Gas hot water systems can be a good solution for you depending on your circumstances, for example, if you live in an area with limited sunlight for a solar system or if a heat pump hot water system is not suitable. Gas hot water systems produce far less greenhouse gases than electric water heaters.
Gas hot water systems generally have lower upfront costs than solar or heat pump hot water systems. However, if you don’t have natural gas connected to your home you will need to use bottled gas (LPG). Depending on how much hot water you use, LPG may be more expensive to run than natural gas.
There are two main types of hot water systems:
- Storage water heaters heat and store water in an insulated tank for use when it is needed.
- Instantaneous systems (or continuous flow systems) only heat water when it’s needed and don’t use a storage tank. Be aware that if this leads you to use more hot water, your energy costs may increase.
Research your requirements
- Find out the best type of hot water system for your household - either a solar, gas or heat pump hot water system. Consider your household size, available energy sources, your climate, space and access, and your existing system.
- You should also consider purchase and installation costs, as well as running costs for different systems. Don’t forget to include potential long term energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in your decision making.
- If you decide on a gas hot water system, it’s important to choose the most appropriate one for your needs as there are different types available.
- If you are looking at particular systems or models, you will often be able to research them online.
- For further details and resources about the different types of systems available and how they work, see ‘Further information’ below.
- Seek expert advice about your options and get several written quotes to make sure you get the best system for your needs at the best price. You can speak to installers, building information centres, designers or retailers for advice.
- Check your installer is accredited. Qualified installers will be aware of safety issues and will install systems correctly. A gas hot water heater requires installation by a licensed gasfitter.
- Ask installers about any additional costs that may not be included in the quote.
- Ask about the warranty and after-sales service and what help you'll get if you have questions about your installation in the future.
Install your gas hot water system
- Talk to your installer about the best place to locate your system. Position it close to laundries and bathrooms if possible to minimise pipe work and heat loss.
- Make sure your pipes are insulated.
- Request a Certificate of Compliance from your installer so you can be confident your new water heater meets all regulatory requirements.
Operate and maintain your system
- Before your installer leaves, make sure you have clear instructions on how to operate your system and what maintenance is required. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.
- Talk to your installer about having your hot water system regularly inspected and serviced.
- Set the temperature of the storage tank to 60°C to kill bacteria.
- If you’re away for more than a few days, turn off your storage hot water system. Don’t forget to turn it back on when you get home.