Hot Water Storage

You could save £95 per year

Check List:

  • Do you have a hot water tank?
  • How is it heated?
  • Is it insulated?

How to start saving money?

If you can see the metal of your hot water tank then you need to insulate it. It’s remarkably cheap to buy a hot water cylinder jacket. You can buy one for around £15 and it will help you save £40 every year. Even if you have a factory insulated cylinder if this has only approximately 25mm (1”) of insulating foam, you will benefit by applying a hot water cylinder jacket as additional insulation. A new cylinder will nowadays have approximately 50mm (2”) or more of foam insulation which will reduce its heat loss to a very low rate. If you are replacing any part of your heating or hot water system you should consider replacing your old cylinder with a new high efficiency one

You can also check to see if the pipes running to it are insulated. Pipe insulation is cheap and can help reduce the time it takes  for the hot water to reach your taps. The insulation should be applied to all the exposed hot pipework in your airing cupboard.

The cheapest way to heat your hot water is by using gas. If you have a gas boiler then this should be heating your hot water cylinder. Other types of fuel could be used for your boiler such as oil or LPG, these will be more expensive than gas.

Some cylinders are however heated by electricity. This is likely if your property has no mains gas or other heating fuel like Oil or LPG. Electrically heating your hot water is likely to be the most expensive means of doing so you should consider using an “off peak” electricity tariff. Contact your electricity supplier and ask them about switching to the Economy 7 or similar “off peak” tariff. By heating your tank at night using this tariff, you can considerably  reduce your bills.

If you have gas, oil or LPG and yet you still have the electric immersion heater on, then you are wasting money, switch it off. It should only be used for back up purposes if your boiler is turned off for maintenance or servicing.

If you are not sure how your hot water is heated or how to find a better solution then contact a local installer to find out what you can do to improve your hot water system’s efficiency. They may ask for a small charge but it will be worth it and  could save you money.

HOW IS MY HOT WATER HEATED?

It’s very common for people not to know how their water is heated. With the invention of combi boilers many people no longer have a hot water tank but instead their hot water is heated on demand by the boiler. 

However many millions still have a hot water tank sat somewhere in their house. For larger families, with a high hot water need, this is often the best way to heat water.

So the first thing to do is find out how your hot water is heated. If your boiler turns on immediately when you  open a  hot water tap, then you have a combi boiler. 

If you have cylindrical  tank tucked away for example in the airing cupboard then you have a hot water tank.

WHAT ELSE?

At the very least your hot water tank should be fitted with a thermostat. Many modern hot water cylinders will be supplied with one fitted by the manufacturer. This should be wired in to the boiler to ensure the tank is only heated to the temperature required. If heating by electricity, the immersion heater will also have a thermostat It is a good idea  to time the hot water to be  heated just before  you need it. For example, heat it at night for the morning shower and maybe again in the afternoon for the washing up and possibly a bath . This can be done by using a timer or heating system programmer which can be set to heat the water at various times of the day. Consider showering rather than taking a bath, however many modern showers can deliver water a high flow rates and may even use more water than a bath – choose a model with a flow rate limited to approximately 8 to 10 litres per minute.

 The ideal temperature for the thermostat  is between 60-65 degrees Celsius (oC). It has to be at this level to kill harmful bacteria. However this temperature can also scald so consideration should be given to using mixer taps or a thermostatic shower to deliver a safe, comfortable hot water temperature.

If you are feeling adventurous and you have a south-facing roof then you could also benefit from  installing a solar  hot water cylinder and solar thermal panels. Such a system could save you even more as during the summer months your water will be heated by the sun with minimal running cost. A well designed solar hot water system can provide over 50% of your annual hot water needs. These systems have a relatively high initial installation cost but should pay for themselves in 5 to 7 years and may qualify for an installation subsidy.

MORE INFORMATION:

http://centralheating.co.uk/heating-types/hot-water-cylinders 

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/wales/Heating-and-hot-water/Saving-money-on-hot-water 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/hot-water-storage.htm 

http://www.hotwater.org.uk/ 


Hot Water Storage

You could save 460kg of carbon per year

Check List:

  • Do you have a hot water tank?
  • How is it heated?
  • Is it insulated?

HOW TO START SAVING CARBON

If you can see the metal of your hot water tank then you need to insulate it. It’s remarkably cheap to buy a hot water cylinder jacket. You can buy one for around £15 and it will help you save £40 every year and 170kg of carbon. . Even if you have a factory insulated cylinder if this has only approximately 25mm (1”) of insulating foam, you will benefit by applying a hot water cylinder jacket as additional insulation. A new cylinder will nowadays have approximately 50mm (2”) or more of foam insulation which will reduce its heat loss to a very low rate. If you are replacing any part of your heating or hot water system you should consider replacing your old cylinder with a new high efficiency one.

You can also check to see if the pipes running to it are insulated. Pipe insulation is cheap and can help reduce the time it takes for the hot water to reach your taps. The insulation should be applied to all the exposed hot pipework in your airing cupboard.

The most efficient way to heat your hot water is by using solar thermal. This can heat almost two thirds of your annual hot water demand. However, you must have a south facing roof.  For more information on solar thermal panels, please visit our solar page.

Gas is the lowest cost fuel to heat water, LPG or oil are costlier and electricity is the most expensive. Because of the way most electricity is generated it currently also produces the most carbon so if you use electricity to heat your water and it is possible to do so  then you should find a way to switch.. If you have no alternative ensure the cylinder and pipework is well insulated to minimise any heat loss and consider heating the water on a “off peak” electricity tariff

If you are not sure how your hot water is heated or how to work it out try contacting a local installer, they may ask for a small charge but it will be worth it if you find out you are using a very expensive method to heat your water. 

HOW IS MY HOT WATER HEATED?

It’s very common for people not to know how their water is heated. With the invention of combi boilers many people no longer have a hot water tank rather their hot water is heated on demand by their boiler.

However millions still have a hot water tank in their house. For larger families, with a higher hot water demand, this is often the best way to provide hot water.

So the first thing is to find out how your hot water is heated. If your boiler comes on immediately when you turn on the hot water tap, then you have a combi boiler.

If you have a cylindrical tank tucked away, often inside the airing cupboard then you have a hot water tank.

HOT WATER TANK CONTROLS

At the very least your hot water tank should be fitted with a thermostat. Many modern hot water cylinders will be supplied with one fitted by the manufacturer. This should be wired in to the boiler to ensure the tank is only heated to the temperature required. If heating by electricity, the immersion heater will also have a thermostat It is a good idea  to time the hot water to be  heated just before  you need it. For example, heat it at night for the morning shower and maybe again in the afternoon for the washing up and possibly a bath . This can be done by using a timer or heating system programmer which can be set to heat the water at various times of the day. Consider showering rather than taking a bath, however many modern showers can deliver water a high flow rates and may even use more water than a bath – choose a model with a flow rate limited to approximately 8 to 10 litres per minute.

The ideal temperature for the thermostat is between 60-65 degrees Celsius (oC). It has to be at this level to kill harmful bacteria. However this temperature can also scald so consideration should be given to using mixer taps or a thermostatic shower to deliver a safe, comfortable hot water temperature.>

MORE INFORMATION:

http://centralheating.co.uk/heating-types/hot-water-cylinders

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/wales/Heating-and-hot-water/Saving-money-on-hot-water

http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/hot-water-storage.htm

http://www.hotwater.org.uk/