If you are replacing your current water heater, you’ve probably compared the costs and benefits of Tank Style Water Heaters and Tankless Water Heaters. But did you know there is actually a third option? In the past few years, hybrid water heaters have hit the market as a great option for many homeowners in the South. Also known as a heat pump water heater, the hybrid water heater combines the best aspects of conventional tank water heaters with the benefits of an energy-efficient heat pump. Selecting the right water heater for your home can be overwhelming, Reliant Plumbing’s master plumbers have put together this handy guide with everything you need to know about hybrid water heaters.
Why isn't your hybrid water heater working?
We all know how it feels when you turn on your shower and wait for the water to get hot, but the water never does. How frustrating! We’re here to help you diagnose common tankless water heater problems so you know if it’s a quick fix or if you need to call in the pros.
Hybrid Water Heater FAQ's
How do hybrid water heaters work?
Refrigerators take heat from an enclosed area and push it outward. A hybrid water heater — also called a heat pump water heater — works in the opposite way. It pulls heat in from directly outside of it and sends the heat to its enclosed water tank. Hybrid heaters use this outside warmth to heat the water, which make them great fits for places with hot climates — like our beloved, weird Austin. Then during times of high hot water demand, the hybrid water heater switches to the standard method of heating water directly like a tank style water heater. This gives you the best of both worlds and means that you will never run out of hot water.
What are the pros of using a hybrid water heater?
The biggest advantage of a hybrid water heater is that it will never run out of hot water – even if you are using multiple showers at a time. It is the ultimate luxury in hot water. They are also very energy efficient, which means they are better for the environment & your community. A very unique perk of hybrids is that they can cool & dehumidify a space up to 700sf – perfect for a studio, garage or workshop. You likely wouldn’t need an AC unit in these spaces!
Are there any cons to using a hybrid water heater?
The up-front cost to install a hybrid water heater is much higher than a standard tank style unit and they are only compatible with electric power sources. You can’t get a gas-powered hybrid. It also requires very specific placement. They need to be installed in rooms that are at least 12’ x 12’ to have enough air to draw heat from, and they might not fit well in areas with lower ceilings because the heat pump is on top of the unit. They don’t function well in colder climates, so they aren’t an option at all if you don’t live in a warm climate like our customers in Texas.
What areas of the US are best suited to use hybrid water heaters?
As mentioned earlier, this unit works best in areas with hot climates, like Austin. They only function well in spaces that are constantly at or above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, these units would not function well in regions that can get quite cold, such as Alaska and New England.
Where should my hybrid water heater be located in my home?
There are several things to consider when choosing an installation spot:
- Find a dry, indoor area that’s protected from freezing temps — like an attic, closet, utility room, or garage.
- Make sure that there’s at least 7″ clearance around your water heater from objects, including appliances and walls.
- Ideally, you should have a drain for the condensate line. If you don’t have one, you can add a pump or run the line outside.
- Since the unit gets rid of hot air around it, place it somewhere you don’t mind being cold. Rooms closest to the hybrid heater will get pretty cool.
How long will a new hybrid water heater last before I have to replace it?
These units last significantly longer than conventional water heaters. Tank-style heaters last about 8 to 12 years. Hybrid units run for about 13-15 years.
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