How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is a heat pump water heater?
Saturday, July 28, 2018
When we opened a door from the kitchen and stepped into the garage during a home inspection on a hot July afternoon recently, it was almost as cool as the rest of the house. Yet the garage was not air conditioned. This was a little puzzling, until we noticed a heat pump water heater in the corner.
It uses the same technology as a heat pump air internal://conditioner, except in reverse: the water heater was absorbing the heat from the air in the garage and transferring it to the water heater tank. So, in the process of heating water, it was also cooling the room. Because absorbing existing heat is always more energy-efficient than generating new heat, these units are two to three times more efficient than a conventional water heater that uses an electric-resistance heating element, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
That’s obviously a big savings. So, why is it that we have only seen two heat pump water heaters in over 500 home inspections during the past year? Initial cost is the factor holding back consumer demand, at least for now. We had to look up pricing online because they are not even in stock at the local big-box home improvement stores.
Heat pump water heaters are called hybrids by retailers because they also have regular heating elements as a back-up system. A 50-gallon hybrid model with a 10-year warranty, manufactured by GE, is currently listed at $999. It is half that price, or less, for a regular water heater. However, the thousand dollar price tag is a big drop from approximately twice that number a year or two ago. So the price is coming down.
Installation labor by a plumber is the same as a standard water heater, so the cost difference is completely in the price of the unit. As the DOE ratchets up energy efficiency requirements for water heaters every few years—the last up-tick was this April—there will likely be more hybrids manufactured, on the floor in stores, and at even better prices. At least we hope so.
Heat pump water heaters need to be installed in a location with a temperature range between 40-90ºF year-round. To read more about this new application for heat pump technology, visit the Department of Energy’s website at: http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/heat-pump-water-heaters.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Here’s links to a collection of more blog posts about WATER HEATERS:
of Blog Posts
Top 5 results given instantly.
Click on magnifying glass
for all search results.
Buying a home in North/Central Florida? for a team inspection by two FL-licensed contractors and inspectors. Over 8,500 inspections completed in 20+ years. In a hurry? We will get it done for you.