I live in Florida and was introduced to the concept of HPWH by the guy who replaced my kitchen sink faucet. It seems that, since my water heater is in my garage, that it would be a good idea to have one installed. My preliminary investigation seems to promise at least 50% energy savings and the fact that it will substantially cool my garage during the summer. Which is most of the year here. As well there will be a substantial rebate for the installation.
My present water heater is fine, but nearing the end of its theoretical life span. Anyone here have any experience with this type of unit?
Yes sir… I live up here in PA, and this is the model we have been using since 2013, ours is a 50 gallon. Its installed in the basement next to our furnace. Cools and dehumidifies the entire basement in the summer, and all year it uses the heat from the air to warm the water. The area where its installed next to the furnace warms up to 80f in the winter, so it actually works even better in the winter for us.
Back in 2013 there were rebates if I recall, I think they were around $600 cash back, it might have been Federal, I forget.
When we switched from an oil water heater to this hybrid we noticed a $20 a month power usage increase. But we use no fuel oil to heat the water now, so it was a huge savings. :)
Bought ours from Lowes, along with the 9 year extended warranty which was an extra $100, and we already was used it once. The fan that pulls air through the evaporator coil went bad in year 2.
The warranty that comes with the unit is only for parts and not for service, so the Lowes portion of the warranty covers the technician coming out. The guy that came out was certified GE, in a GE truck with nice GE uniform, so no shoemaker technician.
Any other questions just ask. I can take pictures of it in the basement if you want. :p
That’s the one I’ve been looking at. The GE. Thanks for the info.
If you have natural gas service, you might weigh the pros and cons of a tankless heater vs the heat pump. Consumer Reports link
They’re definitely worth considering, but FWIW my experience with tankless (in a couple different homes) has been that you have to run the water for a little bit in order to get it hot, which is annoying. These were models that were installed several years ago, and it sounds like new ones may have ways of addressing that. But it’s something to be wary of.
I installed a tankless water heater a few years ago. Is it instant hot water? No, it takes a few seconds to get the hot water from the tankless to the faucet. That is it. The upside is a constant and continuous flow of hot water. The only way to run out of hot water is to run out of water completely. There are no fluctuations in the heat level of the water either. You can take a 30 minute shower if you choose and the temp when you finish will be exactly the same as when you started. Also since you are not constantly heating water the energy costs are far less than a conventional heater. Finally you do not have a 50 tank of water waiting for the bottom to fail and flood your basement.
A slight delay in getting hot water is ridiculously minor compared to the benefits. I will say that I avoided one of the major costs of a tankless, and thats the installation costs. My brother in law is a contractor and he helped me install mine. In the end I purchased mine on sale and with installation materials it cost me just about a $1000 to put in. I love my tankless and would never go back.
Hell, I’ve got a standard tank washer heater and I don’t get anything remotely close to instant heat. Probably a ten second wait, depending which faucet we’re talking about.
The wait for hot water is almost completely due to the length of pipe between the heater and the faucet. A 1-story, no basement house with the water heater 50’ away will always have a longer wait compared to one where the heater is in the basement right under the kitchen and bathrooms.
Unless you live in Florida and your pipes run through the attic… In the summer, my in-laws get very hot water right away, from both taps :)
You seem like you really know your stuff. New homeowner here over in Illinois so we get a dry winter and humid summer. Our under the slab crawl space seems damp do you think this unit placed next to a furnace like your rig could help regulate that?
Not entirely true. You can outstrip the supply of hot water the heater can provide by turning on too many things (but, yeah, providing the unit is sized correctly for the job and the owner knows what the capacity is).
In addition to the length of the run, there is a short startup time for a tankless. As noted above, they don’t run all the time. When you start the hot water running, it senses the demand and starts to go, but it takes a few seconds. One thing this can do is create a hot water “sandwich” of hot water with cold in the middle by running hot water, stopping it for a moment, then turning it on again (or turning on a different one).
When we redid our master bath a few years ago, we put in a tankless that only feeds the showerheads and the soaking tub in that bathroom, so you can fill the tub or shower as long as you like without ever running out of hot water, even if you are washing dishes or someone is showering elsewhere in the house.
I am pretty sure this has to be installed upright, also they said there should be at least 4 feet on all side of the unit so it can circulate air , along with access if repairs are needed.
So interestingly this device was discontinued in fall of 2016. I just found out now, via random internet searching.
They work great, but people didn’t want to pay the upfront extra cost. :(
Perhaps they mostly just lost the marketing battle with tankless on-demand water heaters. Not sure where to find reliable sales figures on that, but I did find this xkcd graph: