Heat Pump Water Heater
Courtesy of Rheem
Professional Prestige Series: Hybrid Heat Pump water heater. High 2.45 EF and first hour delivery is 73 gallons. Compressor output is 8700 BTU/hr. Ambient temperature range 37°F to 120°F. Upper heating resistance coil is 4,500 watts (15,345 BTU/hr) and lower coil is 2,500 watts (8,525 BTU/hr).
Courtesy of GE Appliances
The 50 gallon GEH50DFEJSR General Electric Geospring Hybrid Electric water heater has a 69 FHD (First Hour Delivery). The heat pump input power is 550 watts and with a 3.25 EF, it corresponds to 6095 BTU/hr. Upper heating resistance coil is 4,500 watts (15,345 BTU/hr) and lower coil is 4,000 watts (13,640 BTU/hr).
Heat pump water heaters really pay off when they replace a resistance type electric water heater. They can save a lot of money for the home owner in this case. However, the heat pump water heater was never intended to replace a natural gas water heater. In areas where natural gas is not available, the heat pump water heater is a perfect fit. But when replacing a natural gas water heater with a heat pump water heater, the annual operating cost can double. The heat pump water heater puts out cold air as it heats up water and so should not be located in the living spaces. The garage or unheated basement would be best. In addition it needs 700 to 1000 cubic feet of air space around it, depending on the manufacturer. A 10' by 10' or 11' by 11' floor space would be appropriate. The heat pump water heater works best in warmer climates and is less efficient in the winter months. Bruce Hodge on his web site estimates that purchase and installation of a heat pump water heater is about $2,700. Heavy uses of hot water can be a problem with the heat pump water heater because it does not recover as fast as the natural gas water heater. A family may need to install a larger size tank compared to the natural gas tank that has been working just fine. Another potential problem is that on hot summer days, we can get messages on radio and TV to cut back on electric appliances because the electrical grid is getting close to maximum output. You need to be prepared to turn off the water heater. Natural gas is always there, winter or summer.