Heat Pump Efficiency: Does It Transfer Over To Heat Pump Water Heaters?

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Many people know that heat pumps used for heating and cooling are a more efficient means of keeping your home comfortable, but what about heat pump water heaters? Are these water heaters just as efficient as their heating and cooling cousins? It certainly does spawn a number of questions about these products, so read this article to learn more. 

The Heat Pump in the Water Heater

Most traditional water heaters burn some sort of fuel (e.g., natural gas, oil, propane, etc.) or utilize electricity to ignite a heating coil within the water heater. This has to be done continuously in order to keep the water warm and ready for any time that you turn on a hot water tap. A heat pump water heater, however, has a heat pump system that sits on top of the water heater. The heat pump pulls hot air from its surroundings and uses that hot air to heat the water in the tank. If the heat pump were heating or cooling a home, it would either pull heat into the house or eject it. In the case of the water heater, it pulls heat and injects it into the waiting tank of water. 

It Is More Efficient

Because the heat pump is only transferring heat to the waiting water in the tank when you turn on a hot water tap, you are not using any extra energy, nor are you burning a ton of fuel to heat your water. This type of water heater heats water on demand, similar to a tankless water heater, but with a tank of water attached. (You could almost say that it is a hybrid of a tankless heater and a traditional water heater.) Additionally, it is pulling a lot of the hot, humid air from your home and creating hot water for your home, thus helping to cool the home a bit at the same time. That is very efficient, indeed. 

A Word on the Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

If you do not want to make the full conversion to a heat pump only water heater, or if you live where the environment half the year is too cold for the heat pump to be effective, you may want to install a hybrid heat pump water heater. These hybrid water heaters will use the heat pump during the warmer months and use the electricity or fuel during the colder months. It still makes them more efficient and less costly to run than a water heater that burns fuel. 

For more information, contact a local plumber or water heater company. 

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6 January 2020

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