How it Works — Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs)
The ability to relocate something is typically more difficult than the ability to create something new. HPWHs, which are based on this idea, use electricity to transport heat from one location to another rather than generating heat directly. If you want to grasp the notion of heat pumps, think of a refrigerator that operates in reverse. Instead of extracting heat from an enclosed box and releasing it into the surrounding air, a high-pressure water heater (HPWH) extracts heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank of water.
HPWH are equipped with control panels that let you to choose from a variety of operation modes1, which include:
- Efficiency and economy — By solely utilizing the heat pump to heat water, the system maximizes energy efficiency and savings. Auto/Hybrid – This is the default mode, which is appropriate for everyday usage since it provides energy-efficient water heating with a long-lasting heat
- Water is heated only by the electric element in this high-demand setting, making it the least energy-efficient of the three. Save energy when you are away from home by putting the device into “sleep” mode until you return
- This feature is not available on all models.
All About Heat-Pump Water Heaters
It’s likely that you don’t spend a lot of time worrying about your water heater as long as it’s in good working order. However, if your water heater fails before it reaches the end of its 10-15 year lifespan, you may find yourself standing in a freezing shower. Or, even worse, the heater’s tank has rusted through, resulting in a damp mess in your basement, garage, or utility room, as well as additional expenses for drywall restoration and carpet cleaning. Although most homeowners understand the need of replacing a functioning water heater, the idea of spending money on a new water heater is difficult to sell to them.
- However, replacing your present electric water heater with a new one that uses a heat pump and the heat from the air in your home to heat the water would benefit both your bank account and the environment.
- Rheem water heaters are available for purchase at my local big box lumberyard.
- A identically equipped and warrantied HPWH is listed for $1199 on the market today.
- A $300 Federal tax credit will be awarded to you if you purchase an ENERGY STAR-certified heat-pump water heater in 2016.
- More information on the federal tax credit may be found here.
- If I purchase an HPWH from a participating distributor, my home state of Connecticut will provide me with an immediate refund of up to $400 on the purchase price of the HPWH.
- Utility rebates may also be found by visiting locate utility rebates or by contacting your utility provider.
That’s a significant amount of money, especially when considered over the heater’s service life. This image is courtesy of EnergyStar.gov.
How an HPWH Almost Pays for Itself in Two Years
$1,199 minus $100 400 dollars for the first one, and 400 dollars for the second one. $699- $660 3 $39 $39 $39 1. a genuine savings on the $300 Federal tax credit for people in the 30 percent income tax bracket Connecticut is the second state to offer a reimbursement. 3. Annual energy savings of $330 multiplied by two years equals a total of $630. Additionally, purchasing a heat-pump water heater that has been recognized by the ENERGY STAR has significant environmental benefits. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that if every residential electric water heater were replaced with a heat-pump water heater, 140 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided, which is equivalent to the emissions from more than 13 million vehicles.” energystar.gov/waterheaters.
- In order to comprehend how a heat-pump water heater converts 68-degree or cooler room air into 120-degree water, you must first master the following two concepts: First and first, heat is a quantifiable kind of energy, and second, heat energy always goes from a hot to a cool temperature.
- One Btu is equivalent to the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit, or approximately 252 calories, in a single second.
- Heat energy may be transferred from one place to another, always in the direction of more energy to less (or warmer to colder).
- It’s not the metal’s coolness that’s making your hand feel chilly; it’s the coldness of your hand itself.
- Your hand may seem chilly, but this is only because it has less heat energy than the steel, which has really become warmer as a result of your touch.
How it Works
An HPWH operates by forcing room air over a radiator-like grid filled with cold liquid refrigerant that is contained within a closed system of tubes. The fan is located on the top of the water tank. The refrigerant has a low boiling point, and the heat from the air raises the temperature of the liquid to the point where it becomes a gas. The pressure of the gas is then increased by a compressor, which raises the temperature of the gas even further. In the heater’s tank, a pump circulates the tubes packed with hot compressed gas down and around the cool water, which serves as a cooling effect.
