When looking for a water heater, you might stumble across something called a hybrid water heater. The new technology seems intriguing because it offers the benefits of both traditional and tankless water heaters while also eliminating the drawbacks. But what is it, and is it a good fit for your home?
A hybrid water heater, also known as a heat pump water heater, combines the mechanism of a traditional water heater and a tankless one. It runs on electrical power, but instead of generating heat from electricity, the machine draws heat from the air around the appliance. Hence, it uses less energy than a conventional electric water heater.
How Does It Work?
The mechanism of a hybrid heat pump is similar to an air conditioner that works in reverse. The refrigerant inside the evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the ambient air around the unit. The freon gas will then transfer the heat to a heat exchanger and release it into the tank where the water is. As a result, the water temperature rises.
This heating process will work only when you need it to. Therefore, it will not consume energy if you are not using the appliance. Moreover, it does not generate the heat from electrical power, making it more energy-efficient than a regular water heater.
Is It the Right Choice for Me?
The answer to that question will depend on your home.
A hybrid water heater unit is taller than a regular tanked water heater. It also requires some free space around it so the machine can use the open air to take the heat from. If located in confined spaces, the system will lose its efficiency, which might increase energy consumption and shorten its lifespan. Therefore, the technology will be suitable for your house if you have a large space in which to install it.
And since the system takes in heat from the air, its performance will depend on the climate in your area. If you live in a mild to tropical climate, the system can run with ease. On the contrary, a hybrid water heater will have to work extra hard if used in a cold climate.
Another thing to consider is that this technology requires electricity. If you already have the network installed, then it won’t be a problem. But if your previous water heater was gas-powered, then switching to a hybrid will require you to install the necessary electrical line. That means it will be a high initial cost. A hybrid water heater is also not advisable if your house already has a gas line because it would be a waste.
Hybrid water heater technology adds a compelling option to the market. But be careful because the system is not advantageous for every household. If you are still unsure about this appliance, you can ask your dealer for more detailed information. The dealer may be able to suggest the one that suits your situation the most.