What is a Hybrid Water Heater, Sounds cool doesn’t it? A hybrid water heater is also known as a heat pump water heater and is a tank-style heater for your hot water needs inside of your home or business, the difference is, this type of water heater is far more efficient than a standard tank-style heater. It uses the hot air around it by drawing it into the evaporator coil and producing cool air, now instead of expelling the cool air into your fridge, or freezer for example it is blowing it out around the heater. This can make for a great water heater to have in your hot Florida garage and will help the life of your heater being stored in a cool dry place. Not only will you save money on electricity because the heat pump is heating the water, but you will also reap the benefits of the cool air in your garage.
My Garage is Cool & My Water is Hot!
To help simplify how this type of unit works, think about your refrigerator in reverse. Just like a tankless water heater, it is not running all the time, which makes for a real money saver when it comes to pulling electricity, so this is far more efficient than a standard water heater, but also keep in mind it still has a tank with an allowed amount of gallons of hot water so if your home is busy at a certain time you can still run out of hot water. The hybrid heater does still have the standard heating elements and thermostats as a backup, this can come into use during high-demand situations, or if the heat pump was to fail and be awaiting repair, you are not left without hot water, that is why it is called a hybrid. It has the capability to use the heat pump on top during normal operation and when it is being put on a high load and a lot of hot water is demanded it will actually switch over and use the standard heating elements to catch up, but if enough demand is put on the heater it will run out of hot water. Most brands have an away option where the unit will just barely maintain itself while you and your family are on vacation, not thinking or worrying about your water heater at home wasting money.
Hybrid water heaters generally come with a much longer warranty, it is usually around 10 years while a standard unit is only 5 to 6 years. This is because they are more efficient and will have a longer life span. This brings us to the most important question, how much does it cost to switch to a hybrid. Well, unlike the tankless unit you do not have to upgrade your electrical wiring or breaker, it will run and operate off the same electrical wires as your current standard water heater. The plumbing will have to be configured to align with a bottom fed style unit and the expansion tank will have to be installed at the bottom of the unit because that is where the cold inlet is. You will need to make sure your professional, licensed plumber installs a vacuum breaker due to the bottom-fed cold water. You will need to discuss with your installer that the location of your current unit is sufficient for your new hybrid water heater, they require a more open room, so your garage would be perfect, if you have a small pantry or laundry room that your hybrid water heater might go into this can create issues with the heat pump and the computer in your hybrid will begin to issue error codes, there are solutions to this problem, ask your licensed plumber about a vent extension, this is where the air inlet and outlet can be piped up to your attic, causing hot air to be drawn from your attic and cool air blown in. This will allow you to put your hybrid anywhere you want and still reap all the benefits of the unit, and make sure you don’t have complications later. The last thing to think about when switching over to a hybrid is there will be a condensation line installed, this will require a safe, legal place to tie this piping into, be sure to discuss this with your plumber as it can not just tie into any sewer lines. Reach out via our Get Quote form to get your free estimate today!