50 Gallon Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater - HPSE2K50HD045V
Easy to Install. High Quality Hot Water Heater
Very satisfied with this heat pump hot water heater. Currently operating in efficiency (heat pump only) mode. Within an hour of initial startup I had hot water. Has the added benefit of producing dehumidified cool air in the space where the hot water heater is installed.
Looking forward to the energy savings. With my utility rebate, the payback is two years. Highly recommend to anyone looking to reduce cost and replace an existing electric only HWH!
November 25, 2014
I am plagiarizing my own review I wrote for Lowe's:
This is for the first month of ownership. This seems to be an excellent way to save money on hot water. It takes a lot of electricity to heat water using resistance heat. On the other hand, if you have natural gas, I'd say just buy a replacement gas unit. Supposedly the operating costs for this are lower, but payback time is measured in decades.
This unit does make a bit of noise. When the unit is actively heating water a fan runs to blow room air across the heat exchanger. Louder than a refrigerator, a bit quieter than a window AC.
There were two challenges to installing this to replace our old water heater--weight and height. These units weigh just under 200 pounds and are significantly taller than conventional units. An additional consideration is the unit requires access to a large volume of air--you have to pump the heat from somewhere. I live in central Texas, so we are conditioning room air about 7 months a year. The "waste" cool air is a big plus. Our old water heater was in a utility cabinet. I installed a through the wall vent fan discharging room air just above the water heater to supply room air to the unit's intake. (I installed a line voltage thermostat designed for resistance heaters next to the heat exchanger cool air discharge. I juggled the thermostat set point to turn the fan on when it senses cool air and off once air warms back up after water heater shuts off.)
This is a bit more complex than a conventional resistance heater. In return I get what is almost free hot water in summertime and greatly reduced hot water costs during the rest of the year. You are heating with refrigerant only a few degrees hotter than the set temperature to which you are heating the water. This has to produce much less mineral buildup than the very hot resistance element. [My logic that the hot water in summer is almost free is based on the fact we are air conditioning our living space anyway. Pumping the heat into 120° F water is not as efficient as dumping it into the 95° F (plus) air outside, but otherwise it is the same idea. ]
Controls: A snap. You can readily select target water temperature on the digital display. User chooses the operating mode: heat pump, resistance or hybrid. In hybrid mode the unit chooses between heat pump or resistance. You might choose to go with resistance in cold weather to avoid loading you home's heating system or when you have house guests. Recovery time is longer for heat pump mode.
Sizing: A lot of what I read prior to purchase advocated 80 gallon for heat pump water heaters for a family of four. We're empty nesters and haven't had house guests since I installed this, but based on how little this unit runs, I think 50 gallon is adequate. Modern appliances (washer, dishwasher) use less hot water than older ones. Most everyone has flow restricted showers. If you have someone who takes excessively long showers, all bets are off.
Installation: Other than being taller and heavier than standard units, installation was pretty much what you expect. There are two additional lines to drain for condensate disposal, but this was not a biggie. I considered professional installation. That was not a good idea! The cost for installation came back to be well over the cost of the water heater. I'll speculate this was largely fear of the unknown on part of a plumbing contractor that was not familiar with this type water heater. Electrical was easy and I did all the water lines using CPVC. It was just tough wrestling this thing into position.
Savings: Based on the yellow tags you should save $300 per year or more as compared to a conventional resistance heater. This gives a payback time of less than 3 years. Given our climate, given that the discharge of refrigerated air is a benefit most of the year, our payback time might be less than that. That said, no way I can verify that since our utility bills are driven by the weather. By the way, this unit is more efficient than the competitive GE unit. Unit is very well insulated--I have not noticed it switching on simply to maintain temperature, only when hot water is actually being consumed.
October 14, 2014