I admit it. I go on about solar panels here at Kolar Solar, but not this time. There are more ways to improve energy efficiency, and I’m here to give you the low down! This time I’m talking about hot water systems.
Sure, you can opt for solar products like roof mounts (which I love), but if you can’t do solar panels (roof not compatible, budget etc.) there are other products on the market that help you transition into renewable energy. What may you ask? Heat pump hot water systems!
What is a heat pump hot water system?
A heat pump hot water system (or air-source heat pump) is kind of like a reverse refrigerator. It’s a heat exchange system that uses a refrigeration cycle to extract hot air to warm the water you’ll need for showering, cooking and everything else.
Here’s a simplified step-by-step look at how it works:
- A fan draws in air containing heat energy, across the evaporator
- The evaporator turns the liquid refrigerant into a gas
- The compressor pressurises the refrigerant into a hot gas
- The hot gas inside the condenser coil heats the water inside the coil-wrapped tank
- The refrigerant reverts back to a liquid after heating the water and continues to the evaporator for the process to start again
- The cycle continues until the set target temperature is achieved
This is all well and good, you say, but how are heat pump hot water systems different from electric hot water systems?
Although electricity is required to operate the pump in a heat pump, electricity isn’t necessary to actually heat the water like it is in a traditional system, which means you use less energy = savings = healthier Earth.
Why invest in a heat pump hot water system?
Heat pump hot water systems use up to 70% less energy than electrical systems. This is what gives you long-term savings, and of course, lowers the greenhouse gas emissions you produce as a household.
Another benefit to air-source heat pumps is you don’t have to install solar panels to utilise the sun’s power (heat pumps use air that has been warmed by the sun). This is great for people who want to reduce reliance on electricity but can’t do so through solar panels.
Benefits of hot water pumps:
- Saves money on power bills
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Easier to install compared to a solar panel system
- You don’t have to rely on sun
- Suitable for most households (just needs electricity)
- Eligible for government rebates
- Long life span (up 50 years!)
Heat pump hot water system recommendations
If you’re an avid reader of this little blog of mine (if you’re not, you soon will be), I keep up to date with these kinds of things. So here are my two recommendations for heat pump systems: ENVIROHEAT Energy Hot Water System and the iStore
The ENVIROHEAT system gives you a massive 71% saving in energy compared to conventional water heaters. It can also be programmed to maximise roof solar power systems if/when you install them.
One of the cons of heat pump hot water systems can be that they can be noisy (similar to air conditioners), but the ENVIROHEAT has a “whisper-quiet operation.” In other words, it won’t drive you crazy!
Now to the iStore. This system consumes approximately 0.5 kW of power during the air-to-energy process (average household running cycle is 3 – 4 hours = 1.5 to 2 kWh total). It’s also got an external wrap around the heating coil, providing maximum thermal energy = more efficiency.
And hello savings! Not only will you save money because of increased energy efficiency, but you get a government rebate – more on this below.
Are heat pump hot water systems eligible for solar rebates?
We’ve got another incentive to invest in a heat pump hot water system – if you need one! Think only solar panel products get Australian solar rebates? Nope. Selective hot water pumps are eligible for solar rebates.
The Australian Government offers a rebate for “small-scale renewable energy systems” (STCs). If you choose an approved system, you will receive an electronic form of currency called “Small-Scale Technology Certificates” (STCs) which gives you a discount on your system.
Koala solar heat pump hot water systems are certified by the Australia Government Clean Energy Regular! How good is that?
So without investing in solar panels, how else can you transition into renewable energy? You can upgrade your hot water system to a heat pump!
I hope you feel equipped with all the knowledge you need to make your next hot water system decision.