Choosing a hot water system for your home is a significant decision, and understanding the lifespan of different types of systems is essential – not only to ensure you make the right decision, but to ensure you get a quality system that’s best-fit to your needs.

But does a long-lasting hot water system determine which hot water system is “best”?

While the durability and longevity of a hot water system can have long-term implications for homeowners, including maintenance costs and potential replacements, it’s not the only factor that contributes to making the decision that’s best for you and your home.

In this article, we’ll delve into the lifespan of various hot water systems available in Victoria, including electric/gas, solar, and heat pump systems. We’ll check out key statistics, typical costs, and factors that influence the longevity of these systems to help you make the most informed decision possible.

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What kind of hot water systems are available?

In Victoria, there are three main types of hot water systems available, including:

Gas/electric hot water
Solar hot water
Heat pump hot water

Typically, each type of hot water system offers various choices when it comes to the constitution of your system, including storage (with storage tank) and instantaneous (no storage tank) options.

How long do gas/electric hot water systems last?

Electric and gas hot water systems are the types of hot water systems most commonly used in Victorian households.

However, it’s important to consider their lifespan when making a decision regarding whether or not these hot water systems are right for you and your household.

On average, a well-maintained electric/gas hot water system has a lifespan of approximately 10 to 15 years, according to statistics from the National Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (NAEEEC). This estimate takes into account usage patterns, the quality of the product, and regular maintenance.

While electric/gas hot water systems have a relatively shorter lifespan, they generally have a lower upfront cost compared to other options. This affordability makes them a popular choice for many homeowners. However, it’s crucial to plan for a future replacement when considering these systems, as their lifespan can also impact long-term costs and make them a less-affordable option over time.

How long do solar hot water systems last?

Solar hot water systems utilise the sun’s energy to heat your water. As such, they’re known to offer a vastly environmentally friendly and cost-effective option for homeowners.

As with other types of hot water systems, understanding the lifespan of a typical solar hot water unit is crucial to assessing their long-term benefits for you and your household.

According to Australia’s Clean Energy Council (CEC), a properly serviced and maintained solar hot water system has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. This lifespan is influenced by factors such as the quality of components, regular maintenance, and proper installation, as with other types of solar hot water systems.

As these systems don’t rely on fossil fuels in order to generate the hot water available, the system is typically “cleaner”, and its components can function more effectively over time, as a result.

It’s important to note, however, that solar hot water systems typically have a higher upfront cost compared to electric/gas systems. This is largely due to the installation of solar collectors and associated equipment required for the function of your solar hot water system.

However, the longer lifespan and reduced energy costs over time can typically provide significant savings and a smaller environmental footprint for Victorian homeowners installing solar hot water.

Solar hot water helps highlight that investing in a quality, energy-efficient hot water system is not only a long-term financial decision but also a more sustainable and cost-effective choice for many Victorian homeowners over the long-term.

How long to heat pump hot water systems last?

One of the hot water systems growing in popularity throughout Victoria are those facilitated by heat pumps.

Heat pump hot water systems use electricity to transfer heat from the air or ground to heat your heat water. As such, these systems offer energy-efficient operation and can be a suitable alternative to electric/gas systems for homeowners looking for long-term cost savings and a greater degree of energy efficiency.

According to research published by the Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria (SEAV), a properly maintained heat pump hot water system can enjoy an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Similar to other systems, the longevity of heat pump systems can be influenced by factors such as usage patterns, the quality of components, and regular maintenance.

Heat pump systems have a moderate upfront cost compared to solar systems, however offer vastly improved energy efficiency and lower operating costs compared to traditional and legacy electric/gas systems.

Of course, proper installation and regular maintenance are essential for maximising the lifespan and performance of heat pump hot water systems.

What factors affect the longevity of hot water systems?

No matter what kind of system you choose, several factors are known to contribute to the lifespan of hot water systems, regardless of their type. These include:

Quality of product: Investing in a high-quality hot water system from reputable brands increases the likelihood of a longer lifespan. Quality components and durable construction contribute to the system’s reliability and resistance to wear and tear. It’s important to research and choose reliable brands when purchasing a hot water system – and luckily, G Store has done the work for you. With 15+ years of hot water expertise, we’ve already hand-selected the very best-quality products ready for you to discover. Learn more here.

Maintenance and servicing: Regular maintenance and servicing are vital for maximising the lifespan of all kinds of hot water systems. Flushing the tank, inspecting valves and connections, and replacing worn-out components can help prevent issues and extend the system’s longevity, as does regular, scheduled servicing by a trained professional.

Proper installation: Professional installation by experienced installers and plumbers ensures that hot water systems are correctly fitted and connected. It’s widely acknowledged that improper installation can lead to performance issues, leaks, and premature wear, potentially shortening the system’s lifespan. It is essential to hire licensed professionals for the installation process – or, risk the need to replace your system within a much shorter timeframe.

Water quality: Interestingly, the quality of water in your area can impact the lifespan of your hot water system. High mineral content or corrosive elements in the water can cause scaling, corrosion, and damage to the tank and components. Installing water treatment systems or regularly checking and addressing water quality issues can help mitigate these concerns and extend the system’s lifespan.

Wrapping up

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To learn more about the hot water system options available to you including heat pump hot water, solar hot water and gas/electric hot water, visit our Learning Centre or give our award-winning G Store hot water team a call today on 1300 766 940.

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