Heat pump water heaters, also sometimes referred to as hybrid water heaters, are water heaters which make use of a heat exchanger to move heat from outside your home into the water heater in order to heat up your home's water supply. Because of this unique method of operation, heat pump water heaters possess a distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding what heat pump water heaters have to offer can help make it easier for you to decide whether or not they are the right fit for your home.
The Advantages of Heat Pump Water Heaters
Energy Efficiency: Heat pump water heaters are highly energy efficient, as they not need to make use of much electricity in order to run the heat exchanger. This allows you to maintain the level of hot water your home needs at a greatly reduced cost (depending on the price of electricity where you live), saving you money in the long run. Furthermore, the reduced energy requirements of a heat pump translate into a lower environmental impact for your entire household.
Tax Rebates: Because of the increased efficiency and the environmental benefits that that brings, heat pump water heaters may be eligible for tax rebates. This largely depends on where you live, so check with local and federal tax codes to see if you qualify. If you do, this can help offset the initial cost of the unit.
Reliability: During days when the temperature dips below zero, heat pump water heaters are equipped with conventional electric heating mechanisms. While this won't save you any energy when compared to conventional water heaters, it ensures that you will not be without hot water during a cold snap.
The Disadvantages of Heat Pump Water Heaters
Size: Heat pump water heaters, depending on the model, tend to be quite a bit larger than conventional water heaters. This can be restrictive, especially for small homes, as they cannot normally be installed in closets or crawlspaces.
Price: Heat pump water heaters tend to cost much more than conventional water heaters do up front. This disadvantage is somewhat offset, however, by the lower operating costs of a heat pump water heater, plus any tax benefits that heat pump water heaters may qualify for.
Climate Requirements: Heat pump water heaters are best suited for warm climates. In colder climates, they will still provide energy benefits during the summer months, but will operate much the same as conventional water heaters during the winter, which will negate any energy efficiency benefits that they would otherwise provide. Click here to learn more.