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The Pros and Cons of Heat Pump Water Heaters

Are you considering getting heat pump water heaters for your residence? If your water heater needs repair or even a replacement, then you may have seen heat pump water heaters as one of the many options available for you and your home.

Heat pumps have been in use since they were invented in the 1940s. While they rose to popularity in the 1970s, many homes still rely on traditional electric or gas heaters to get hot water. That’s why we put together this complete guide on heat pump water heaters and all you need to know about them when making this decision. 

All About Heat Pump Water Heaters

How it Works

Many homeowners may overlook the importance of a good water heater and the surprisingly high price tag of having hot water. The average family spends $400 to $600 a year on the luxury of having hot showers and warm water. This price is partly because conventional water heaters are famously inefficient; they can account for up to 20 percent of your entire utility bill. That’s why many homeowners are switching to heat pump water heaters and other energy-efficient options.

Before deciding on a heat pump water heater, you should know how they work. While most water heaters rely on gas or electricity to generate heat, heat pump water heaters are different – in fact, these pumps don’t generate any heat directly. Instead, they pull heat in from the air, which is then delivered to the unit’s storage tank. This process is how refrigerators work, but heat pump water heaters do the reverse while a fridge expels hot air. Because they’re pulling in hot air, this makes them ideal for primarily warm climates like Louisiana!

The Pros and Cons

Pro: Heat Pump Water Heaters Are More Efficient

Since they can draw from the heat in the air, these water heaters do not have to work to generate new heat. Instead, this heat comes from anywhere in the air, even the waste heat from a nearby furnace. Because of this, they are incredibly energy efficient compared to traditional models, which means they can save you several hundred dollars on energy bills each year, and they’re long-lasting –  a good, well-maintained heater can last between ten to fifteen years. 

Con: Greater Up Front Expenses

These water heaters can cost up to twice as much as other models, which can be a setback for those working on a tight budget. The cost can range from around $2,100 to $3,300 upfront, not including installation. While these heaters can still save you money over time with annual energy costs, the initial price is enough to push it out of some buyer’s budgets.

Pro: Environmentally and Family Friendly

Since they don’t generate heat, gas leaks and toxic emissions are non-existent from heat pump water heaters. Plus, the unit itself doesn’t get too hot outside, making it a safer option for families with pets or kids.

Research has shown that if all residential electric water heaters were replaced with heat pump water heaters, the energy cost savings would jump to $12 billion annually, and 140 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented annually. That’s the equivalent of emissions from 13 million vehicles, which is more than the entire population of Los Angeles.

Con: Can Be Difficult in Cold Climates

Heat pump water heaters draw from the air, so when there’s plenty of warm air (say, in the summer months), there’s no problem. However, this can take more time during colder winter months. Unless it’s a hybrid model that includes electric options, you have to give it time for your pump model to recover. However, this isn’t as much of a problem in subtropical climates like the American South, where plenty of warm air is nearly year-round.

Other Options

The tankless water heater is an increasingly popular choice for those who want energy efficiency without the high upfront cost. The tankless water heater doesn’t store heated water in a large tank like most options – instead, it heats water just as needed, so it’s available only on demand. 

The benefits of a tankless water heater are that the smaller units require less storage and improved energy efficiency, so you save money on your energy bills. This option is ideal for a smaller home or space or smaller families who don’t need hot water as often.

When To Get A New Heater

Water heaters are an essential part of your home’s comfort system. If your heater is acting up, you should work quickly. Goodbee Plumbing will always give honest advice on whether you need a new water heater or can repair yours. There are many signs that you may need a new heater, including if:

  1. Your heater is more than ten years old
  2. You are missing hot water
  3. Hot water runs out quickly
  4. Water has a metallic smell or taste
  5. The temperatures are drastically different – too hot or too cold
  6. The water is rust-colored
  7. Strange noises, including popping, cracks, or banging sounds
  8. Water is leaking from the tank

Make sure to pay attention to your water heater because if there is an issue, you have to act fast to prevent a crisis.

Get a Water Heater That’s Right For You

If you’re experiencing issues with your water heater and think you may need a repair or replacement, you can trust the highly-trained team at Goodbee Plumbing. We offer many water heater services and are happy to consult with you about the right option for you and your family. 

Goodbee Plumbing is a family-owned and locally-operated company with more than 25 years of experience – an experience that we wouldn’t be able to have if we didn’t offer complete customer satisfaction. 

For more information, reach out to Goodbee Plumbing today!

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