot water in the morning for bathing may benefit from electric tankless water heaters. British Gas offers additional ways to cut costs and control your energy usage with innovative apps and remote access. Hot water is a necessary part of daily life, but you can find ways to conserve energy and save money at the same time.

Author Sam Jones uses uSwitch price comparison site to Compare Gas and Electricity For Water Heating and find the best deals and cheapest tariffs

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