Instant hot water systems, also known as continuous flow hot water systems, are demand-oriented water heaters. Unlike storage hot water systems, instantaneous systems only heat water when it is required, meaning only when a hot water tap is turned on.
These hot water heaters are popular because they are more energy efficient and, due to their compact size, take up a minimal amount of space. This makes them optimal for smaller households.
There are two different types of instant water heater; electric and gas. While they genuinely follow the same format for delivering hot water, there are key differences in the way they function.
An instant electric hot water system feeds cold water through the pipes in the heating unit upon demand. These pipes are fitted with elements that heat the water as it passes. The hot water is then sent directly to the tap.
In an instant gas hot water system, the flow sensor triggers the heating process when it detects water flow. This happens when a hot water tap is turned on. At this point, a flame ignites in the gas burner, heating a heat exchanger. Cold water travels through this exchanger, warming before it reaches the tap.
It is important to note that gas systems can have serious consequences if they are not installed correctly or maintained. Jetset Plumbing is the #1 specialist in residential and commercial gas fitting, ensuring quality and safety.
The benefits of installing an instant hot water system in your home are many. One main benefit is that they minimise heat loss making them considerably more energy efficient than storage tank systems.
As they only heat water when there is an immediate demand, there is no unnecessary energy being lost to maintaining and storing hot water. This results in lower running costs and higher energy efficiency.
Comparatively, continuous flow gas heaters are slightly cheaper to run than their electric counterparts, as gas prices are lower. However, gas prices fluctuate more dramatically than electricity prices do. Also, due to their need for a gas connection, gas heaters often have a higher upfront cost than electric heaters.
Instant hot water systems often appeal to homeowners due to their compact and aesthetically pleasant design. Unlike storage tank systems, instant hot water systems do not require large amounts of space and are not as visually obvious. This makes them a common solution for smaller homes.
Storage systems are built to be durable and generally have a long lifespan. However accidents can still happen and some leaks from these tank systems can cause considerable damage. Instant hot water systems remove the stored water variable, therefore drastically lowering the risk of leaks and damage.
Capacity is possibly the biggest drawback for instant hot water systems. Unlike tank systems, instant water heaters do not have any pre-heated water stored and ready for when demand increases.
Though capable of supplying for smaller households with lower hot water requirements, these systems are not always able to provide the flow rates needed for larger households. Often having too many taps turned on at once can cause a lag in the time it takes for hot water to reach the demand points. This can result in water wastage.
Understanding your households water needs is important to choosing the right hot water system for you. Our plumbers are leading experts in all things hot water and always happy to help. So, if you are still unsure, call Jetset Plumbing on 1800 443 996 and chat to our knowledgeable team today.
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Last updated: 09 Dec 2023
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