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Heat Pump Water Heaters

Energy bills painfully high? Your hot water heater might be the culprit. Hot water heaters that use electricity, fuel oil, or propane can be costly to run. Cold showers are one option, but there is a far less uncomfortable solution to reducing water heating costs: a heat pump hot water heater.

Heat pump water heaters use a small amount of electricity to move heat from the surrounding air to the water. And since it's more efficient to move heat rather than generate it, the heat pump water heater can deliver hot water up to two and a half times more efficiently than a common electric resistance water heater.

A heat pump water heater's primary heating mechanism is a vapor compression cycle (like those in a refrigerator or air conditioner, but operating in reverse) that transfers heat from the surrounding air to the water stored in the tank. Auxiliary electric resistance elements are also included for reliability and quicker recovery. Most current heat pump water heaters are truly hybrids: they integrate a heat pump and electric resistance element(s) into a single storage tank.

Heat pump water heaters are a cost-effective method of reducing energy use for heating water, especially when compared to the energy use of common electric resistance water heaters. Traditional electric resistance water heaters are inefficient and expensive to operate, whereas heat pump water heaters have efficiencies and operating costs similar to natural gas storage water heaters, making them an excellent choice for homeowners who currently use electric resistance, fuel oil, or propane to heat their water.

Although savings will vary depending on your climate zone, your local electricity cost, and your family's hot water usage, a family of four can expect to save between $40 and $270 per year, while a family of six can potentially save between $80 and $570 per year. It is not uncommon for heat pump water heaters to pay for themselves in three to four years, with the savings continuing for ten years or more.

Keeping costs low is a priority for most of us these days. Saving money without sacrificing comfort is ideal. By switching to a heat pump water heater, you can substantially cut your costs and keep those showers nice and hot.

Note: the preceding includes excerpts from the Heat Pump Water Heaters website. For more information, please visit www.barateam.org/hpwh.

 
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