Over ten thousand Mainers use heat pump water heaters. ENERGY STAR® reports that these high-efficiency units can save a four-person household more than $3,000 over ten years when compared to electric water heaters. Other benefits include long warranties and the ability to dehumidify.
To understand how heat pump water heaters work, imagine a refrigerator working in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from the food inside and releases it into the surrounding air, a heat pump water heater takes the heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water inside. They are sometimes also called “hybrids” because in addition to a heat pump they also have traditional electric resistance heating elements for times when demand exceeds what the heat pump can produce.
|$||1,300||qualified heat pump water heater|
|–||$||750||Efficiency Maine mail-in rebate|
$330/year projected savings for a four-person household* 20-month payback 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 3/1/18
- 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.
- Condensate from the heat pump water heater must be pumped or plumbed to a sink or drain.
- For optimum efficiency, install units in 10’ x 10’ or larger rooms with temperatures above 35°F.
- 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.
- Air filters must be rinsed regularly.
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. Click here for our Heat Pump Water Heater Myths and Facts sheet.