Best Hybrid Water Heater Reviews 2017

Getting the best rated hybrid water heater is the top priority of people in winters. With the winters approaching at a quick pace, we all are going to need a lot of stuff to keep ourselves warm. We may opt out of the morning walks and go ahead for a late evening gym session instead. Dodge all you can, but dear all, you can’t evade bathing. Hot water is an absolute prerequisite for bathing in winters.  Perhaps, it’s the trickiest task we use water for in winters. To heat water in winters, one absolute necessity is an efficient water heater.

TOP RATED HYBRID WATER HEATERS COMPARISON CHART

  • AO SMITH PHPT-80 RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

  • Dimensions : 24 x 22.8 x 63.8 inches
  • Weight : 355 pounds
  • Wattage : 2000 watt
  • STIEBEL ELTRON ACC300 ACCELERA 300 ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

  • Dimensions : 78.7 x 37.4 x 28.9 inches
  • Weight : 149.9 pounds
  • Wattage : 2250 Watt
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC GEH50DFEJSR HYBRID WATER HEATER

  • Dimensions : 22.5 x 21.8 x 60.8 inches
  • Weight : 185 pounds
  • Wattage : 4500 Watt

BEST HEAT PUMP WATER HEATERS REVIEWS

#1

AO Smith PHPT-80 Residential Electric Water Heater

Best in class, the AO Smith PHPT-80 is highly energy efficient and ensures a continuous supply of water that makes it clearly stand out amongst the cut-throat competition in the market. Being based on the hybrid technology, it allows the functioning using both power sources incredibly effortless. This one is, however, designed to work primarily on the heating pump, it also uses electricity to function but at the most crucial times and only when needed. Since it uses the heat pump option more frequently; the bills are lowered even when you have a high-quality water heater installed to cater to your running hot water requirements.

Specifications

  • Height -7 ft and above in models
  • The first-hour delivery rate of 70 gallons (efficiency mode), 84 gallons-hybrid mode, and 76 gallons-electric mode.
  • Comes with user-friendly LCD display and a removable air filter.
  • 10-years limited warranty.
  • Vacation mode- a feature that prevents freezing of internal equipment.
  • Temperature range- 95-150’ F
  • Child safety lock.
  • Powered anode- an electric element that takes up the negative voltage and ensures the components live long.

PROS:
  • Dual sources of energy provide longer life
  • Lower maintenance required.
  • Boasts of a child lock feature to avoid unforeseen damages that may creep in.
  • Gas operated model, so particularly dehumidify the area and make it more accessible.
  • Freezing damage can be prevented when appliance set to vacation mode.

CONS:
  • Higher noise levels
  • Seven ft high, so need more space for installation.

#2

Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300 Electric Water Heater, 80 Gallon

Coming from Stiebel Eltron, the Accelera 300 has an innovative design that provides proper heating, reducing wastage of energy and money.

Specifications

  • 80-gallon glass-lined storage tank
  • Height- 78.7-inches
  • Anode rod- for corrosion free life and reduced maintenance.
  • Noise levels- 64.2 decibels
  • Top mounted single heating element- reduces chances of mixing hot water with cold water.
  • Condensing coils wrap around the tank heating water by circulating it around this coil.
  • Heating element-1
  • Air filter- Removable type

PROS:
  • Glass insulated tank ensures lower heat loss
  • Highly energy efficient. Noted Consumption of just 1391 KWh a year.
  • Large tank-suffices for larger families.
  • Hybrid variant- dehumidifies the surrounding air

CONS:
  • Not useful for small houses.
  • Due to single heating element recovery is slow.

#3

General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater, 50 Gallon

The GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater from General is both budget friendly and energy efficient. The electric heating element provided works as a backup only and comes into work only when the storage tank starts getting empty.

Specifications:

  • Power consumption: 1830 KWh
  • Noise levels: 55 decibels
  • Heating elements – 2
  • Wi-Fi connectivity makes controlling comfortable from a Smartphone itself.
  • Air filter- Removable type

PROS:
  • Near silent operation
  • Wi-Fi compatibility- Geosprings- make remote operation a possibility.
  • 50-gallon tank- enough for family usage.
  • Easy maintenance
  • Lesser bills with a 3.5 energy rating.

CONS:
  • Longer recovery times
  • 3-4 months into use, serious operations failures have been reported.

TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HYBRID WATER HEATER

Before actually setting out with the infamous pick and choose ritual, here are some pre-requisite that we should have absolute clarity about. When we begin to think of a water heater, the very first thought that comes to our mind is the power consumption factor or better yet, the fuel on which it would work. Breaking into simpler terms, would it be running on gas or electricity? Gas based water heaters are fast seeing their disappearance due to their CFC emission and reduced usage life. In contrast, power based water heaters possess longer life and are environment-friendly too.

