Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about heat pump water heaters? Explore our FAQs.
Q. What is a heat pump water heater?
A. Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid water heaters, use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. This process makes them two to three times more energy efficient than standard electric resistance water heaters and can cut water heating costs by up to 60%. Heat pump water heaters have a tank gallon capacity similiar to standard models, with the same range of temperature adjustments.
Q. Why should I purchase a heat pump water heater?
A. Heat pump water heaters use a proven energy-efficient technology to heat water for residential use. Switching to a heat pump water heater can reduce your electric water heating costs by up to 60%. Use our interactive tool to find out if a heat pump water heater is right for your home.
Q. Can I install a heat pump water heater myself?
A. If you are familiar with the elements of installing a standard electric water heater, the Do It Yourself guide goes over the basics of installing your own heat pump water heater.
Q. What types of heat pump water heaters are available?
A. While heat pump water heaters fall into several types or categories, only those referred to as “integrated,” “standalone” or “drop-in” are ENERGY STAR qualified according to the current ENERGY STAR standard. These units are designed to replace standard electric water heaters. Find a heat pump water heater retailer here.
Q. Is a heat pump water heater right for where I live?
A. Heat pump water heaters work in all types of places and are a great option for Northwest homes. When selecting a heat pump water heater, it is important to take your climate into consideration. The Advanced Water Heater Specification Qualified Products List will help you find the right heat pump water heater for your location.
Q. What does a heat pump water heater look like?
A. Heat pump water heaters are a bit larger than standard electric water heaters. The size varies depending on manufacturer and capacity (such as 50-gallon or 80-gallon tanks). While features vary, most units have a control panel on the front of the tank that allows homeowners to adjust the temperature and operation mode. In addition to standard water heaters connections, heat pump water heaters also have a drain to remove condensation generated by the unit.
Q. How much hot water will be available for our household?
A. Heat pump water heaters come in different sizes. The most common size currently on the market is 50 gallons. Consumers replacing a standard electric water heater with a heat pump water heater of the same size should not notice a significant change in the amount of hot water available.
Q. How much does a heat pump water heater cost?
A. The purchase price of a heat pump water heater is generally higher than the cost of a standard electric water heater, but utility rebates, tax credits and promotions can significantly reduce the purchase price. Plus, the unit typically pays for itself in about 3 years by significantly reducing household energy use, saving you money almost instantly. Numerous factors can affect the unit price, including geographic location, installation complexity, model selected, and contractor rates. Contact a professional installer for an estimate.
Q. How much can I save on electricity costs with a heat pump water heater?
A. Replacing a standard electric water heater with a heat pump water heater can cut water heating energy consumption and costs by up to 60%. This saves the average homeowner up to 10% on their home's electricity bill. *
*Based on energy usage and savings statistics from the Regional Technical Forum and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Q. How can I reduce the purchase price and installation cost of a heat pump water heater?
A. Check our list of available utility rebates before installing a new heat pump water heater.
Please confirm rebate level, availability and requirements with your utility prior to purchase and installation.
Q. How do I change the temperature and settings of a heat pump water heater?
A. Heat pump water heaters are more interactive than standard electric water heaters. Most heat pump water heater models feature a control panel that allow homeowners to select water temperature and operation mode. Reference your manufacturer-provided manual for instructions specific to your heat pump water heater.
Q. What type of maintenance does a heat pump water heater require?
A. Unlike standard electric water heaters, heat pump water heaters use an air filter that needs to be cleaned periodically to ensure efficient operation. Other maintenance needs are similar to those of standard electric water heaters.
Q. Where can I install a heat pump water heater?
A. Heat pump water heaters can be installed in a variety of locations, from an unheated garage to a heated utility room. Things to consider include space, sound, air temperature and the unit's size/height. Visit our installation locations page for additional information.
Q. What are "tiers"?
A. Energy efficiency levels and features of heat pump water heaters vary by product tier. Higher tier products have greater efficiency and more advanced product features, and may qualify for different rebates.
Q. What is the warranty on a heat pump water heater?
A. Major manufacturers of heat pump water heaters typically offer 10-year warranties on their products; while the average standard electric water heaters has a 6-year warranty. Please contact your heat pump water heater’s manufacturer for more details.
Q. Why is water coming out of my heat pump water heater?
A. It is normal for water to drain out of your heat pump water heater's condensate line. All heat pump water heaters have a condensate drain line to remove water that has condensed from the warm air that was drawn into the unit to heat the water in the tank.
Q. How do I find the age of my water heater?
A. Start by checking for a manufacturer label on the side of your water heater. If it has a label, it should include the installation date. If the label is missing, or the installation date is not listed, you can use the serial number to determine the age of your unit. Visit the serial number decoder