HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Heat Pump Water Heaters: How Their Unique Method Of Heating Water Makes Them Significantly More Energy Efficient

Having access to hot running water is a major part of modern living since few people enjoy taking cold showers. Unfortunately, water heaters expend quite a bit of energy in order to run. Modern electric water heaters are much more efficient than older models due to their better insulation, but they're still not the most energy-efficient type of water heater on the market.

In order to maximize energy savings, you'll need to install a heat pump water heater. Read on to find out more about how this technology works and why it can deliver you a substantially lower monthly energy bill.

How Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Work?

A heat pump water heater is essentially a normal water heater with an air-conditioner attached to the top of it. Air conditioners work by circulating refrigerant through their evaporator coils and condenser coils.

When refrigerant passes through the evaporator coils, it expands and draws heat from the air. This is what keeps the air inside your home cool. The refrigerant passes through a compressor where it's liquefied and superheated and then the refrigerant flows through the condenser coils where it releases its heat energy into the air outside.

By installing a small air conditioner on top of a water heater and changing the location of the evaporator coils and condenser coils, you create a heat pump water heater. The evaporator coils are located on top of the water heater, which allows the refrigerant to absorb heat from the air in the room. The condenser coils are located in the water heater tank, which allows the refrigerant to warm the water by releasing its stored heat.

How Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Save Energy?

Due to the fact that a heat pump air conditioner uses ambient heat surrounding the water heater in order to warm the water inside the tank, it's much more efficient than a traditional water heater. Running the compressor motor on top of the water heater uses some energy, but the energy cost is easily compensated for by the added efficiency of drawing heat from the air.

Heat pump water heaters work best in warm climates since the refrigerant is able to draw significantly more heat from the air surrounding it. However, they can continue to operate until temperatures drop to just above freezing. Unfortunately, their efficiency drops considerably in this situation.

If the air surrounding the heat pump water heater is too cold for it to operate, it will switch to using a heating element inside the tank to warm the water. This is how standard electric water heaters operate. The heating element is also turned on when the heat pump isn't able to warm the water fast enough to keep it at your desired temperature.

While heat pump water heaters are more expensive than traditional electric water heaters, you can often quickly recoup the extra cost due to their significantly increased efficiency. This is especially true in warmer areas of the United States since the efficiency gains are even greater compared to a traditional water heater. If you'd like to lower your energy bills with one of the most efficient water heaters available, contact a water heater installation service like Best Care Home Services and ask about the heat pump water heater models that they offer.