Now with superior modernization in technology, hybrid heat pump water heaters are being brought into domestic use. In earlier days, hybridization was an outlandish concept and people weren’t very open to installing equipment in their houses they had little background information about. These water heaters work on two sources of power- heat transfer and electricity.

  • Heat Transfer

For functioning through the process of heat transfer, it works exactly like a refrigerator. Where a refrigerator works to cool things down, a hybrid heat pump water heater absorbs heat from its surrounding atmosphere and applies it for water heating. A specialized heat pump allows the application and at the same time permits the escape of cold air from the tank to further improve the effectiveness of the heating process.

  • Electricity

With electricity being the source of power, resistive elements are provided to cater to heated water quickly. This allows catering to continuous heated water requirements (without storage). Other than the source of power, another reason which allocates these heat pumps the term ‘hybrid’ is the amalgam of a storage tank and non-storage tank type feature. With the introduction of the new hybrid variety, the customer gets to enjoy the benefits of both these at the cost of one. Under the same brand name too. Half the issues sorted!!

  • Fuel Type

Fuel type in water heaters is a significant aspect to consider before purchase. Whether it is electrically run or gas based is a significant deciding factor to lower electricity consumption that suits one’s household, thereby, limiting the electricity bill amounts. Also, in the new generation of decent hybrid water heaters, one can easily connect the existing heater fuel source to the hybrid model and reduce additional costs that would have to be incurred otherwise.

An electrically operated Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater employs electricity to suck up hot air from the surroundings and then utilizes this air to heat up water. Similar principal works with an air-source one. A similar variant, the gas-source operated version, runs exactly on the same principle but uses gas for heating instead. Unlike the previous unhealthy options that were notorious for their harmful emissions and causing severe damage to the health, hybrid models these days use propane or natural gas as the fuel. These are cleaner fuels and leave behind minimal to no background emissions.

Choice of fuel can be made depending upon your specification requirements or from those options available in the market. Electrically operated variants, although, consume electricity and may be harsh on the pocket at times, are available in hybrid and energy efficient versions that are available in the market with ease.

  • Household Size and Type of Use

Need for hot water varies from one household to another. It is dependent upon the headcount per family. It also depends on the number of individuals requiring hot water at one particular time. Whatever the case may be, storage capacity becomes an important factor when you are planning to purchase a new water heater or replace an existing one. The range available in the market varies between 40-80 gallons.

Just like the energy ratings narrow down your choices for good, there is an FHR reading that does a similar job. FHR stands for First Hour Rating. The amount of water that your selected brand of water heater can successfully heat and provide for use within the first hour of operation qualifies it for either final selection or rejection, then and there.

BENEFITS OF USING HEAT PUMP WATER HEATERS

This is the part a majority of you might have searched and looked up for on the internet to be able to quickly weigh the benefits over drawbacks and post which, it is wise to go ahead with purchasing a hybrid heater. The biggest and first issue that needs attention is the cost of a hybrid heater. No doubt, it is quite high. Any common man could easily drop the idea here itself and look for other pocket-friendly options elsewhere. But here’s an aspect that justifies the purchase of a hybrid heater any day. It comes along with energy efficient components that reduce bills and dependable as they are, work beyond their expected life without any repairs. In a suitable heat pump water heater, the tank, and tank-less variants allow usage as per choice.

Click here to learn more about the best tankless water heaters.

Another point that needs due consideration is that, although the hybrid heater is energy efficient, their fuel source is the surrounding air. They suck the heat from the surrounding air making the installation area quite cooler than it was before. This makes the already colder environment even harsher inside the rooms in winters. This drawback could be, however, used to one’s advantage if it could be installed near chimney areas that emit hot air and then you wouldn’t need separate cooling systems anymore. But all this is valid, only if you have a stack room at all, which makes it a drawback disguised as an advantage.

Even when there may exist numerous points of contention, there are still valid reasons why supporting and purchasing a hybrid heater is a better choice than the conventional ones available in the market. We have discussed some of the major one’s here: –

  • They operate on hybrid technology- use either electricity or gas source with the freedom of choosing which one and when.
  • Highly energy efficient results in better utility and perhaps turns out to be less expensive with lower operational costs.
  • The cooling aspect that they provide can eliminate the need for setting up a separate cooling system.
  • It has the capability to heat water quickly.
  • Can cater to constant demands of running hot water without pre-warning or setting a function.
  • Can meet fluctuating demands without putting much load on machinery.
  • Better efficiency means lower maintenance costs and hence, reduced operational costs.
  • Reduces the chances of a cold water sandwich when changing between taps while showering to almost nil. This, in turn, turns bathing into a much pleasurable experience.
  • With two types of fuel source options available, there is much flexibility to choose one according to requirements.

