Common Hot Water Issues During a Sydney Winter

Having your hot water system give out is not ideal. Read this blog to find out the common hot water issues during a sydney winter and what to do about it.

Having your hot water system give out during a cold Sydney winter is not ideal. If you find your shower doesn’t deliver steaming hot water and you’re left doing an Irish jig to cold water, then it’s probably time to inspect your system.

Most Sydney residents have a gas or electric hot water system, or a hot water heat pump.

A hot water heat pump is the most efficient and effective way to have reliable hot water – especially if you have PV on your roof. To ensure consistent warm water even in the cooler months, the heat pump does not rely on direct sunlight and can continue to heat despite a few days of bad weather.

Hot Water Issues Sydneysiders Face in Winter

Water leaks

Any water that is dripping inside or around your house is something no one wants. You don’t want water damage or mold if you ignore this leak. If your hot water tank is leaking you can turn off the water valve to stop wastage and water damage before your plumber arrives. You may likely need a hot water system replacement.

Broken or worn out elements

Just like any appliance, hot water systems are also bound to have issues over their lifespan. During the winter hot water usage tends to rise and the hot water system works double time to warm up the water. This could be a reason for certain parts or elements to wear out or break. It is important that hot water systems are well maintained. Commonly, the anode in a heat pump hot water system needs to be replaced every three years and should be monitored and checked.  With increasing advancements in technology, broken and worn out element issues tend to be limited. 

Frozen pipes

Hot water pipes that are exposed to icy or extreme cold temperatures can freeze or crack. Correctly insulating your pipes (especially the first 90cm that enters and exits your hot water heater) is the best way to avoid it from dissolving. Foam and fibreglass insulation are popular insulation materials, which depends if you have a gas or an electric water heater.

Faulty parts

Faulty parts are different from the wear and broken elements we mentioned above. Here, we are talking about the components in the system that do different jobs to keep it all working. If any part is faulty and fails, the whole system is less efficient and effective. For gas hot water systems, you can check the pilot light, the control valve and the thermocouple. For electric hot water systems, you can check the thermostat and heating elements. And if you notice anything out of the ordinary, we recommend having a plumber inspect it.

Sediment build up

Sydney’s water supply is considered to be ‘soft’, which means that we don’t have as many harsh minerals that can affect our home (compared to other states). We look out for rust or dissolved water minerals that can enter water heaters. The debris will sit at the bottom of the tank while the water sits inactive while being heated, disrupting the water pressure. Debris can cause your heater to become inefficient and produce water that is lukewarm.

Hot Water Heating Brands We Recommend for Sydney Residents

It pays to have a quality hot water system. Below is the range of efficient and sustainable hot water systems that we recommend to our customers – and use ourselves.

AquaHeat

AquaHeat delivers the most energy-efficient and sustainable hot water solutions tailored to Australian conditions, for Australian families and businesses.

The AquaHeat All-In-One Heat Pump helps you to reduce energy costs up to 3 times compared to conventional electric and gas water heaters. AquaHeat All-In-One Heat Pump has real-time power usage monitoring capability, which means households can now take control of their power bills. Its dual heating technology with incorporated electric elements allows the provision of hot water up to 70°c.

AquatHeat Image

Reclaim

Custom designed for Australian conditions and environment. With built-in frost control, the Reclaim Energy CO2 Heat Pump Hot Water System consists of a heat pump (compressor) and a storage tank (stainless steel or glass-lined).

Reclaim Energy is committed to energy efficiency. Their CO2 heat pumps were developed in accordance with this focus on sustainable home solutions. Reclaim’s environmentally sustainable hot water solution helps people save money on energy bills and live off of clean energy solutions.

Reclaim Image

If you’re considering which hot water system is right for your needs, talk to the Soltek team today.

AQUAHEAT ALL-IN-ONE HEAT PUMP: HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

As winter approaches and temperatures drop, many Australians are concerned that cold weather will see their energy bills rise. When the time comes, you want to be sure that you and your family have the best possible system to satisfy your hot water needs – not to mention saving you money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions along the way!

A growing number of Australians are considering heat pump hot water systems over gas or electricity. Much like solar water heating, the heat pump hot water system is a new and efficient development in the hot water sector. So efficient in fact that you will reduce your energy costs up to 3 times compared to that of conventional electric and gas water heaters.

What are the benefits of using AquaHeat All-In-One Heat Pump?

 

  • Reduce energy costs up to 3 times compared to conventional electric and gas water heaters.
  • Registered Clean Energy product with annual carbon reduction rating of 3 tonnes.
  • Real time power usage monitoring capability means households can now take control of their power bills.
  • Integrate and maximise your PV with in-built timer controlled heat up cycles.
  • Dual heating technology with incorporated electric element to provide hot water up to 70°c
  • Smart touch screen controller makes optimising the system easier than ever.
  • R290 natural refrigerant with zero global warming potential compared to synthetic.
  • Eligible for solar and heat pump water heater rebates schemes such as STC & NSW ESS.
  • (STCs subject to change and approximate STCs are STC= 25 (Z1) , 25 (Z2), 30 (Z3), 31 (Z4), 31 (Z5)

 

AquaHeat All-In-One Heat Pump comes with a free app!

