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Design and installation

  • As much as 60 percent of your hot water bill is due to heat loss from the tank and associated pipework
  • This can be reduced through careful design and installation
  • Keep hot water pipes as short as possible to minimise heat loss
  • In new or renovated homes, locate wet areas close together with the water heater close to all points of hot water use
  • If this is not possible, locate it close to the kitchen where small, frequent amounts of hot water are usual
  • Estimate your hot water needs accurately to ensure your system is not oversized or undersized for your household
  • If storage system tanks are too small for the number of people in the house, hot water can run out
  • If the tank is too large, operating costs will be high
  • Storage systems lose heat through the tank walls
  • Reduce heat loss by wrapping the tank with extra insulation
  • Ensure that the air supply to gas systems is not affected
  • In cool and cold climates, try and locate the tank inside as part of a drying or heating cupboard. This will save heat leakage to cold air and re-use leaked heat for drying
  • Insulate hot water pipes, particularly externally exposed pipe leading from the water heater to the house and the pipe leading to the relief valve (on storage systems)
  • Note: Standard lagged hot water pipes are inadequate external protection in cold and cool temperate climates
  • For storage systems, consider installing a timer to ensure water is not heated when it's not needed and a switch so the system can be turned off when you go on holiday
  • Design new homes with a roof pitch and orientation suitable for a solar water heater
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