Energy Efficient Heat Pump Water Heaters
LESLIE: Jim in Texas has a water heating question. What can we do for you?
JIM: Well, I need a new water heater and my house is all electric.
JIM: I was thinking about putting in a tankless water heater but I’d have to run a gas line in. The gas makes my wife a little nervous. I was looking at the Eternal Hybrid Condensing Water Heater, which sounds really good and it almost sounds too good to be true. Have you all heard of that?
TOM: Not familiar with that particular brand but I will tell you this: a) your wife should not be nervous about natural gas; it’s completely safe if it’s properly installed, so nothing to worry about with respect to that. Secondly, if you don’t want to change to natural gas – but that is, by the way, going to be the most efficient way to heat your water – you can use a heat pump water heater which combines heat pump technology with an electric water heater. And I think GE has one; I’m pretty sure that Rinnai makes one, too. And they’re super-efficient and they actually qualify for the tax credit that’s available right now, too.
TOM: Jim, on our website, we’ve got an article about one of those products: it’s the Rheem HP-50. If you search that on MoneyPit.com, you’ll find it. It’s very, very efficient and it can even pay for itself. And the Rheem website for that product is RheemHPWH.com.
But I do think that these heat pump water heaters are really a great option for someone that has an all-electric house but needs to find a way to spend less on the cost of heating their hot water.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Heating water.
TOM: You know, short of this, the only thing that you can do is to use a standard water heater with a timer on it, which is great but it’s still not going to save you as much as a heat pump water heater.
JIM: Right. If I were to add the gas line and put the tankless up, are they as efficient if you mount them on an outside wall?
TOM: Yes, absolutely. And they’re very small, too. It’ll be about a quarter of the size of a heat pump water heater or really any water heater.
TOM: And you’ll never run out of hot water, because they supply it on demand.
JIM: OK. Well, thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.