 

The HotWaterHub App is the first heat pump in the market with an Australian Owned Mobile App and allows you to access:

  • Operational data monitoring including tank temperature and heat pump
  • Total power usage
  • Data on the physical controller as well as the mobile app
  • Easy fault finding and troubleshooting using historical data
  • Operational mode, setting the unit on a timer, and
  • Temperature monitoring ALL by using the mobile app remotely.

 

How many years does a good quality heat pump last?

 

A good quality heat pump can last for years, and even more than a decade. But it’s important to make sure that it’s being treated correctly and maintained well. The closer you follow the care and maintenance instructions for the heat pump, and the more careful you are with how it’s used, the more likely it will be that the heat pump will last for a long time.

As always, it is essential you check the warranty information of any brand or product you choose to work with.

The AquaHeat All-In-One Heat Pump has an extensive 6 Years Warranty that gives you peace-of-mind knowing that all system parts, tank in full and labour charges are covered.

 

Contact us for expert all-in-one heat pump advice

 

If you’re thinking about using the new All-In-One Heat Pump by AquaHeat in your home, you’re definitely not alone. More homeowners are looking at better ways that a heat pump can save them big money on their power bills and provide them with quality, value, and plenty of hot water.

If you’re considering whether a heat pump is right for your needs, talk to the Soltek team today.

The Smart Way to Maximise Use of Your Home Solar Installation in Sydney

There’s no doubt the 2020s will see immense growth in both smart home and solar technology. Australians with a smart home have the ability to use a more affordable and enjoyable property each and every day. For Australians with a solar installation there’s the chance to harness an effectively unlimited natural resource.

With a smart home and solar combo, Australians can have the best of both worlds. Especially because having a smart home does not mean by default, that you need to have an array of gizmos and cutting-edge tech at your disposal. Instead, having a smart home and solar combo is about bringing together the best possible resources in your property, and making any improvements where you can.

Aussies who do this can build a powerful plan for the future of their home. It’s essential to understand the value in starting to make this shift now. 

Tapping into Unlimited Energy

It’s no secret that the cost of installing solar is something you should think carefully about. Not dissimilar to other countries, Australia right now has an abundance of solar installers offering rooftop systems at absolutely rock bottom prices – but this isn’t a good thing. The old adage ‘the least expensive and the most expensive product are rarely good value’ rings true.

But while doing research and thinking carefully about which solar setup is best for you is certainly wise – a poor quality installation may fail to perform properly and even be a safety risk – it’s also essential to understand the immense value a quality rooftop solar installation can provide your household by reducing power bills. Indeed, it’s no understatement to say a quality solar installation can be revolutionary for the average Aussie home in all the benefits it offers. A solar battery is also a very worthwhile consideration in this mix. An investment in home battery technology can save you money, reduce your reliance on the grid and provide peace-of-mind in the event of an outage or blackout.

Solar panels will harvest energy, the inverter will convert it into usable energy for the home, and in solar installations with a battery present excess energy can be stored. As well as the eco-friendly benefits of a solar installation generally, one with a battery can provide an additional level of energy security to the home. In the case of a blackout, it’s possible for a home to make use of the energy stored in a battery when power is not available from the local grid.

View our range of micro inverters here.

If unable to commit to a rooftop solar installation right now, but looking to make a small but significant change in the home? It can be done by simply swapping in some LED lights. In comparison to halogen bulbs, LED lights use around 75% less energy. This can amount to the savings of hundreds of dollars per year. 

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) can be a massive expense on the household budget. In fact, according to the Australian government it can account for up to 50% of energy used in Australian homes. Of course there are sensible steps all of us can take to help drive down these costs. Good habits such as turning off heating and cooling units when not in use, and buying thermals or wearing an additional layer of clothes in winter are key examples of this. But technology also has a role to play here.

A reverse cycle split system air conditioner is the most energy efficient electric heater. Not only do they outpace the competition in their own class, but they can also be cheaper to run than the old and familiar gas heater. They already provide affordable heating in winter and cooling in summer, and when combined with a solar installation their cost of operation drops further still. Furthermore, data by the Australia Bureau of Statistics has shown up to 45% can be saved on heating and cooling energy consumption when roof and ceiling insulation is present. Insulation can help keep a home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. 

Solar and Water Efficiency

The effective combination of solar and water is essential to getting the most out of a smart home and solar combo. Similar to what a traditional water tank looks like, a solar hot water unit may be ground-mounted and still derive the benefits of a rooftop solar installation. A solar hot water system can store any excess energy a solar installation has, and – instead of it getting sent back to the grid – see it put to use in heating the water necessary for daily activities in the home.

