Australia is hardly a country where heat is in short supply, so it may surprise you to learn that a full fifth of the energy an average Australian home produces is used by it's hot water system. As such, individuals, couples and families that are seeking to significantly reduce the amount of energy their home consumes should make increasing the efficiency of their hot water systems a top priority.
The most effective way to do this is to call in a free home energy audit service. These services will examine the rates and patterns of energy consumption in your home, and can offer advice and upgrades for all of the energy consuming systems in your home, not just your hot water system. However, while you wait for your audit, you can make a good start on reducing your hot water system's energy usage by taking the following, universally effective steps:
Upgrade old water boilers
Most homeowners tend not to upgrade their aging water boiler until it wears out completely and replacement becomes a necessity; however, while a new boiler can be expensive, paying for the increased energy consumption of an old and inefficient boiler can be far more expensive in the long run.
As such, you should seriously consider upgrading your boiler if it is more than a few years old, and a wide variety of highly efficient boilers are available. Combi boilers are usually a good choice, as they heat water on demand rather than holding a ready supply of hot water at a constant temperature. Condensing boilers are also an excellent choice, as they significantly reduce their energy consumption by catching and reclaiming water vapor that would normally escape through a boiler's exhaust system.
Fix leaks in showers and taps
If your hot water taps leak while they are in use, or your shower is fitted with a degraded hose that leaks water before it reaches the shower head, these seemingly innocuous leaks may be significantly increasing the amount of hot water your shower and taps consume. Fixing them as soon as possible, or better yet fitting replacements with lower overall water consumption, can be a surprisingly effective way to reduce your hot water bills.
Look into solar water heating
Naturally, one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of energy your home consumes is by generating your home, and solar power systems are particularly effective when it comes to providing hot water. A small, simple solar water heating system can be picked up and installed for a surprisingly modest price, and will significantly reduce your hot water system's reliance on conventional, fossil-fuel fired boilers and electrical heating elements.