Heat Pump Water Heater
Hot water is something that many people nowadays take for granted. We use it to shower or bathe. We use it to wash our clothes or wash our dishes. We run hot water for use in cooking. The beauty of simply turning a faucet and having the hot water come streaming out is never fully appreciated until it doesn't happen properly. When the hot water heater quits working properly, then we really begin to appreciate how much we need and want hot water. If your old hot water heater is acting up or needs replacing, you may be amazed at the number of different types of replacement systems that there are out there. You can get electric, propane, or natural gas, with a tank or tankless, and there is even a heat pump water heater.
The heat pump water heater is actually a combination of an electric water heater with a tank, like your old one, but with an added heat pump. This heat pump is an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient device that is designed to effectively heat water. It takes the heat from the air around it and transfers that heat to the water in the tank. There is not a burner that creates the heat, the heat pump simply moves existing heat from the air to the water. Amazingly, it can work at temperatures as low as 40 degrees F.
The basic idea of the heat pump water heater is kind of like the opposite of the way a refrigerator works. A fan is used to draw air over evaporator coils and the heat from the air is transferred to a refrigerant. Next, the refrigerant is pumped through a compressor unit, which intensifies the heat. The heated refrigerant vaporizes and the vapor travels through condenser coils. These copper condenser coils actually wrap around the inside of the water tank. The heat from the circulating vapor heats up the water in the tank. Amazingly, this type of heating system operates at an efficiency level of 200%, which means it is twice as efficient as your traditional tank water heater. This hybrid heater can actually cut your water heating bills in half.
One of the benefits of the heat pump water heater is that it fits easily into the same space as your old electric water heater. The diameter is the same as the old one, although the height is a little taller. This is due to the fact that the heat pump resided on top of the tank. This type of unit uses all the same plumbing and electrical systems that the old one did, so installation is easy. The electrical functions of the tank are only used when there is high demand for hot water.
With sophisticated controls that allow you to set the temperature as well as control the mode of the electric heating elements, you have total control over your system. You can switch to the “high demand” mode of the heat pump water heater if you are planning on having extra guests who will be using more hot water than normal, or you can set it to “vacation” mode when you will be gone. You will be able to save lots of money on your energy bills with the heat pump water heater.