Hutt at Heart
Hot water cylinder

Eco Design Tips: Low-carbon water heating

The impact of carbon emissions on the climate is becoming clearer every day. Many people are searching for effective low-carbon options for water heating. That rules out gas water heating, so what other water heating options are there?

A wood burner with wetback provides hot water with winter heating and is an old favourite. This isn’t a year-round solution though. Consider these a way to get more bang-for-your-buck over the winter months.

Solar hot water is the opposite, providing hot water over the summer season, but less in winter. Like a wetback it requires a special hot water cylinder. Often the cylinder is in the ‘cold zone’ in the roof or attic space, which isn’t great for efficiency.

Systems with a single solar panel to power a standard hot water cylinder are available. These look to be more cost effective than a full solar array.

There are two types of heat-pump water heater.

One is the traditional system of heat-pump combined with a water cylinder unit. This type of system has traditionally been best suited to homes with high hot water use. Modern radiators mean that you can use this type with radiator space heating.

Second are ‘instant’ heat-pump water heaters you can connect to an existing cylinder.

There is also at least one infra-red in-line water heater available. This heats a lower flow of water to a usable temperature. This system requires a controller which adds to the cost.

Even with all the above, the electric hot water cylinder is again becoming the standard. This is because of their simplicity and reliability. Performance standards have improved in recent years, making them more efficient. You can improve this further by locating the cylinder in a warm part of the house.

Hutt City Council offers a free home assessment service by our in-house Eco Design Advisor.

For a full house assessment and advice,

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Subscribe to Hutt at Heart – Te Manawa, your monthly email newsletter where you can find out about fantastic things going on across our city and at Hutt City Council.