A new type of heat pump water heater is now on the market based on standard heat pump technology it could provide up to 50 to 70% better efficiency then a standard electric water heater.
The design is pretty simple to understand it basically works the opposite way that your refrigerator does.
If you have ever had to pull your refrigerator away from the wall you saw that there are large cooling tubes on the back that give off a lot of heat. On the inside of the refrigerator there are coils that give off cold.. Between the two sides is a pump that compresses freon a liquified gas.
Now that is a very basic idea… you have a pump that compresses freon gas and inside the refrigerator it is cold and outside on the back coils it gets hot.
The same thing happens on a Heat Pump Water Heater…
It sucks the heat out of a room and pumps it into the water heater tank.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Heat Pump Water Heaters
Advantages of a heat pump water heater includes the lower cost for heating the water but also reduced need of natural gas or fuel oil if you are using on demand hot water off of your oil furnace.
From the manufacture they say “That means if your annual energy cost for hot water is around $520, you could save as much as $286 per year!”
That is not a bad deal if you can justify the cost and use it in your area.
Cost of a heat pump water heater will be well over $1000 you can expect to pay in the $1500 dollar range just for the equipment.
Installing the water heater is pretty much the same and unlike a furnace heat pump you do not need to dig a trench outside your home for the water heater.
On the other hand the location that you install the water heater must be a minimum of 40F year round and top out at about 90F..
So the number of people that can take advantage of this type of water heater is relatively limited.
You say well my basement is always warm..
BUT if you install the water heater in your basement it is something like opening the door to a couple refrigerators… not that the refrigerators running wouldn’t cost a lot but remember Heat Pumps work by having a hot side and a cold side.. so the room that you put it in will get cold.
If you live in Key West Florida this may an excellent choice because your hot water heater would also cool your home but if you live in any other climate you will find that you are heating your house or basement much more then you were before and any benefit could be lost in higher heating costs.
This would also be a good choice for beach resort homes that are only used for vacations.