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Is a Hybrid Water Heater Right for You?

Hybrid water heaters, also known as heat pump water heaters, are increasingly being installed in homes across the country.

What is a Hybrid Water Heater?

A hybrid water heater has the ability to heat water two different ways. These clever appliances combine the ease of a standard water heater with the energy efficiency of a heat pump. Hybrid water heaters use electricity to move heat instead of creating their own heat like a standard water heater. However, during periods of high hot water use, they automatically switch to standard electric resistance heating, which is what makes them hybrid.

How Does a Hybrid Water Heater Work?

With the help of a heat pump, hybrid water heaters pull heat from the surrounding air into evaporator coils. The evaporator coil contains refrigerant, which allows it to absorb heat from the air and heat the water. A heat exchanger heats the water in the tank to the desired temperature before it heads to your faucets and appliances.

In order to maintain efficiency, hybrid water heaters do not run all the time. During periods of high hot water demand, the water tank fills to meet the demand.

Benefits of a Hybrid Water Heater

Lower Electric Bills

Due to their increased energy efficiency, hybrid water heaters will save you hundreds of dollars on energy bills each year.

Better for the Environment

Heat pumps are more energy efficient than standard hot water heaters, which means they use less electricity (and no natural gas), thus reducing emissions and your carbon footprint.

Tax Incentives and Rebates

For extra savings, make sure to look into current federal and state tax incentives and rebate programs, and rebates offered by Energy Star.

Drawbacks of a Hybrid Water Heater

Higher Upfront Cost

Hybrid water heaters usually cost more than standard water heaters. Keep in mind that you will earn this back through your energy bill savings.


You’ll need at least 1,000 cubic feet in order for there to be enough warm air for a hybrid water heater to function properly.

More Maintenance

Hybrid water heaters require draining and regular filter cleaning, and the heat pump will also require servicing.

If you decide a hybrid water heater is right for you, contact a licensed electrician to install it properly in your home. Soon you’ll be enjoying the savings on your electric bills for years to come!

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