At a glance
A gas hot water system can provide a low-emission alternative to an electric hot water system, depending on your circumstances.
Research your requirements
- Find out the best type of low-emission hot water system for your household—either a solar, gas or heat pump hot water system. Electric hot water heaters (storage and instantaneous) are another option though are generally less energy efficient and produce more greenhouse gas emissions. 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're looking at particular systems or models, you will often be able to research them online.
- 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 or retailers for advice.
- Check your installer is accredited. Qualified installers will be aware of safety issues and will install systems correctly. A gas 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 problems with your system 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, bathrooms and kitchens 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 at least 60 degrees Celsius to kill bacteria.
- If you're away for an extended period and decide to turn off your storage hot water system to save money and energy, you should follow important safety steps when you turn it back on.
- Ensure the water in the storage tank is boosted to at least 60 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes before any hot water is used to kill any bacteria that may have grown. It could take several hours for the water to heat up to 60 degrees Celsius.
- If the hot water system has not been used for two weeks or more, it is possible that hydrogen gas may have built up in the storage tank. To safely remove this gas, you should turn on a kitchen or bathroom hot water tap for several minutes, until water runs freely. There should be no electrical appliances turned on, smoking or naked flames nearby while you do this. Check your manufacturer's instructions for more details.