What is a Hybrid Water Heater? Your 2022 Homeowners Guide

What is a Hybrid Water Heater? Your 2022 Homeowners Guide | Phyxter Home Services

What is a hybrid water heater, you ask? A hybrid water heater is just another name for a heat pump water heater.

It’s called a hybrid as it takes everything we love about a water heater (apart from the tank) and combines it with the energy efficiency benefits of a heat pump.

If you live in the warmer parts of the US and some parts of Canada, and most of your appliances are electric and not powered by gas, a hybrid water heater might be the perfect solution for your hot water needs.

Here’s what you need to know about hybrid water heaters so you can make an informed decision for yourself and your family.

⭐ How Does a Hybrid Water Heater Work?

Hybrid Water Heater Schematic
Hybrid Water Heater Schematic

A hybrid water heater functions the same as a heat pump. Heat pumps transfer heat from one area to another via refrigerant and is highly energy efficient.

To understand how a heat pump works in more detail, you should check out this article: How Does a Heat Pump Work?

In the case of a water heater, the energy-efficient heat pump takes the heat from the surrounding hot air and transfers it to a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger heats water to your desired temperature before moving it into a heater tank ready for use.

Though when the demand for hot water is high, it uses electric resistance heating to ensure the flow of water.

A heat pump water heater works the same as a tankless water heater. It only runs when you turn on a water tap. This makes it much more efficient than a standard electric water heater.

During excessive use, the water tank will fill with hot water to ensure you don’t run out. It’s a great idea if you have a house full of teenagers.

According to the US Department of Energy, water heating (1) is the second-largest expense in an average US residential home. This equates to 14 – 18% of their utility bill on heating water.

⭐ Advantages of a Heat Pump Water Heater

Hybrid Water Heaters being tested at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
CC Image by oakridgelabnews via Flickr.

✔️ Heat Pump Water Heaters are Highly Energy Efficient

However, they don’t produce heat energy; they only transfer it. Under the right conditions, a heat pump can transfer more than 300% more energy (2) than it consumes.

The additional heating also uses electricity which is 100% efficient. Making the hybrid package very attractive for those in warmer climates who want to be more environmentally conscious and save money, of course!

✔️ Reliability

Hybrid water heaters are built to last and, in some cases, can last more than twice as long as a traditional water heater with proper maintenance.

This helps with the disadvantage of high upfront costs by saving you money over the long run. Most manufacturers also give generous warranty packages.

✔️ Easy Installation

If you are upgrading your current standard water heater to a hybrid water heater and you already have electricity in your home, it’s an easy installation.

You don’t need anything extra to handle the demands of this type of water heater.

⭐ Disadvantages of Heat Pump Water Heaters

❌ Upfront Cost

The cost of a new heat pump water heater can be more expensive than traditional water heaters.

Generally, a hybrid water heater will set you back approximately $2500 USD (3) with installation.

However, since it’s more efficient than its counterparts, you save that money and more over the water heater’s lifetime.

❌ Increased Size

The size of a hybrid water heater takes up more space than a traditional water heater or a tankless water heater.

If space is a problem for you, tankless water heaters would be a better option.

You also need at least 1000 cubic feet (28.3 cubic meters) of open-air space around your heat pump water heater.

Before installation, double-check the dimensions of the hybrid water heater you want and the final installation area.

❌ Performance Based on Location

Hybrid hot water heaters work best in a warm climate where the temperature range is typically 40°F – 90°F year-round. That’s 4.4°C to 32.2°C for our Canadian friends. 

An ideal spot for a location is a basement near a furnace where it’s nice and warm in winter.

❌ Not Running in Hybrid Mode

The heat pump function is part of what makes a hybrid water heater an attractive money-saving option.

Though if it’s not set correctly during installation, it will consume more electricity to heat the water since it’s acting more like a traditional gas water heater.

⭐ Conclusion

Hopefully, we helped you decide what type of hot water heater is best for your home if you are in the market for a new hybrid water heater.

Talk to your local plumber and see what deals they can give you on a new water heater.

Your average water heater lasts 10 – 15 years and can leave a big mess if it fails. So do your research and find the one best suited to your home and your family’s needs.

If you live in the North or Central Okanagan region, give Phyxter Home Services a call. Phyxter provides a range of residential plumbing services.

We specialize in helping homeowners get the best efficiency out of their homes, and we do it while providing the best customer service experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Russell Jones

VP of Operations @ Phyxter and Home Improvement Specialist

About our blog

Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

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