Most homeowners are familiar with heat pump technology as it applies to heat and cooling your home. A heat pump water heater uses the same technology to heat water, resulting in efficiency 2-3 times than that of a standard electric water heater. Heat pump water heaters on the market today include a storage tank, a compressor, and fan all in one unit, and while they are more expensive, many utility companies offer incentives that dramatically bring down the cost of the unit and installation.
HOW DOES A HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER WORK?
A heat pump water heater works like a refrigerator in reverse. Instead of using a compressor to pull heat from inside the refrigerator and transferring it to the surrounding room, a heat pump uses the compressor to take heat from the surrounding air and transfers it inside a storage tank, where your water is heated.
Most heat pump water heaters also have backup resistance elements – like a standard water heater – for situations when the ambient temperature in the room is not high enough. For most efficient operation, most heat pump water heaters are suited for a year-round temperature range of 40 – 90 degrees F.
For northern regions that have slightly colder temperatures, we recommend using the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Northern Climate Qualified Heat Pump Water Heaters list as a guide to choosing a heat pump water heater that will suit your needs.