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Heat Pump Water Heaters: Frequently Asked Questions

If you're considering upgrading your current water heating system or simply looking for more energy-efficient options, you've come to the right place. Heat pump water heaters have gained popularity in recent years due to their impressive energy-saving capabilities and environmentally friendly features. However, you may have questions and uncertainties about this new technology. That's why we're here to shed light on the most common inquiries surrounding heat pump water heaters, empowering you to make informed decisions for your home.

Heat Pump Water Heaters: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I'm ready to switch to a heat pump water heater?

You will need to make sure you have enough space in the room you're installing a heat pump water heater. You also need the correct electrical circuit. All of this can be done in advance, providing you peace of mind that your next water heater will be environmentally friendly, even if you need to replace it urgently! QuitCarbon can put you in touch with a firm that will perform an energy audit of your home and determine if you can switch a heat pump water heater

When can I replace my gas-powered water heater with a more climate-friendly option?

Short answer: anytime! While gas water heaters will keep polluting for as long as they are operating, efficient heat pump water heaters will start saving energy and reducing pollution on day 1. As long as you have a regular outlet near where the water heater sits, the swap-out should be easy. There are some space requirements, but generally garages, basements, outdoor utility closets, and even the outdoors are great locations! Don't worry, the heat pump water heater is far more efficient than burning gas. 

Why is it important to electrify my home?

Electrification is a vital solution to combat climate change. Using fossil fuels inside buildings for cooking, space heating, and water heating is responsible for up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. Gas water heaters are the equivalent of having another gas-powered car. We must reduce these emissions to mitigate further climate change. When combined with renewable sources of energy, a fully electrified home can operate with zero emissions. Even if you don't have access to renewables, eliminating gas usage or generally making your home more energy efficient will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. While not everyone can transition their entire home to electricity at once, replacing your water heater, whether now or when it fails, is a significant step toward eliminating a substantial portion of emissions.

Choosing a heat pump water heater is one of the most impactful choices you can make for the environment. If you have to buy another gas pump water heater, you're locking in another ten years of harmful emissions. This also involves missing out on rebates and the health benefits associated with eliminating gas from your home.

Do I need to switch if I have a tankless water heater?

Although gas-powered tankless water heaters can be more efficient than regular gas tank water heaters, they still rely on fossil fuels, namely natural gas, for water heating. Not storing a huge amount of water doesn't make a difference if it's still being powered by fossil fuels. Gas tankless water heaters also release a surprising amount of unburned methane -- a global warming gas that's 80 times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide! If you truly want to make a climate-friendly choice for water heating, heat pump water heaters are the way to go.

Are there any tax credits for heat pump water heaters?

Yes, under the Inflation Reduction Act, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% of your project cost up to $2,000. This counts for any ENERGY STAR qualifying heat pump water heater.

How does transitioning to electric water heating affect my energy bills?

Once you switch to a heat pump water heater, you will consume approximately half the energy required to heat your water compared to using gas. If you are switching from a traditional electric system, you could save $300-$400 per year through more efficient water heating. While gas is less expensive than traditional electric, heat pump water heaters are still less expensive because of their increased efficiency. You can consider it an investment for the sake of climate and health benefits. Furthermore, if you have solar panels on your roof, you'll experience even greater energy cost savings.

Does using electricity to heat water harm the climate as much as using gas?

No! Natural gas is a fossil fuel that contributes entirely to emissions causing climate change. On the other hand, your electricity can come from renewable sources like solar energy generated by your rooftop panels or renewable energy providers. That's the ideal scenario. In addition, using heat pump water heaters is more than 2-3 times more efficient than burning gas or using traditional electric water heaters. Even if you were burning fossil fuels to produce the energy, you still need much less energy if you switched to a heat pump water heater, which would help the planet. 

How does QuitCarbon help homeowners?

QuitCarbon aids in determining the age of your gas water heater, and the requirements for replacement, and offers recommendations for verified equipment and contractors. We assess the necessary preparatory tasks for a successful replacement at your preferred time and ensure that you take advantage of all available rebates.