Hot Water Systems

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Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association Waterwise Specialist Ureco Facebook Page Ureco YouTube

Perth Hot Water Heat Pump Buyers Guide

 

Types of Heat Pump Units
 

1) All in one types

The most common example of heat pumps. Easiest to install, although top heavy.......so needs a solid foundation. Disadvantage is if anything major goes wrong the whole unit may need replacing.
 

2) Split System

Generally has water flow/return pipes between the heat pump compressor unit and water storage tank. Potentially has a longer life as individual parts can be replaced. However slightly more plumbing is needed to connect units and poorer water quality needs to be accounted for. 
 

3) Hybrids

This is where traditional solar hot water panels are added to a heat pump system. These products have not been popular. There could be many reasons for this. Why complicate a simple system. Or why add solar thermal panels when its cheaper to add solar power panels!



Product Factors
 

Size with Demand - One tank size does not fit all.  ~200litre systems suit 2-3 people. ~300litre systems suit ~4 people. Higher demand households should consider an electric backup boosted heat pump or a Sanden heat pump. The Sanden heat pump is the only unit on market that has an 'instantaneous' style of heat pump method meaning its a lot harder to run out of hot water. The traditional heat pump method is a gradual heating, so if you run out of stored water you have to wait 2-5 hours for it to heat back up.
 

Noise / Timer Operation - Our strongest recommendation is to buy a heat pump with a built in timer. This ensures it never runs at night when noise could be an issue. It further ensures the heat pump operates during the day when the air temperature is hotter, thus its working at higher efficiencies. It also allows you to maximise benefit if you own solar power panels.
 

Company Background in Refrigeration - Don't take risk on start up manufacturers. You want a product from a manufacturer who has been through the good and bad times. Companies who have air conditioning experience dating 40 years or more is what we look for!
 

Warranty - Look at the parts and LABOUR warranty when comparing systems.  How many years are on the refrigeration side?
 

Efficiency - All systems are measured for performance against AS4234 Heated Water Systems - Calculation of Energy Consumption. This creates a % saving of energy versus an electric hot water system. This calculation is used to measure the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), the higher the savings, the greater the number of certificates created. For 3-4 person usage in Perth (zone 3) based on the 2008 calculation methodology:

STCs

Medium Load Zone 3
(Estimated MJ/Year)

Savings versus Electric Storage

Estimated Running Costs based on A1 Perth Tariff of 25.7029cents 

0 (Electric Storage)

15260

0.0%

$1089.52

26

5900

61.3%

$421.24

27

5540

63.7%

$395.54

28

5180

66.1%

$369.84

29

4820

68.4%

$344.13

30

4460

70.8%

$318.43

31

4100

73.1%

$292.73

32

3740

75.5%

$267.02

Most heat pumps on the market are at the 26-28 STC mark. The market leader is the Sanden with 32 STCs. Note real life performance can vary. Efficiency can potentially be improved further by running the heat pump only during the day (see timer section). 


Refrigeration Type
- If you want to be a real greeny then you might want to consider the Global Warming Effect of the refrigerant used should it be released to the atmosphere. R134a is the most common type used with R744 employed in the Sanden model.

Refrigerant

IUPAC Name

Net Global Warming Potential
per 100 years

R744

Carbon Dioxide

1

R12

Dichlorodifluoromethane

10,900

R22

Chlorodifuoromethane

1,810

R134a

1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoromethane

1,430

R410a

R32/R125 (50/50)

2,087


Product Reviews - There are many websites offering consumer reviews. We can't say you get an honest opinion of a products here, but can give you a gauge. We base our products on the number of callbacks we get. Quite honestly we don't want any, so we only sell products that don't cause us headaches!

 


Retailer/Installer


What is your retailers response if you had a product issue?

You don't want to be without hot water so find this out now. If they put it back to the manufacturer then obtain the service line details from the retailer. Call and check for local service teams.
 

Does the Retailer take the liability of the workmanship quality or do they contract it out?

This may effect you if they have not installed the unit to manufacturers specifications. Ask the retailer to show you what to expect from an install. Will all new valves be used. Is quality UV protected insulation used.......


Ureco Solar Hot Water install all products with our in-house plumbing teams. Our Plumbing Contractors Licence is PL7346. For all installs the customer obtains a certificate of compliance that covers our plumbing workmanship for 6 years. On all systems we supply we also put our phone number on the system for after sales / after hours support. We want to be the first contact to ensure product / install / no-hot-water issues are resolved fast and effectively. Pictures of our workmanship can be found here.


 

Check out our range of Heat Pumps here