Hot water system efficiency tips from Brisbane’s plumbing specialists

As experienced plumbers serving Brisbane households for over 20 years, we know hot water heating is one of the biggest energy hogs in Aussie homes. According to research, water heating accounts for up to 25% of household energy use – a huge chunk of your yearly utility costs.

Whether you have a conventional tank storage system, instantaneous gas unit or cutting-edge heat pump setup, there are ways to optimise efficiency and trim those hot water bills. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your hot water system:

Insulate all exposed piping

You’d be surprised how much heat is lost through exposed hot and cold water pipes running through unconditioned areas like attics, crawl spaces and garages. By insulating all accessible pipes with fitted foam insulation sleeves, you reduce standby heat losses dramatically. For maximum savings, use at least 1-inch thick insulation.

Flush your tank regularly full

For tank-style water heaters, sediment buildup inside the tank acts as an insulating layer between the heating elements and water. This forces the unit to work harder and use more energy to heat the water through that sediment layer. Draining and flushing the tank annually maximises heat transfer efficiency.

Lower your tank temperature

Most storage tank temperatures are set to 60°C from the factory. However, most households can lower this to 50°C and still have sufficient hot water. This 10°C reduction decreases heating energy usage by 3-5%. Just take care to avoid scalding by installing anti-scald valves or tempering valves on showers and taps.

Insulate older tank units

If you have an older tank water heater, wrapping it in an insulating jacket provides a low-cost efficiency boost and prevents standby heat losses. For gas heaters, be sure not to cover the air intake vents on the jacket.

Fix leaks promptly

Whether it’s a dripping hot tap, faulty valve or plumbing leak, all hot water losses directly equate to higher energy costs to reheat the replacement water. Get leaks repaired as soon as they’re detected for maximum efficiency and savings.

Use cold water for most tasks

One of the simplest ways to cut hot water usage is to use cold water whenever possible for tasks like clothes washing, cleaning, dishwashing, and more. The less hot water your household demands, the less your hot water system needs to run.

Install low-flow fixtures

If your home has older showerheads, tap aerators and appliances, upgrading to WaterSense-certified low-flow models is a smart efficiency move. They’ll dramatically cut the amount of hot water used while still providing sufficient pressure and performance.

Evaluate a system upgrade

For aged hot water systems over 10-12 years old, it might make sense to upgrade to a modern, high-efficiency unit with features like:

  • Heat pump technology
  • Tankless on-demand capability
  • Smarter recirculation and thermostatic controls
  • Improved insulation and heat retention

We can assess your home’s needs and hot water usage patterns to make upgrade recommendations that maximise energy and cost savings.


From simple maintenance items like pipe insulation and tank flushing to system upgrades and low-flow fixtures, our Brisbane plumbing experts can pinpoint ways to slash your home’s hot water costs. With decades of experience in the local climate, we know the challenges of efficiently heating water while battling Australia’s heat.

Invest in professional hot water system care and you’ll enjoy lower energy bills, reduced carbon footprint and enhanced comfort for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a consultation on improving your home’s hot water efficiency.

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