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 Hot Water Cylinders for the Winter Months Ahead 

Hot Water Cylinders for the Winter Months Ahead

As we head into the cold, winter months, heating and hot water are on many people’s minds. With hot water being one of the household’s most costly services, it’s important to understand your water heating options for the winter months ahead.

Technically there are several options for heating your water in the winter months, but most Kiwi houses either use a gas hot water cylinder or an electric one. Whichever you have, the most important thing is that you have a decent supply of hot water. Our plumbers at Superior Plumbing and Gas have seen people on both sides of the gas or electric debate, but ultimately many factors are involved to choose the best fit.

Electric Hot Water Cylinders

How it works: an element is encased within a water storage tank regulated by a thermostat, delivering water to your taps at up to 55 degrees Celsius. With modern electric cylinders, it’s hard to run out of hot water with regular use because the thermostat detects any dip in temperature, triggering the element to heat the water up.

Benefits: electric hot water cylinders are more energy efficient than gas. They have a large storage tank of water, so there is always plenty of water available. Having been used for many years, plumbers agree that they are reliable, efficient and long-lasting. Plus their upfront fees are lower than gas cylinders and they have the added bonus of being able to be turned off to save you money while on holiday.

Traditionally, electric hot water cylinders are more common, however more people are opting for gas.

Gas Hot Water Cylinders

How it works: Like electric, gas hot water cylinders use an insulated tank of water regulated by a thermostat, the difference being that the water is heated by gas, rather than electricity. Typically this is natural gas, but LPG bottles can be used when natural gas is not available.

Benefits: often located outside the house, gas hot water cylinders free up valuable space indoors. Also, as they do not rely on electricity, you still have hot water in a power failure. Gas hot water cylinders heat water up more quickly than electricity and, if other appliances are also running on gas, gas cylinders can be more cost-effective.

New and Old Cylinders

Switching from one cylinder to the other can be pricey, so you need to weigh up the installation cost and consider if you will be in the house long term for it to be worthwhile. For houses with medium to high hot water needs, gas is usually more cost-effective whereas households using less hot water generally find electric cylinders to cost less.

Before you chuck out the old electric hot water cylinder, there are some things to do to improve its performance, such as wrapping it in a cylinder wrap which insulates it and keeps the heat in. Unfortunately, it’s not safe to do so with gas.

Whether you want a new hot water cylinder, want to maintain your old one, or simply want to better understand your options, speak to the team of plumbing experts at Superior Plumbing and Gas.

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