- In the words of Trethewey, “Conventional water heaters generate heat, whereas an HPWH just transports it.” The byproduct of a heat pump is cooled and dehumidified air.
- An HPWH, like an air conditioner, generates a limited quantity of distilled water that must be discharged outside or into a drain, which should be taken into mind while deciding where to install the heater.
- The fan and the compressor both require power from the grid to operate.
- A large number of internet user reviews state that they always have sufficient of hot water and never have to utilize the backup electric power.
- Most of them also feature a vacation mode, which allows you to enter the amount of days you’ll be away from your computer.
- Installation Points to Keep in Mind In contrast to other types of water heaters, you should not install an HPWH in a tiny closed closet because the space will not have enough warm air to operate the heat pump and the heat pump will fail.
- Always remember that an HPWH will extract heat from the area where it is installed and reduce the temperature of the room in which it is installed, so installing one in a location that you already pay to heat might be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Ideally, you should choose a room with a clothes dryer or a utility room with a furnace as your site.
During the winter, an HPWH put in an unheated garage may rely more heavily on the electric-heat mode than a utility-room installation, owing to the lower temperature.
It’s likely that you already have a 220-volt cable running through the room where you’re replacing a typical electric water heater; but, if your old unit is gas, you’ll need an electrician to install a 220 circuit.
Check the manufacturer’s specifications before making a purchase; it’s probable that some units will not fit in a crawlspace with low ceilings.
In certain cases, HPWHs may be as noisy as some window air conditioners, which is something you might not want to hear if, for example, you’re thinking about installing a laundry room next to the bedrooms in your home’s upstairs.
The calculations and suggestions for water heater size are based on the number of people living in the house in some cases, but not all.
Furthermore, all of their websites are chock-full of information for their various models, such as how much insulation is surrounding the water tank.
Download this useful guide to saving money when you upgrade your water heater to an ENERGY STAR model now! ” data-upload-width=”740″ src=”” data-upload-width=”740″ “Download this useful guide to saving money when you upgrade your water heater to an ENERGY STAR model now!
In this step-by-step video with Richard Trethewey, you’ll learn how to install your own ENERGY STAR heat-pump water heater. Click here to learn more. And keep in mind that if your water heater is more than ten years old, making the investment now will provide comfort, savings, and peace of mind for the foreseeable future. For further information, please see ENERGY STAR.
Living With a Heat Pump Water Heater
It was two years ago this week that we had the noxious old fossil gas natural draft water heater taken out of service. (You can see what I mean in the photo below.) This type of water heater, aside from the usage of a gasoline-powered generator within the home, is probably the most significant producer of carbon monoxide in most households. Yes, hot water is inexpensive, but how much is your health worth to you in the long run? As a result, I replaced this fossil fuel water heater with a heat pump water heater (HPWH).
A heat pump water heater has taken the place of a natural draft gas water heater.
Choosing a heat pump water heater
In terms of heat pump water heaters, I’m not an expert, and I’m not familiar with the variety and availability of items in this category. But I have friends who are up to date on this sort of thing, so I enlisted the help of one of them. Think Little’s John Semmelhack is a huge proponent of all-electric houses, and he recommended the Rheem type that I ultimately purchased. As a result of the constant evolution of manufacturers’ models, my generation 4 has transformed into the generation 5 model (I think).
- When purchasing a water heater, one of the decisions you will have to make is the unit’s size.
- If I’m going to utilize a heat pump water heater, I want it to be able to operate entirely on heat from the heat pump.
- Because the size of the tank you purchase is smaller, it is more probable that you will have to utilize some form of electric resistance heating.
- It takes 89 gallons of water to fill my 80-gallon model in the first hour.
- Yes, that’s most likely the case.
- As part of my 120th birthday celebration, we’ll be putting it to the test this weekend with family members who will be in town.
The Rheem app
The Rheem HPWH is equipped with a WiFi connection and a user-friendly app for your smartphone. The primary screen for the water heater is shown in the picture below, which includes the basic information about the generation (4), water temperature setting (120° F), mode (only for high-pressure water), and connections to further data (schedules, usage report, and wifi settings, to the left of the temperature). Furthermore, it contains one obnoxious message that I hope Rheem would remove. Because I have the heat pump set to only operate in the heat pump mode, that green bar is always there for me.
