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A Heat Pump Water Heater by Any Other Name...

Posted: Dec 09, 2022

In recent years, homeowners have begun to prioritize energy efficiency when upgrading or replacing household appliances. When it comes to water heating, this often means choosing a heat pump water heater— although that name might change, depending on where you’re looking.

NEEA HPWH Great NW Installations 2023 10 27 Web 10

Depending on the brand or retailer, heat pump water heaters can be referred to as:

  • Electric Hybrid Water Heaters
  • Electric Water Heaters With Hybrid Heat Pumps
  • Hybrid High Efficiency Smart Tank Electric Water Heaters
  • High-Efficiency Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters
  • Smart Electric Water Heaters
  • Hybrid Electric Water Heaters
  • Super-Efficient Water Heaters

With all these names, things can get confusing, so here are some things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new water heater:

  1. All the water heaters above have a heat pump that uses electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.
  2. Hybrid refers to the water heater’s ability to use heat pump technology or a conventional electric element in order to heat the water in the tank. Unlike a hybrid car, this doesn’t mean it can run on gas or electricity — but it does mean better efficiency.
  3. That being said, not all heat pump water heaters are hybrids. Some models do not have backup electric elements to heat the water; this helps with energy efficiency, but can be a liability when there’s high demand in the household for hot water.
  4. Whether it’s a hybrid or a pure heat pump water heater, it will run on electricity, making it a good choice for replacing a conventional electric tank.
  5. Regardless of the brand or model name, heat pump water heaters come with 10-year warranties — as opposed to 6 years for standard water heaters.
  6. As long as it has a heat pump, it’s eligible for a utility rebate.

No matter what you call it, you can be sure that a heat pump water heater will deliver reliable hot water while using less energy.


What are Tiers?

Energy efficiency levels and features of electric hybrid water heaters vary by product tier. Higher tier products have greater efficiency and more advanced product features.

The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater.