If you've purchased a water heater in the last couple of decades, you've probably encountered two common choices: conventional tank heaters and modern tankless heaters. These two options are still among the most common, but electric heat pump systems provide a third alternative that may be advantageous for some households.
Of course, as with any other appliance, there are some pros and cons to this particular water heater design. For example, they're typically more expensive than conventional water heaters or tankless options. However, they are well-suited for certain households. If you aren't sure what's best for your home, check out these three reasons a heat pump system is worth considering.
Did you know your home's air conditioner is probably its most efficient HVAC component? Unlike furnaces, air conditioners work by moving heat from one place to another. This approach is much more efficient than extracting energy from fuel, which is how traditional gas furnaces and water heaters operate.
A heat pump water heater uses, unsurprisingly, a heat pump as its primary method of heating water. Heat pumps are essentially reversible air conditioners with all the same efficiency benefits. Your water heater will scavenge heat energy from the air around it, allowing it to heat water far more efficiently than traditional gas or resistive electric heaters.
2. Potentially More Environmentally Friendly
If you're worried about your environmental impact, a heat pump heater may be the perfect upgrade for you. While the improved energy efficiency will reduce your carbon footprint on its own, there's more to consider. Although natural gas is a relatively clean fuel, it still produces carbon dioxide, and burning gas for individual appliances is generally less efficient than at a centralized power plant.
Since heat pump water heaters use electrical power through the electric grid, they're generally more environmentally friendly. If your house uses solar panels or your local grid uses renewable plants, a heat pump will be far better than a natural gas water heater. Even if your grid relies on fossil fuels, you'll still be making a more environmentally friendly choice by helping to centralize those emissions.
3. Low Conversion Costs
If you already use an electric water heater, converting to a heat pump is a relatively straightforward process that shouldn't add much to your installation costs. Since both types of heaters rely on a connection to your home's main electrical supply, there's usually no need for significant additional wiring or other complications.
Conversion from a gas heater can be pricier, but remember that you'll see more efficient heating by using a heat pump. As a result, you'll earn back some of those costs over the life of the system. And since heat pumps tend to last longer than traditional water heaters, you'll have more time to enjoy those savings.
For more information about water heater installation, contact a local contractor.