Heating Options in Newcastle

The greenest watt is the one you don't have to create. Energy efficiency is the low hanging fruit of greening our homes. Ask your questions or post your energy efficiency tips in here!

Re: Heating Options in Newcastle

Postby Kombinations » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:12 pm

Again, thanks for all the replies... a bit jumbled, but to keep it all in one post:

Smurf1976 wrote:
Anyway, an 80 Litre HWS on off-peak is virtually guaranteed to run cold. Even with 1 person in the house you could run out quite easily. 10 minute shower (40 - 60 litres) then a load of washing. Gone.

80 Litre tank really needs to be on continuous tariff if it's supplying normal household usage. Costs quite a bit to run it that way but at least you'd have hot water.

I sort of figured that the size was the problem but wasn't sure what the best replacement option for us might be. No hot water in washing for us, and shorter showers in winter are required. The young kids share a bath so far, so that also helps.

bpratt wrote:
80 litres of hot water isn't going to go far for anyone. Filling a kettle up and washing the dishes would take a fair chunk out of it.

Tell me about it - kettle gets cold water, dishes get water from the kettle in winter :)... We have to save it for showers and baths... In summer though, its no problems... I wouldn't have thought we have our showers that much warmer in winter...

Smurf1976 wrote:I was assuming in my original post that it was already on a continuous electricity supply as it's never going to work properly on off-peak given the tank size.

Probably wasn't clear on that from the start.

Smurf1976 wrote:
For the OP, if it's on off-peak night only (Off Peak 1 in NSW) and you are doing OK in Summer then just switching it to Off Peak 2 would probably fix the issue. Cost a bit more but won't send you broke.

I've just had a good look at my bill. We were with Australian Power and Gas, who've just been taken over by AGL. It just says off peak on the bill, but doesn't specify whether its 1 or 2. The rate is 15.15c/kWh; matching the off peak 2 rate on p.3 of this document I found on their website. I'm not sure if this means the shoulder times apply? In which case, we'd just need to adjust our consumption patterns - we usually use basically all of the hot water available between 5.30 and 8pm... an adjustment here might get us by for another winter. Not sure if the 'shoulder' times on p.4 are the off peak 2 ones. The rates don't match up though. Again, a call to the power company mightn't go astray.

I wonder if the HWS specifies the size of the element on the side of it somewhere to give an idea of reheating times. I'd need to have a look at it.

Smurf1976 wrote:I'm actually quite amazed that the OP has put up with it thus far.

Yeah... its been a bit annoying, but like everyone I guess, we've had to prioritise where funds go after buying the house and having young kids etc. etc. It is workable, but not ideal. I didn't want to cop the power bill for continuous heating - I figure if it reheats all day long, then there's no incentive to be careful with the hot water and not only would the tarriff be double what we pay now, extra usage of hot water would increase the bill yet again. Like probably everyone on here, I try to reduce my energy use where I can. But the hot water situation does become difficult in winter.

I just noticed on our bill it says we use slightly above the amount of power an average 2 person household uses, although young kids don't need whole lot... I like the idea that we're not using unnecessarily huge amounts of energy.

Smurf1976 wrote:You'd be looking at a 250 - 400 litre tank for off-peak (night only) depending on how many people etc. Similar sizing for solar or heat pump.

Good to know. Thanks.

Smurf1976 wrote:As for heat pumps, decent ones will run fine on off-peak..

Also good to know.

Warpspeed wrote:Lets think about this.
One calorie of energy will heat 1cc of water 1 degree Celsius.
One Kilowatt = 859,845 calories per hour.

This will also be good for when I go back to work... we have to use whatever real world stuff we can to keep the kids interested in maths!!!

bpratt wrote:A 80l tank to my way of thinking would not be big enough to take a solar heating system on it, unless all the showering was to be done during sunny days, as the thermostat would be kicking in almost as soon as you turn the hot tap on. :(

Fair enough - probably heat pump it is then, although I'll definitely look more into both (i.e. full solar replacement options)

Thanks to everyone who has contributed, seems to be a very knowlegable community. I've found some of the other thread quite interesting, and I daresay I'll be spending many more hours researching things around here. Not sure I'll have much to contribute myself, but I'll add what I can...

I think my gas/electric dilema has been solved, I'd say we'll try and move the gas meter out of the way and forget about it, and go for reverse cycle air con heating as well as some form of electric HWS - probably a heat pump type.


Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:03 pm

Re: Heating Options in Newcastle

Postby Quokka2 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:56 am

Kombinations wrote:I read somewhere that some can be ceiling mounted - seems quite convenient.

I meant to comment on this before but got carried away with the HWS discussion...

We installed a Daikin under the living room ceiling because the only external wall was full of windows and doors. It had a device fitted which pumped condensate through a small tube over the ceiling to the gutter outside.

It worked fine all though the first Summer, but must have dried out over the ensuing Winter, because when we went into cooling mode the following Summer, the pump had lost prime and it burnt out. The first we knew was a big puddle on the living room floor (slate, fortunately). I ended up fitting a piece of suitably painted conduit from the drain pan to the outside wall so that it drains by gravity; not beautiful but no problems for the last 10 or 12 summers. Fortunately our air-con is installed fairly close to the wall, so only a short piece of conduit is visible under the ceiling!
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:39 am
Location: Darkest (but sunniest) rural SW Australia

Re: Heating Options in Newcastle

Postby Smurf1976 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:53 pm

Condensate pumps have a habit of getting blocked with dust etc due to not being needed when the system is used for heating in Winter.

In places where the system is used 95%+ of the time for heating (eg Tas), even a wall mounted split system can easily end up with the drain becoming blocked.

The same problem doesn't happen in tropical regions where the primary (or only) use is cooling however since there's always a condensate flow to keep everything clean.
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
Posts: 1037
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:56 am

Re: Heating Options in Newcastle

Postby Kombinations » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:15 pm

Ah. Ok. But I imagine a wall has a lower likelihood of blockages hence it's the standard fitment unless a window is in the way. There was more to all of this to consider than I realised...
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:03 pm

Re: Heating Options in Newcastle

Postby abreilprey » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:30 pm

I really like that you shared this topic here, this helped me in resolving some of my confusions.
Solar Supporter
Solar Supporter
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:20 pm
Location: Australia


Return to Energy Efficiency

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

new solar power specials