Their so-called Energy Saving mode would actually consume more energy since it would occasionally employ electric resistance heat instead of traditional resistance heat sources. The Rheem mobile application
Monitoring energy use
With the installation of our new water heater on September 14th, 2019, we have just passed the two-year anniversary of its installation. How much electricity did we consume throughout that period? Our first full year of data is depicted in the graph below. The entire amount of electricity used was 486 kilowatt hours (kWh). August had the lowest consumption at 23.75 kWh, while December had the greatest consumption at 68.6 kWh. My Rheem heat pump water heater’s energy consumption for each month of the year 2020 is shown below.
- The consumption of water heating energy is low in the summer and high in the winter.
- During the fall, the municipal water supply decreases in temperature in tandem with the rest of the world.
- A second explanation is that we use more hot water in the winter, although I haven’t taken any measurements of this just yet.
- At the very least, I’ll have the evidence to back it up, at least in my own home.
- A third reason we need more energy in the winter is because the HPWH removes heat from the air, and our basement air is cooler in the winter because of this.
- It can be a significant issue in colder climates.
- The figure above illustrates how it has progressed month by month in 2021 so far, as compared to the comparable months in 2020.
Our annual consumption
Because it’s just been a couple of days over two years since I turned on the heat pump water heater, I can tell you how much energy we’ve consumed and how much money it’s cost us during that period. From the 14th of September in 2019 until the 14th of September in 2021, we consumed 1,002 kWh. My wife and I likewise keep track of our power consumption in a spreadsheet (doesn’t everyone? ), and our average cost from Georgia Power has been almost exactly $0.10 per kilowatt-hour throughout the course of that time period (excluding taxes and fees).
- According to the EnergyGuide, our heat pump water heater will cost us $161 per year in predicted energy costs.
- We just had it for a little over three months, so I don’t have a lot of information.
- So, when I look at the expense of moving from a gas water heater to a heat pump water heater only on the basis of rates, there is no immediate economic gain to doing so.
- The expenses for simply having gas would make the heat pump water heater a significant money saver at around $38 per month (as shown in the image above).
- However, if I had replaced the electric resistance water heater with a tankless water heater, we would have saved money, albeit not as much.
- In general, higher values are preferable, and the UEF of my HPWH is 3.7.
- With an electric resistance water heater, I would have consumed around 2,000 kWh per year instead of the 501 kWh per year I used previously.
When considering a basic payback period of around 10 years in this situation, it would not be difficult to justify this purchase on the basis of economics, assuming a 15 or 20 year lifespan and negligible maintenance expenses.
Noise, ducting, and filtration
Some heat pump water heaters have been criticized for being overly noisy within the home, which some consumers have expressed concern about. Some are, and I measured my using theNIOSH SLM app on my phone, which I believe is accurate. Here are the outcomes of my research:
- A distance of one foot straight out from the exhaust port
- A distance of one foot to the side of the exhaust port
- A distance of five feet away from the mechanical room entrance
- A distance of one foot straight out from the exhaust port
- The noise is 37 decibels, and it is four feet to the side of the mechanical room door.
That’s a lot of silence. In the sake of comparison, here are a few different noise levels on this scale:
- 60 dBA represents typical conversation
- 50 dBA represents rainfall
- 40 dBA represents refrigerator noise
- 30 dBA represents a quiet whisper.
Another advantageous feature of the Rheem type that I purchased is the ability to have both the intake air and the exhaust air ducted. It is possible to see the exhaust port in the first photograph. Accessed by a door to your right of the digital display panel. Because my water heater is in the basement, I could extend a duct up to the attic, which would allow me to bring in warmer intake air and so increase the efficiency of the heat pump. However, in my situation, it would be more hassle than it was worth.
As a result of my basement renovations and the addition of a door to the mechanical room, the HPWH will have insufficient air in that space, and the duct will draw air from the rest of the basement.
