Water Heater Installation and Repair

Advanced Water Heaters

Choosing a water heater is getting to be a little more complicated than in the old days, but it’s worth it because the right choice can save you money. Water heating is a fast changing field. Electric heat pump heaters are getting a lot of attention. Condensing gas tank and tankless heaters are gaining in performance and market share. We need to understand these technologies, when they are appropriate and when they aren’t.

Heat pump water heaters have actually been around for decades, but for various economic and technical reasons never really caught on. Now that energy is expensive both in dollars and other ways, we have stronger reasons to look at utilizing the energy we have, better. The heat pump heater extracts energy from the ambient air around the tank to heat the water. Existing heat pumps perform at a coefficient of performance (COP) of around two, more or less – meaning that one unit of electric energy put into running the heat pump actually generates about two equivalent units of energy in heat. Theoretically it’s possible to get a COP of at least four. Contrast that with resistance heaters which cannot operate at a COP of higher than one.

Heat pump technology heats water much more slowly than electric resistance heating. This means you want a bigger tank and you don’t want multiple large draws, because the unit won’t be able to keep up in heat pump mode alone.

Generally we have three places to install heat pump water heaters. These are the attic, the garage/basement or conditioned space. Although there are plenty of overlapping considerations, each location has it’s own things to bear in mind.




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