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Choosing the Right Heat Pump Water Heater

Ever heard of a heat pump water heater? You should take a look; they're some of the most efficient appliances around. 

Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid electric heat pump water heaters, offer remarkable efficiency. They are 2-3 times more efficient than standard storage-tank water heaters, which means they save money and are better for the environment. These water heaters are gaining popularity and new models continue to hit the market. 

Things to Know Before Buying a Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

If you've never purchased a hybrid heat pump water heater, you learn about what you're buying. 

Hybrid heat pump water heaters take in heat from the air and use them to heat water. Instead of generating heat, they move heat from the air into the water tank. They are called "hybrid" heat pump water heaters because they also rely on electric heat. 

When choosing a hybrid heat pump water heater, size is a crucial factor to consider. Similar to standard storage water heaters, hybrids come in tank sizes ranging from 40-80 gallons, providing enough hot water for two to six individuals. You should check with a professional before sizing your heat pump water heater.

1-2 people: 23-26 gallons
2-4 people: 36-46 gallons
3-5 people: 46-56 gallons
5 or more: 56 gallons and up, add 10 per additional person

What Features Do Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters Have?

Hybrid heat pump water heaters offer some great additional features:

  • under normal conditions, they release cool air, contributing to cooling your home while heating your water
  • some heat pumps offer Wi-Fi connectivity
  • energy savings
  • minimal background noise
  • automatic water shutoff
  • leak detection
  • "away mode" for further energy savings.

Identifying the Best Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

When buying a hybrid heat pump water heater, you should consider factors like capacity, cost, and additional features before making a purchase. The installation location is also key as hybrids have noise and airflow considerations that differ from conventional water heaters. You should also check the reliability rating of different water heaters to make sure they are cost-effective in the long term. Hybrid heat pump water heaters often provide additional benefits beyond initial energy savings due to their enhanced functionality.

There are several brands of hybrid heat pump water heaters. Rheem often appears on "best of" lists due to its user-friendly options and reliable reputation. Other leading brands include A.O. Smith and Stiebel Eltron.

How to Buy and Install a Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

A heat pump water heater costs between $1,500 and $3,000. However, installing it typically requires a professional. You may need to upgrade your electrical paneling if The Inflation Reduction Act offers a tax credit of 30% up to $2,000 for heat pump water heaters. 

When purchasing a hybrid water heater, consumers have the option to buy from big-box retailers or specialized dealers associated with plumbers or contractors. Chain stores offer convenience, including online purchases. However, dealers provide installation services and follow-up maintenance and may offer upgraded versions of water heaters with additional features.

Finding the right contractor is crucial for the correct and safe installation of a hybrid heat pump water heater. It is typically easier and more advisable than attempting a DIY installation. QuitCarbon can help you connect with professional contractors that are trusted to get the job done correctly. We offer homeowners a free "Electrification Plan" to set you up for success.