The filter that comes with it is one of those paper-thin, see-through filters that is primarily effective at catching bigger particles.
Ideally, I’d like to maintain that coil as clean as possible.
Is it worth it?
An additional advantageous feature of the Rheem model that I purchased is the ability to have ducts for both the intake and exhaust air. In the first shot, you can see the exhaust port. Accessed through a button on the right side of the digital display. I could run a duct up to the enclosed attic, where my water heater is located, to bring in warmer intake air and increase the efficiency of my heat pump. However, in my situation, it would be more hassle than it was worth. A small conduit from the mechanical room wall will, nevertheless, be necessary.
In the case of systems that do not channel air from another source, the ability to duct intake air allows you to install a more effective filter on the system itself.
It has yet to be completed, but when I renovate and relocate the water heater, I intend to install a good filter in the system as well as seal everything up to prevent water from leaking out. I’m trying to keep the coil as clean as I possibly could.
Is a hybrid heat pump water heater right for me?
A hybrid heat pump water heater operates in the same way as a refrigerator, but in the opposite direction. An air conditioner takes heat from an enclosed box and transmits it to the surrounding air, whereas an electric water heater collects heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water in an enclosed tank. The cooled air is subsequently expelled by the fan. Because it transfers heat from one location to another rather than creating heat directly, it is a far more efficient method of heating water.
Why Choose an ENERGY STAR ®Certified Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater?
Water heating is the second most expensive energy expense in your house, behind heating and cooling, accounting for around 14 percent to 18 percent of your total utility bills. Water heating is also the most environmentally friendly. When compared to typical water heaters, hybrid heat pump water heaters can run at a cost that is less than half as high. Additionally, they chill and dehumidify the environment surrounding them in addition to heating and cooling the water. As an added assurance of excellent quality, hybrid heat pump water heaters that have earned the ENERGY STAR certification have undergone independent testing to guarantee that they satisfy strict standards.
How Much Can I Save?
Over the course of the unit’s useful life, a family of four may save an average of $3,500 dollars. Don’t wait for your old water heater to break before replacing it! Instant incentives are available from SMECO if you replace your water heater with an energy-efficient hybrid heat pump water heater right now.
Work with one of our participating contractors to complete your project. They have received instruction on how to correctly install hybrid heat pumpwater heaters in order to guarantee that they run as effectively as possible. Before acquiring a new hybrid heat pump water heater, be sure you can answer “Yes” to all of the questions listed below in order to prevent placement and space concerns with your new unit.
- Are you locating your business in an unused place where cooling and noise will not be a problem? Is the place large enough to accommodate more than 1,000 cubic feet of surrounding air (equivalent to about the size of a 12-foot by 12-foot space)? (Placing a hybrid heat pump water heater in a closet, even one with louvered doors, will reduce its efficiency, and you must provide enough clearance around the air entry and discharge points.) If so, does the location provide adequate height for the installation? (In order to accommodate the heat pump, hybrid heat pump water heaters are often taller than ordinary water heaters.)
- Do you have a condensate drain or pump that can be installed, or does the area currently have one? Is the temperature of the air continuously above the freezing point (32°F)? (At northern areas, hybrid heat pump water heaters do not function in freezing conditions, such as those found outside or in garages during the winter months.)
- Is the air temperature consistently between 40°F and 90°F throughout the year? (A good location would be near a furnace in a basement that is kept warm throughout the winter.)
ENERGY STAR is the source of this information. EmPOWER Maryland initiatives are supported by a fee levied on your electric or natural gas bill. EmPOWER programs can assist you in lowering your energy use and so saving money. Find out more about EmPOWER and how you can become involved with it.
Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Tank Water Heaters
A. O. Smith high-efficiency hybrid electric heat pump water heaters give a cost-effective and environmentally friendly water heating option for your house, while also being environmentally friendly. They are designed to include high-end features like as a user-friendly display, vacation mode, and a heavy-duty anode to protect your tank from corrosion. Select models are outfitted with Internet of Things (IoT) features, allowing you to monitor and manage your water heater from virtually any location.