Tips To Install A Hybrid Water Heater

Before setting up a hybrid heat pump and start enjoying its different benefits, there are a few points to take care of. This will not only facilitate your purchase but will also help you on deciding the capacity or size of the heat pump you should finalize.

The operation of a common hybrid water heater is almost identical to that of a refrigerator and with similar components but with a different working principle. The fundamental requirement while installing a top notch hybrid water heater is that of space which should be large enough to accommodate the pump and allow air movement around it. In addition to that, this list follows a few other necessary requirements too.

  • Spacious and an ample room for storage

To easily accommodate a hybrid heat pump, it is recommended to provide a place that has adequate space to install a heat pump and also allow for its successful operation too. Shorter spaces or installing a heat pump mid-corridor, how much spacious it may be, will certainly affect the smooth functioning of the heat pump.

For installing a heat pump, one requires a place that stays warm or has direct contact with sunlight. This way this heat can be used better. The installation site should be at least 700 -800 cubic feet in volume, that’s the length, breadth and height multiplied to get the size of the space or room.

  • Ceiling Height

It becomes quite essential to note down the height requirements as the water heaters available today in markets are tall and need sufficient headroom to be installed correctly and work efficiently. Electric water heaters come in the range of 47 to 55 inches in height and can be easily fit in the regular apartment heights. But gas operated water heaters are taller in height and require more space in elevation. A conventional gas operated water heater has a height of 60-80 inches.

  • Preferred Area Of Installation 

Water heaters are mostly compatible for places that are not frequented regularly. For the kind of sound they produce and the inherent risky operation, they aren’t suited for the living areas of the house. Unless you are comfortable with shouting loudly to get your point through to a family member in another room, secluded zones of your house are most appropriate for such hybrid water heaters.

Since they produce noise levels that go beyond 75-80 decibels, they should be installed in places away from the kids’ bedroom and living room, individually. For installation of the water heater, the basement area or underground cellars, if any, or storage closets/store rooms offer a better option and can be put to use after a little bit of cleaning up.

  • Maintaining High Temperature Throughout

As mentioned earlier too, these hybrid water pumps work on the principals of refrigerators, but in reverse. To be able to extract hot air from surroundings, it becomes vital to supply hot air to the heat pump. This can be facilitated if the room or area that has been chosen for installation receives direct sunlight i.e. remains warm for the part of the year that you require hot water for or maybe the entire year throughout.

Since they operate at temperatures above 350-400 `F temperatures and till 900-950 `F, these heaters require the right amount (read temperature) of hot air to be able to operate and heat the water adequately successfully.

  • Condensate Drain

However complex the term may sound, its meaning can be found in the water cycle we once studied in school. The term condensate refers to the water that the heat pump forms from the hot air that is sucked up from the surroundings initially. This water cannot remain in the pump duct and hence needs an outlet. This outlet is exactly what the condensate drain is. Before fitting a hybrid heat pump, it becomes essential to allow provision for such an outlet to eliminate chances of faults or discomfort to the residents or random maintenance patterns later on.

FINALLY

There was a time people were after showing off their class and status and didn’t bother about the bills that had to be incurred. But with the growing awareness about environment-friendly options and the introduction of the concept of sustainable development, it is becoming more of a trend to bring into use items or appliances that are both environment-friendly and at the same pocket-friendly.

With the advent of the hybrid variety of water heaters and the advantages they offer, there would be increased acceptability of this environment-friendly option. As such we will witness increased numbers of socially aware individuals and would eventually lead to environment improvement.

Top quality heat pump water heaters are beginning to gain in popularity because of the numerous advantages they offer over regular water heaters- both for the Mother Nature and the user. They provide us with a chance to become more energy efficient members of the society, pay lower bills, are introduced to reduced subsequent maintenance procedures and get to enjoy hot water as soon as we open the tap without having to wait even for a few minutes for the water to heat. Now, we have discussed how to buy the most recommended hybrid water heaters and pre-requisites to be fulfilled before installation.

REFERENCES:

1. http://energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-water-heaters

2. https://www.energystar.gov/products/water_heaters/high_efficiency_electric_storage_water_heaters/how_it_works.

3. Read more about heat pump on Wikipedia.

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