What is it?
Heat pump water heaters are a high efficiency electric storage type water heater. They utilize heat pump systems that are typically thought of for space heating and cooling, to heat water for domestic hot water usage.
How does it work?
Heat pump water heaters use the standard vapor compression refrigeration cycle used in air conditioners or refrigerators. Refrigerant is first compressed using a compressor, circulated through a condenser, expanded through a valve, and then circulated through an evaporator. In the case of a heat pumps water heater, the water tank acts as the system condenser, utilizing heat from the hot refrigerant to heat water. The refrigerant is then run through a fan at the top of the unit, which acts as the evaporator, to blow cool air into the space where the water heater is located.
What are the most appropriate applications?
Customers who are currently using a 40-100 gallon electric storage water heater could benefit from installing a heat pump water heater.
What are the savings?
Switching from standard electric tank style water heater to a heat pump water heater will increase the efficiency of the water heating process from an energy factor of 0.97 to 2.45 or higher. Depending on the usage of the customer, typical savings range from 1,750 kWh to 2,200 kWh per year, or approximately $220 – $285 per year in cost savings.
What are the non-energy benefits?
During the summer months, a heat pump water heater will supply a small amount of cool and dry air into the space where it is located, helping to reduce cooling and dehumidification costs. However, during the winter months, or in a heating dominated climate, the cooling provided by the unit will need to be made up by the heating system, resulting in a small heating penalty.
What is the cost?
Costs for these water heaters range from $2,000-$2,500 per unit.
What is the status/availability of the technology?
This technology is readily available through multiple vendors.
What kinds of incentives/programs are available?
This type of produce is commonly routed through prescriptive programs.