Alongside solar hot water systems, heat pumps can serve a similar purpose as an alternative. Their method of operation is different – as a heat pump can achieve its aim via the harvesting of energy from the surrounding air which is then transferred internally for use to heat the water – but a heat pump can be ideal for homes where structural challenges such as limited space may prohibit a solar hot water system from being set up. You can view our range of recommended heat pumps here.

A Wise Move with Windows

Many Aussies looking outside a window in their home for a smart upgrade to make really don’t need to look far. In fact, windows themselves can form a key part of a smart home and solar strategy. By getting window glazing done the cooling and heating capabilities of a home can be enhanced. Whether double glazing or triple glazing, this process can help keep heat in the home during winter, and see a significant reduction in the cost of heating bills once they’re in place. Window blinds – aka roller shutters – are also a good option in this area.

Similarly, external awnings and shadings that encircle the house can help keep the home cooler in summer, reducing the need to use air conditioning and fans. Ideally, any addition to the home’s structure like shadings – or any new home build! – will be done mindful of the optimal home orientation. In the Southern Hemisphere, north-facing homes will receive more exposure to the sun than any other facing. Where possible, factoring in this geography will always yield the best results for a smart home and solar combo. 

However, for any Aussie home presently not in a position to pursue a big piece of work like a glazing treatment or shading installation, you can still make a smart upgrade quite easily.  Installing heavy curtains can help reduce heat loss in winter, and keep the home cooler in summer.

Making Smart Work of the Yard

Utilising a smart home and solar combo effectively isn’t just about what goes on inside the four walls of the home.

For anyone that’s a real green thumb and happiest starting their smart home journey outside the home, landscaping and vertical gardens can be a terrific way to make the property more eco-friendly and drive down energy costs. Examples of this are planting trees in the garden that can cast additional shade over the home in summer helping keep it cool, and the creation of a green wall along the home’s walls that creates an extra layer of insulation.

Rainwater tanks are also a tremendous way to enhance your yard’s eco-friendly nature, while reducing water costs. As well as the big and traditional bulky tanks, a number of thin tanks are also available on the market for any home that requires a unit with a slim profile. And speaking of water, for any Aussie looking to trim down operating costs on the family pool the installation of a pool heater can be especially helpful. These devices can have a similar upfront cost to other options like a gas pool heater, but also have very low annual operating costs. At Soltek we can also help you get the most out of your pool. You can view our swimming pool heat pumps here.

For those who may not have the funds or space at present to insert some big new additions to their yard, putting out a few buckets in the rain can be an affordable and easy way to take a smart approach to water use. Sure a few buckets won’t catch as much as a tank, but it all adds up. The rain water can be used in days following for watering the garden, outdoor cleaning, and similar tasks.

The Importance of Stargazing

There’s always lots to consider when buying home appliances. The ideal cost, style, and features will vary from one product to the next depending on the particular needs of a home. Yet what all buyers will find in common is the benefit they can gain from seeking out electrical appliances with high energy efficiency ratings. The more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient it is. Choosing an energy efficient appliance can really be a smart move, given it can result in a lot of money saved in the long run due to reduced energy consumption in daily use.

If your current devices are not very energy-friendly and you’re not in the market for some new appliances right now, there’s still ways to reduce your consumption. Alongside building the habit of switching appliances off when not using them, you can optimise their use by understanding what techniques save power. For example, by filling a fridge sufficiently.

When a fridge is only partially filled it expends a lot of energy replacing the cold air that leaves every time someone opens the door. While you should steer clear of overfiling, keeping the fridge around two-thirds full can help minimise its operating costs as less cool air will escape each time the door opens.

Similarly, always using a washing machine on a full load is best. Common sense applies here – as you also want to avoid overfilling this machine too! – but unless your machine has a special sensor where it can detect you’re running less than a full load, always fill it to capacity. Also, washing on cold water can drive down costs, and so too unplugging the machine when not in use (many machines have a standby mode so they continue to use energy even when not operating).

A Fantastic Way to Future-Proof Your Home

Operating a smart home with power drawn from a rooftop solar installation feels very futuristic – and that’s because it is! But although the smart home and solar combo is in one respect on the absolute cutting-edge, it’s also set to become the ‘new normal’ in years ahead. This is because of the clear-cut advantages it can provide a household in dealing with emerging challenges.

By building a smart home and solar combo and utilising associated apps and online channels, it’s possible to monitor your home’s consumption over time and identify where further optimisations can be made, and inefficiencies reduced. This is a great way to counter the trend of rising cost of living, and do it all from the comfort of your own home with smart tech and data as your tools.

Being Smart About It

Building a smart home and solar combo is an outstanding way for an Aussie household to optimise their daily lives, and reduce cost of living expenses. This alongside the great contribution eco-friendly smart home products in combination with a solar installation makes to drive Australia towards a cleaner and greener future.

For any household that right now has the opportunity to begin building (or adding) to their own smart home and solar combo, there’s never been a better time to do so. Contact Soltek Energy today to take advantage of the opportunities on offer that a smart home and solar combo provides immediately, while also utilising it to drive down living costs as they rise elsewhere in future.