Benefits of Hybrid Electric Heat PumpTank Water Heaters
- Hybrid electric heat pump water heaters by A. O. Smith have great efficiency and are an environmentally friendly choice for water heating in a home. Premium features, such as a user-friendly display, vacation mode, and a heavy-duty anode that protects your tank, have been integrated into these aquarium filters. A select number of models are outfitted with Internet of Things features, allowing you to monitor and manage your water heater from virtually any location.
A Closer Look
A. O. Smith high-efficiency hybrid electric heat pump water heaters provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly water heating option for your house, while also being highly efficient.
They are designed to include high-end features such as a user-friendly display, vacation mode, and a heavy-duty anode that protects your tank from corrosion. Select models are outfitted with Internet of Things features, allowing you to monitor and operate your water heater from any location.
|Compare:||High-Efficiency Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Tank Water Heaters:||Standard Electric Tank Water Heaters:ENT-50|
|Single Shower Length||33 minutes||27 minutes|
|Back-to-Back Showers||4.2 showers||3.4 showers|
|Showers at the Same Time||2.9 showers||2.9 showers|
|Maximum Tub Size||85 gallons||75 gallons|
|ENERGY STAR ®Certified||check_circle_outline|
|Warranty||6 – 10 Years||6 Years|
*Many factors affect the actual performance of a water heater. This represents our closest approximation of your likely experience with this water heater in your local area, but actual performance may vary depending on factors beyond our ability to control or estimate.
A. O. Smith high-efficiency hybrid electric heat pump water heaters provide an energy-efficient and unique water heating option for your house. They are designed to provide premium features such as a user-friendly display, vacation mode, and a heavy-duty anode that protects your tank. Select models are outfitted with Internet of Things (IoT) features, allowing you to monitor and operate your water heater from any location.
Not sure which water heater is right for you?
Make use of our product picker tool to choose the best model for your needs. Please Assist Me in Making My Decision
- Detailed Instructions for Setup Instructions for installing an electric tank water heater may be found here. See the document
- Guide to Obtaining Resources Match the flow rate to the requirements of your customers. Cross-reference tool for viewing documents Look for replacement products that are NAECA-compliant. Make use of a tool.
Why Aren’t We Installing More Heat Pump Water Heaters? — Ekotrope
As many of you are aware, heat pumps are a popular topic of discussion in the world of home energy performance and efficiency. This is due to the fact that heat pumps may be carbon neutral and have become more efficient and dependable over the past few decades, among other reasons. Residential customers who transition from propane or oil to an electric heat pump often experience a significant reduction in their utility expenditures, according to national statistics. Furthermore, the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are significant, and climate policy will mandate a quick transition away from natural gas over the next few decades.
- Heating and cooling seasons are marked by the movement of heat from the cold outside into your warm house, and cooling and heating seasons are marked by the movement of heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors.
- However, a heat pump may also be used to heat water, either as a stand-alone water heating system or as part of a combined water heating and space conditioning system, depending on the application.
- According to the government websiteEnergy Star, a heat pump water heater may save a household of four people around $350 each year, resulting in a total savings of approximately $3,750 over the lifespan of a standard heat pump water heater.
- Despite the fact that high-pressure water heaters (HPWH) have been sold in the United States for more than 40 years, they have had difficulty breaking into the market and gaining market share from regular water heaters.
- The question is: why aren’t heat pumps being utilized more widely since they are one of the most cost-effective methods of reducing energy use and emissions?
- Price: High-pressure water heaters (HPWHs) are more costly than most conventional water heaters.
- However, when considering the long-term expenses of ownership, HPWHs are an excellent investment.
That is a return on investment of more than 20%, which is far more than the average return on the stock market and significantly safer!
Because they absorb heat from the surrounding air, when it is chilly outside, the heating system must work more to keep the house warm.
HPWHs must be installed in regions where the temperature remains in the 40o–90oF range year-round; otherwise, they will not perform as well as they should in a chilly room.
An HPWH is an excellent option in most retrofit situations since it captures part of the wasted heat and allows the system to function more effectively.” In addition, there are several house-specific elements to consider, which might result in the area being cooler than it should be.
