By now most people know that traditional storage tank water heaters are inefficient in how they supply hot water to your home. While they are affordable and reliable, they do cost more to operate than their more modern and more efficient counterparts. But most of the focus on an alternative has been given to tankless water heating systems. While this is understandable given the tremendous savings advantage that these units offer to homeowners, there is another option that has a lot to offer – hybrid water heaters.
Hybrid water heaters can be viewed as the compromise between traditional storage models and tankless systems. They offer substantial savings in terms of energy, like a tankless unit, without the high installation costs associated with tankless systems. Some of these systems were designed to connect like a traditional electric unit which means the installation is very similar to that of a traditional tank storage unit.
What makes them a “hybrid” water heater, they combine the best of heat heat pump water heater with benefit of an electric water heater for those climates where a heat pump design just cannot supply enough hot water. This allows homeowners to benefit from the reduced monthly electricity charges while having adequate hot water for your daily usage needs. It has been estimated that homeowners replacing an older (10 years or more) unit with one of these will realize a payback in about 3 years. That might be a bit optimistic, but it does illustrate just how substantial the savings can be.
Most people understand how storage heating units work. They fill a tank with water and heat it and reheat it until it is used. The tank has insulation to make the process as efficient as possible, but the wasted energy that is required to keep the tank contents heated and ready for use adds up unnecessarily. Every month homeowners are wasting a lot of money and over a ten-year lifetime of a water heater, it can add up to thousands of dollars.
Water heating units that are designed to use a heat pump will actually pull the heat from the air. This heat is then processed with a compressor and used to heat the tank contents. This is as close to magic as you can get in the real world. The drawback to heat pump units is the climates that will supply enough warm air year-round. For a 100% heat pump system, you will need to live in a very warm climate.