Heat Pump Water Heaters
Each year, thousands of Mainers buy heat pump water heaters. ENERGY STAR® reports that these high-efficiency units can save a four-person household more than $3,000 over ten years when compared to electric water heaters. Other benefits include long warranties and the ability to dehumidify.
To understand the concept of heat pumps, imagine a refrigerator working in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from the food inside and releases it into the surrounding air, a heat pump water heater takes the heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water inside. They are called “hybrids” because in addition to a heat pump they also have traditional electric resistance heating elements for times when demand exceeds what the heat pump can produce.
|$||1,200||qualified heat pump water heater|
|–||$||500||Efficiency Maine mail-in rebate|
|–||$||300||federal tax credit|
$330/year projected savings for a four-person household*
Note: Your costs and savings may vary.
- Heat pump water heaters can save more than $3,000 over the life of the unit compared to electric water heaters.*
- They typically have 10+ year warranties.
- They dehumidify the space they are in.
*Source: energystar.gov accessed 10/1/16
- Use our Compare Water Heating Options tool to estimate how much you could save with a heat pump water heater.
- Find an installer or pick up a qualified heat pump water heater at a local retailer and install it yourself.
- If your electric water heater is more than 10 years old, replace it now while incentives are available. Don’t wait for it to break.
Things to Consider
- Because of their noise and cooling effect, heat pump water heaters are better suited to basements than living spaces, especially if there is extra heat available from a boiler.
- Heat-pump water heaters complement but do not replace dehumidifiers, because they operate based on hot-water demand instead of humidity levels.
- Remember that you’ll need a place to drain the condensate. This can be pumped outside or passively drained to a sink, washing machine drain, or floor drain lower than the heat pump condensate port.
- For optimum efficiency, install a heat pump water heater where the temperature stays above 35°F and provide at least 750 cubic feet of air space around the unit. This would be a typical 10’ x 10’ room.
- Be sure to give the unit the recommended clearances from walls and ceilings to ensure adequate circulation and access.
- Insulate the first few feet of incoming and outgoing pipe to minimize heat loss through distribution.
- Air filters must be rinsed regularly.
Here is a video on how to install a heat pump water heater from one ENERGY STAR® manufacturer:
Click here for a heat pump water heater brochure/rebate form.
Click here for a heat pump water heater user tips guide.
Click here to see what Maine plumbers are saying about heat pump water heaters.