Can you tell me how much heat is being wasted in the space from other sources?
(For example, initiatives that convert heat and hot water to heat pumps and remove current sources of heat from the basement.) The temperature and efficiency may decline for brief periods of time in some circumstances, but the overall gain over the course of a year outweighs any short periods of time during which the temperature reduces the efficiency.” Space:Many HPWH manufacturers recommend that you offer at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space around the equipment (approximately 10′ x 12.5′ in a room with an 8′ ceiling), and some even require more.
The extent of the problem was unclear to us, so we consulted Mike, who explained: “The fundamental reason for the space requirements is to guarantee that the heat pump operates efficiently.” Heat pumps are less efficient when they are used in tiny spaces because they lose their efficiency as the room gets smaller.
Exceptions can always be made, but in the majority of cases, a normal basement mechanical room will suffice to fulfill the HPWH criteria.” Accessibility: Ziv Rozenblum, the CEO of Ekotrope, has discovered that obtaining a high-performance water heater (HPWH) might be more challenging than you might expect.
With the knowledge that they are more energy efficient and healthier for the environment, he was enthusiastic about making the purchase.
He had no idea exactly how tough it would be to get one put in the first place.
Even if this had been a regular heater, the procedure would most likely have taken little longer than a couple of days.
Upon inquiry regarding this matter, Mike responded, “We do occasionally receive criticism from consumers who are provided with restricted alternatives when it comes to an emergency replacement.” HPWH water heaters are available from nearly all major water heater manufacturers, and the list of Energy Star models is extensive.
- For the most part, HPWH should not be hindered by a lack of accessibility.” Adoption is low, and there are several barriers to entry.
- Despite this, they are still not extensively utilized.
- “Based on what we’ve observed, there are marketplace obstacles as well as situational hurdles,” he answered.
- Because everyone involved knows what to anticipate and the likelihood of receiving a callback is minimal, it’s generally the route of least resistance for the client as well.
Customers may find it difficult to comprehend the need of making an exact comparison, which increases the danger that the contractor may lose the transaction.” In essence, if we want to expand the number of people who use this technology, we must better educate them on the benefits of doing so.
Consequently, traditional water heaters are frequently purchased again, even when there is a chance to switch to a more energy-efficient model.
As for educating homeowners, Mike stated, “Anyone who has received several quotations for an installation of a new heating system or water heater will tell you that the descriptions and terminology used in a quote are often generic overviews of what will be done with a few specific model numbers.” The process of purchasing an HVAC system or a water heater should not be based on comparing part numbers.
The tools that consumers require are those that allow them to evaluate fuels, performance, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, operating costs, and most crucially, the comparisons must be based on how their home performs and the fuel and electric rates they pay.” The source of the problem is that most people don’t give their water heaters much thought until they break down completely.
- As our discussion with Mike came to a close, he shared some last views on the problem of reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and encouraging the use of systems such as high-performance water heaters.
- In addition to setting net-zero targets, towns that have done so are searching for methods to educate citizens and claim carbon reductions.” In conclusion, high-performance water heaters (HPWHs) have some inherent advantages as well as disadvantages.
- Additionally, the process of making an informed decision to acquire one can be time-consuming and difficult.
- Installing an HPWH may have a greater initial cost, but it is an excellent long-term investment in energy efficiency.
- We at Ekotrope are dedicated to assisting you in better understanding the complicated difficulties that face the home performance sector today.
- We would also want to express our gratitude to Mike Ostiguy of Abode Energy Management for sharing his thoughts on this subject with us.
- Abode Energy Management is a boutique energy consulting organization focused on delivering energy efficiency gains in the built environment in New England.
In New England, where electric rates are significantly higher than the national average, the savings from switching to HPHW would be less significant. Other parts of the country will see savings that are more in line with those depicted in the linked article and graphs.
All You Need to Know About Heat Pump Water Heaters
Image courtesy of ge.com It is unusual for homeowners to think about their water heater or its critical contribution to modern living’s comfort and ease. Additionally, few people consider the shockingly high cost of hot water—$400 to $600 a year for an average household, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)ENERGY STAR program—and the fact that hot water has become increasingly scarce. What could possibly be so expensive about a common household necessity? One simple cause is that traditional water heaters are extremely inefficient, accounting for around 20% of total household energy usage (and 20 percent of each utility bill).
Tragically, far too many households are failing to take advantage of this technology, choosing instead for the default solution—a traditional device that consumes a lot of energy.
Only after that can you examine all of your alternatives and determine which type of water heater is the greatest fit for your needs.
Continue reading to find out why this is the case.
How Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Work?
Conventional water heaters create heat by the use of energy, which is often either gas or electricity. Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) function in a completely different manner than traditional water heaters. Likewise, they make use of energy, but not to create heat, but rather to transmit heat from one location to another—from the air around the appliance to the water contained within the unit’s storage tank. Although it may appear to be magic, the fact is that refrigerators operate in a similar manner.
Heat pump technology is a complicated yet extremely effective method of cooling that involves the heat pump sequentially condensing and evaporating a particular refrigerant fluid while collecting heat along the way.
Most high-pressure water heaters (HPWHs) are designed to provide classic electric-resistance water heating as well, in order to prevent falling behind on demand, particularly during peak periods.
HPWHs, on the other hand, are commonly referred to as “hybrid” types since they are capable of performing both functions. Image courtesy of ge.com
Energy Efficiency of Heat Pump Water Heaters
Traditionally, water heaters create heat by the use of energy, which is often either natural gas or electricity. Heating pumps for water (also known as heat pump water heaters or HPWHs) work in a completely different way. Likewise, they make use of energy, but not to create heat, but rather to transfer heat from one location to another—from the air around the appliance to the water contained within the unit’s storage tank. Although it may appear to be magic, the fact is that refrigerators operate in a similar manner.
It is a complicated, but extremely effective process in which the heat pump condenses and evaporates a particular refrigerant fluid several times, trapping heat along the way.
Because most HPWHs are also designed to deliver classic electric-resistance water heating, they are less likely to fall behind on demand, especially during peak periods.
Ge.com provided the image.
Installing a Heat Pump Water Heater
If you’re considering acquiring a high-efficiency heat pump, it’s important to be sure that your home can give the appliance with what it need to function at peak efficiency: an adequate supply of warm air. While other water-heating technologies can be installed in spaces as small as a closet, high-pressure water heaters (HPWHs) typically require at least 750 or 1,000 square feet. In addition, any area large enough must maintain a consistent temperature (ideally never going below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees).
Furthermore, if the only acceptable spot for the HPWH happens to be located within a portion of the home that you are responsible for heating, there is a difficult choice to make.
Because of the large number of variables involved, it is advisable to confer with a contractor.
In general, homeowners in cold regions have had success placing high-efficiency water heaters (HPWHs) in unconditioned spaces that are exposed to the heat generated by a furnace, boiler, or washer and dryer. It is very typical to see garages being built in warm areas. Image courtesy of ge.com
Affording a Heat Pump Water Heater
If you’re considering acquiring a high-efficiency heat pump, it’s important to be sure that your home can produce the warm air that the appliance need to run at peak efficiency. While other water-heating technologies may be installed in spaces as small as a closet, high-pressure water heaters (HPWHs) require a minimum of 750 or 1,000 square feet to be installed properly. Any place large enough must also maintain a consistent temperature throughout its duration (ideally never going below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees).
There’s also a difficult balance to consider when the only acceptable location for the HPWH happens to be in a portion of the house that you pay to heat.
A contractor should be consulted due to the large number of variables involved.
Construction of garages is particularly frequent in warm areas.
Heat Pump Water Heater Buying Guide
When deciding whether to install a heat pump water heater, the first three things you should examine are the fuel type, the placement of the heater, and the electrical capacity of your home. Most installers and utility providers will recommend that you continue to use a gas water heater if you presently have one installed. Despite the fact that heat pump water heaters have extremely high efficiency ratings, the cost of operating a heat pump water heater is still much higher than the cost of operating a gas water heater in the majority of circumstances.
