Heat Pump Hot Water Systems:Queensland’s Energy Revolution
Renewables and energy-efficient technologies are well and truly in the spotlight in 2023. More than ever, people are looking outside the mould of traditional energy sources to chase cheaper electricity bills and reduce their carbon footprint. One of the most accessible and familiar technologies Queensland homeowners are adopting is heat-pump hot water units.
Unfortunately, making an informed decision without a deep understanding of the technology, brands and incentive schemes can be challenging. We’re here to help you weigh the pros and cons and understand the new-generation options available for heat pump hot water systems in Brisbane, Queensland.
What is a heat pump hot water system?
Simply put, heat pump hot water heaters absorb the heat from the air around them and transfer it into the water via a heat exchanger. This process is similar to your regular household refrigerator except in reverse.
In the past, heat pumps weren’t popular due to the high purchase prices and unreliable nature of newer technology. With some systems breaking down sooner than expected and becoming expensive to maintain, it was an understandable option to avoid.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a heat pump system?
The main advantage of a heat pump system is its environmental benefits, as they use significantly less energy to heat water when compared to traditional gas or electric hot water systems. High installation and ongoing maintenance costs are the primary disadvantages of a heat pump system. The table below summarises these advantages and disadvantages.
Government Subsidies (STCs)
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Limited Warranty and Lifespan
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“New Generation” heat pumps in Brisbane
In recent years research and development into heat pump technology have made them more reliable and efficient. Brands such as Rheem, Stiebel Eltron, Thermann and Dux lead the way with new and improved products. We regularly use and recommend products for each of these brands. Each continues to develop its heat pump products with the below examples.
The Ambiheat HDc-270 is Rheem’s newest addition to the heat pump market. Offering improved heating time and a user-friendly LED touch screen for better adjustability between the heating modes (standard, vacation and emergency heat/boost) should you go away on holiday or unexpectedly use more hot water than usual.
Manufactured here in Australia, this system is also suitable for harsh water areas and households of up to 5 people.
Read more on the Rheem Ambiheat HDc-270 on the Rheem website:
Stiebel Elton’s WWK 222/222H and WWK 302/302H are German-engineered and designed for Australian conditions.
The design uses an encased compressor for quieter operation, and they have developed the unique roll bond condenser technology for optimal heat transfer.
Read more on the Stiebel Eltron on the Stiebel Eltron website:
Thermann’s “X” heat pump is another German-designed system built for rugged Australian conditions.
The Thermann’s x heat pump has a removable casing for easier servicing and cleaning of internal parts. The built-in manual booster element allows for high-demand conditions and is solar PV-ready.
Read more on the Thermann’s X heat pump on the Thermann’s website:
Dux Airoheat systems have seen their fair share of design changes over the years. The most recent upgrades make the current model the best Airoheat yet.
The single-piece design and water connections on both sides of the tank make for easier installation, and the patented in-tank heating coil improves heat transfer and efficiency.
Read more on the Cux Airoheat on the Dux website:
There are several other heat pump products on the market, which range from budget to premium. Our advice is to research and find a trusted product that has stood the test of time.
Government schemes and incentives
In 2015 the Queensland government established a 50% renewable energy target by 2030. Currently, heat pump hot water systems in Queensland are eligible for STC’s (small-scale technology certificates). This scheme, known as the small-scale renewable energy scheme, is a federal government arrangement that provides funding for energy-efficient hot water units to reduce the upfront cost to the consumer. The exact number of STC’s you will receive changes and is based on geological location, installation date and the amount of electricity generated or displaced by the appliance. Small-scale technology certificates (cleanenergyregulator.gov.au)
Governments are phasing out the STC arrangements in other states and introducing newer schemes such as ESC’s (energy saving certificates) or Eskie’s as they are also known. This scheme is similar to the STC arrangement current in Queensland however provides the option of trading these certificates on an open market. Energy Savings Certificates | IPART (nsw.gov.au)
While Queensland has yet to follow this path, the government will likely roll out similar schemes here in time.
Considerations for switching to a Heat pump hot water system
The lower running cost is a heat pump’s first and most apparent benefit. Being up to three times more energy efficient makes them an appealing choice if you’re looking to save on the long-term cost of hot water. But other factors should also be considered when considering a heat pump hot water unit for your next system.
The location of these systems is a significant factor in the unit’s effectiveness. The ideal position for a heat pump is outside in the warmest spot possible, as they use the ambient air around them and absorb the heat from it. Occasionally we see systems installed inside garages or under houses, and whilst this will work, the heat pump’s efficiency will be significantly affected.
Heat Pump hot water units have come a long way and are one of Australia’s fastest-growing hot water technologies. There have been notable improvements in life expectancy, efficiency and reliability; however, the installation cost is still inhibitive for many Queensland households. We recommend weighing up the pros and cons when considering if a heat pump is the right fit for your situation. Our team is ready to assist you with deciding what the best option is for your circumstances. Call us now.