Heat Pump vs Water Heater
So, it's time to replace your water heater and you want to know which
one is best for you? There are many options between electric heaters, gas water
heaters and heat pumps (hybrid). The type you choose depends on your needs.
In this article, we will focus on hybrid heat pumps versus electric
water heaters. This will include their features, advantages and disadvantages.
Read on to discover the best heater for you.
Heat Pump Water Heater
Heat pump water heaters are great green technology that uses ambient air
to help heat water. This ultimately reduces the energy required to heat the
water and can significantly reduce costs.
1. Utilize ambient air
A huge advantage is that heat pump water heaters use ambient heat from
the air around the unit to help heat the water. If you live in a warm climate,
this can significantly reduce the energy and money you spend heating your
2. Fast ROI
Everyone loves a good return on investment in their energy efficient
appliances. The return on investment for a hybrid water heater can be as early
as four years after initial installation. That's pretty quick for the device,
and just means you'll save money for most of the device's lifespan.
3. Long life
The lifespan of a heat pump water heater is 10-15 years. This is an
average of 5 years longer than a standard electric or gas water heater.
4. Rebates and tax benefits
Depending on your location and the unit you choose, there are quite a
few discounts to apply. Taking advantage of these tax credits and rebates can
cover a significant portion of your initial cost. For a full breakdown of these
savings, check out our full article on the topic here.
1. Need more space
Hybrid water heaters are taller than electric or gas water heaters due
to the heat pump on top of the water heater. Additionally, the unit uses
ambient air, so it is recommended to leave about 100 square feet of open space
around the water heater. This prevents the water heater from recirculating its
own cold exhaust air.
2. More effective in warm climates
Heat pump water heaters are naturally more efficient in warm climates.
The warmer the air, the more efficiently the heat pump can heat water without
using electricity. While they can still be effective in cooler climates, they
work best in warmer climates.
3. Higher initial cost
The initial cost of a hybrid water heater is much higher than a standard
electric water heater. In most cases, it can be over $1,000, and a standard
water heater usually runs for less than $500. While tax rebates, tax
incentives, and energy savings will ultimately save you a lot of money in the
long run, it can be difficult to cover the initial cost of equipment.
Advantages of electric water heaters
1. Low initial cost
In general, electric water heater models are generally less expensive
than other types of heaters. You may find it difficult to find more affordable
home hot water options.
In addition, the installation cost is not very high. If you like DIY,
you can even install the heater yourself. If not, you can always hire a
2. Reasonable energy efficiency
Yes, the electricity bill is indeed on the high side, mainly when it is
used to power the water heater. However, electric heaters are more efficient
than gas heaters, especially compared to traditional types.
Of course, the efficiency of a water heater depends on several factors.
Like model, size of heater, insulation, power, ventilation, and even climate.
3. Easy to obtain
And, this is probably the number one reason why electric water heaters
are so popular. Heaters are available, as is the way they are powered. It's as
simple as plugging in the heater and turning it on, since most homes are
connected to the grid.
Disadvantages of electric water heaters
Let's face it; there are better home heating solutions than electric
water heaters. that's why.
1. Slow heating time and recovery
Now, you may have to wait a long time for the hot water to heat up. If
you have, then you are already familiar with one of the disadvantages of
electric water heaters. They take a long time to heat up and you will have to
wait a long time once the hot water runs out. For a small family, this might
not be a big deal, but for a large family, it's a big deal.
2. Insufficient hot water during power outage
Likewise, if there is a storm or power outage for some reason, there
will be no hot water. This can be very inconvenient.
3. It is expensive in the long run
Basically, these heaters are inexpensive to install but require regular
maintenance. Also, they tend to require replacement more frequently than hybrid
or gas heaters, eg. Then, it will increase the electricity bill.
Heat Pump Water Heaters vs Electric
So, what is the difference between a heat pump water heater and an
electric water heater?
1. Heating technology:
Both heat water differently. Electric water heaters use electricity to
heat the water, while heat pump water heaters use the hot air and heating
elements already present around the unit as a backup. This reduces the amount
of electricity used for heating.
2. The way they heat up:
Electric water heaters use electricity. Typically, heat pump water
heaters are hybrid heaters that utilize both technologies.
3. Energy Efficiency:
It's not that electric heaters aren't energy efficient, but hybrid
heaters are several times more efficient. The air is warmer; less power is used
to heat the water. That's why it's best to install them close to the furnace.
4. How they work:
Electric heaters are used to heat water. Although heat pumps do the same
but are more efficient, they also have an air conditioning effect.
5. Safety factor:
Electric water heaters are relatively safe, but people often get electric
shocks. Heat pumps are constructed with safety in mind and are as safe as
So, what's the best water heater option for you?
Well, it depends on several factors. For example, your household size
and the area where you live may be factors to consider.
If you have a large family or live in a cold climate, an electric water
pump is probably best. However, if you have a small home or you are in a warm
climate, you may want to consider a heat pump.
In conclusion, when choosing a water heater, you may want to focus on
the energy savings of that water heater. And, that's not a bad thing. However,
while the specific model you're considering can be very efficient, other
factors can cause it to be more expensive.