When you add all the big costs of a new hot water heater; the purchase price, installation fees and running costs, it’s a big expense for your home, but a worthwhile one.
Hot water is a resource you use multiple times every day, all year round. If you choose well and buy the system for your household needs and location, your hot water heater purchase will continue to work hard for years to come and give back on the cost of that initial investment.
Factors affecting cost
If you are looking for the cheapest way to install a new hot water system in Australia, you’ll want to exchange your current system (i.e gas, electric, solar or heat pump) with a similar unit. Before you settle for what you already have, factor in the long-term costs of heating with these steps:
1. Determine The Upfront Unit Price
Unit price is influenced by;
- Tank capacity – larger units cost more and also have bigger running costs
- Energy type – electric, gas, heat pump or solar units have drastically different prices and lifespans.
- Brand choice – even two similar units will have different prices depending on who made them
Don’t be fooled by upfront prices. Electric units are the cheapest to buy but most expensive to run, while greener energy is more expensive but can save you thousands over the life of the unit.
2. Understand Your Installation Costs
How much the installation costs will depend on how long it takes to connect and test your hot water heater and any additional parts that are required, such as electrical or plumbing upgrades and any valves or pipes you may need to comply with safety regulations.
3. Identify Any Access Issues and Removal Expenses
Delivery can be expensive as the units are heavy and will require multiple staff to manoeuvre. If you have access difficulties they may also need specialist equipment to navigate up flights of stairs etc. Removing your old hot water heater is also an extra expense, usually around $70 or so.
4. Know The Ongoing Costs
Your ongoing costs are easy to overlook but important as it will have a big impact on your finances going forward.
- Energy costs
- Servicing and maintenance
- New parts
- New hot water systems
Gas hot water may need to be replaced every 8-years, while electricity 10-12, and heat pumps and solar are known to be going strong after 15-years and even more.
If your energy costs are high you might want to calculate how much the savings will add up to by switching to greener energy options.
Approximate installation costs
An easy installation may take between 1-2 hours and cost no more than $600, however, a more complex installation can take double that time or more.
These are the approximate costs for hot water installations:
- Gas = 1-2 hours ($220 – $660) on the same system
- Electric = 2-3 hours ($320 – $700) on the same system
- Heat pump = 2-3 hours ($350 – $700) on the same or electric system
- Solar = 1-2 hours ($220 – $660) on the same system
If you are considering changing hot water energy types, i.e, switching from electric to gas, or tank system to tankless, you’ll need to anticipate installation costs of $1500 to $3000.
You’ll need a licensed plumber to help install your new hot water system. Be sure to ask for an onsite quote to know the costs of your particular installation and any complexities.
While it might cost more upfront to install a new system type, it can save hundreds of dollars in power bills and give you the access to hot water your family needs.