- Geographical location– The vast majority of incentives are only available when the heat pump water heater is installed in a garage or other non-heated, non-conditioned room.
- If you need to move your water heating system to make room for this, speak with your installer about the costs and time commitments involved.
- If you have any queries regarding your electrical system, you should ask the installation contractor to lead you through the process of checking it.
- The latest plumbing rules and permit charges should be discussed with you by your installer before they begin work on your heat pump water heater installation project in order to estimate the overall cost of the installation project.
- Ask your installer to assist you in understanding the routine maintenance requirements of a heat pump water heater.
Despite the minimal expense of maintenance, it is critical that you clean your heat pump’s air filter on a regular basis in order to maintain the life of the unit. Additional advice and recommendations can be found in your owner’s handbook.
Are Heat Pump Water Heaters Worth It?
When was the last time you checked on the condition of your water heating system? Out of sight, out of mind, as the old saying goes, is the best way to describe how much we think about something. We don’t typically worry about the equipment that’s stashed away in the garage, basement, or utility room as long as we get hot water when we turn the “H” knob a quarter turn. It is one of the most inefficient items in your home, and it is your water heater. According to theEnergy.gov website, electric water heaters contribute for an average of 18 percent of your total power bills.
Heat pump water heaters are a new generation of electric water heaters that have improved in terms of energy efficiency.
How does a heat pump water heater work?
Heat pump water heaters, as opposed to standard electric water heaters, use power to transport heat from one location to another rather than creating their own heat like a traditional electric water heater would. According to the Department of Energy, this results in a two- to three-fold increase in energy efficiency (DOE). Consider a heat pump water heater to be similar to a refrigerator that operates in reverse.
- A refrigerator extracts heat from within a box and discharges it into the room in which it is located. An electric pump water heater draws heat from the surrounding air and puts it into a tank, where it heats the water to a higher temperature.
The term “hybrid” water heater is occasionally used to refer to heat pump water heaters because they may automatically transition from heat pump to regular electric resistance heat during moments of high hot water demand. You may utilize the control panel on your unit to adjust the water heater to a variety of different settings, including hybrid mode. In order to prevent it from automatically switching modes, simply set it to the usual heat pump mode. Many control panels feature a variety of settings and modes to help you save the most money on energy.
On a daily basis, hybrid mode is the most energy efficient option to employ.
How much will a heat pump water heater save you?
According to Energy Star, if every family in the United States utilized a heat pump water heater (with a capacity of less than 55 gallons), the country would save an estimated $8.2 billion dollars in energy costs per year. It is estimated that a heat pump water heater may save your family of four people around $330 per year on their electric bill, according to the government website Energy Star. Overall, a conventional heat pump water heater may save you around $3,400 in energy costs throughout its lifetime.
If your family is closer in size to that of the Brady Bunch, you’ll save even more money on your annual power bill by going green. The greater the size of your family, the faster you will see a return on your investment.
How much will a heat pump water heater cost you?
A heat pump water heater is significantly more expensive than a standard electric water heater, as is the case with most items that function more effectively and save you money. Purchasing a 50-gallon heat pump water heater at Lowe’s costs around $1,100, whereas its older, more traditional relative, the electric water heater, costs approximately $300. The installation of your heat pump water heater should be carried out by a qualified specialist in order to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency.
When selecting a skilled technician to install your water heater, keep the following points in mind:
- Request written estimates, as well as contact information for references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to ensure if they are legitimate. Make certain that they obtain all essential permissions and are familiar with local construction laws.
In the end, the upfront cost of the water heater will be compensated over the course of its useful life by the amount of money you will save on your energy bill. *You may purchase these products via our affiliate, Appliance Connection.
The heat pump water heater is an excellent option if you’re in the market for a new electric water heater and don’t mind spending a little more money. For bigger homes, the savings are considerable, especially when compared to smaller ones. In comparison to typical electric water heaters (which have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years), heat pump water heaters have a longer lifespan of 13 to 15 years, making them an excellent investment. Did you find this article to be informative?|