Closeup of a modern gas hot water system – gas vs electric hot water systems

Whether renovating or just getting a feel for what’s available, choosing between the types of water heaters can be difficult. Generally, residential homes have three options: gas, electric, and solar hot water systems. As experienced gas fitting service providers, we discuss the differences between gas, electric, and solar hot water systems and their pros and cons to help you figure out the best option for your home.

gas hot water heating

Some gas systems can heat water on demand to function more efficiently. These types of gas hot water system are sometimes referred to as a ‘califont’. It sits against an exterior wall in a well-ventilated area of your home, where it releases exhaust gasses outside.

These systems heat water on-demand; no cylinder is necessary to hold heated water as it passes through the system. This improves efficiency by reducing the amount of heat loss, while a control panel can provide precise control over the water temperature.

There are also high-capacity external hot water cylinders that use gas as their heating source available too. Resembling a traditional hot water cylinder, these can accommodate large hot water usage but still offer the efficiencies and financial savings of using gas.

Advantages of Gas Water Heating

  • Gas hot water on-demand systems – Gas systems provide unlimited access to instant hot water. Late risers don’t need to suffer through cold showers. As the system loses no heat, you could be looking at some great savings down the line with reduced running costs.
  • Economical – Generally cheaper to run than traditional electric cylinders.
  • Easy installation – Although you get instant hot water, you’ll still need to wait for it to reach the tap. Take some time to determine where you want your gas heater installed. The closer your heater is to the shower or sink, the sooner hot water will reach it.
  • Low maintenance – Storing heated water in a cylinder tank is not only inefficient but can also speed up corrosion and will eventually require a bit of upkeep to maintain. Additionally, you get a cupboard’s worth of new space in your home, as a large indoor cylinder becomes redundant.

Disadvantages of Gas Water Heating

Gas hot water systems have few disadvantages. Many of the benefits – especially the money-saving ones – will only appear in the long-term, so the leading downside of gas systems is the upfront cost and installation fees.

Fortunately, at Auckland Plumbers Group, you can get your gas hot water system, including GST and installation fees, for below $3,000 for a brand new system (providing gas is already on the property). We have everything covered so you can start enjoying your instant hot water. Despite the relatively high upfront cost, you’ll see some incredible savings in running costs.

electric hot water cylinders

Many houses in New Zealand feature old, clunky, and inefficient hot water cylinders. Thankfully, as design technology evolves, we find better ways to do things. Nowadays, the cylinders feature commercial-grade enamel and thicker anode, and you can even install them outdoors to save some space inside your home.

Newer electric hot water cylinders lose significantly less heat and the electricity gives you more control over when the water is heated… especially helpful if your electricity supplier allows you to take advantage of night-store tariffs. This reduces heat loss resulting from standing water in these cylinders. For extra insulation, you can wrap your cylinder to maximise efficiency.

The installation of your electric water heater will always be an important consideration. As with our gas options, Auckland Plumbers Group offers selected cylinders that include all installation fees in our prices.

Advantages of Electric Hot Water Cylinders

  • Relatively high energy efficiency – Electric water heaters today feature improved insulation and thermal control, along with more control over when water is heated.
  • High volume – Most water cylinders will typically have a minimum capacity of approximately 130 litres; however, a range of sizes are available to suit the needs of your household.

Disadvantages of Electric Hot Water Cylinders

Ultimately, the main downsides to electric water heaters are the operation costs. If you’re looking for something more affordable long-term, gas will likely be your best choice. Even with multiple sizes available, you may face some inconvenience when hot water in your household is in high demand. This is due to the finite storage capacity, increasing the heat recovery time.

solar hot water systems

Solar power has become a common addition to homes across New Zealand as more Kiwis choose a sustainable lifestyle. Traditional hot water systems can also take advantage of the sun.  The generation of hot water is assisted by harnessing the sun’s energy, thereby reducing the ongoing costs that typically come with using electric hot water cylinders.

There are a few solar options available and each installation will be unique. Call Auckland Plumbers Group to learn more about solar hot water systems and how they can benefit you.

Advantages of Solar Water Systems

  • Sustainable – Solar water heaters contribute to New Zealand’s green future.
  • Reduced ongoing costs – The system uses a solar panel to draw energy from the sun. Once you’ve paid the initial purchase price and installation fees, you can use your hot water confident that money isn’t flowing down the drain alongside it.

Disadvantages of Solar Water Heaters

Sunlight is not constant, and solar arrays require direct sunlight to heat water. The system will function less effectively on cloudy days. However, solar is an ideal option for complementing another hot water system. Take full advantage of sunny days without sacrificing hot water on the gloomy ones!

need a gasfitter for your hot water system?

Our gasfitters are highly experienced and ready to help install your new water heater. Additionally, we offer a range of plumbing and gas-related services, including efficient 24-hour plumbers. Whether you’re reconsidering your water heating options or need after-hours service, we can help. Get in touch with the crew at Auckland Plumbers Group today.