What is a Hybrid Water Heater? How Does it Work?

Hybrid Water Heater for Adams and Son Plumbing
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What is a Hybrid Water Heater?

Last month we talked about traditional water heaters versus tankless water heaters. Finding the water heater that works best for your home is incredibly important and can be a little confusing, so let’s explore a third option: hybrid water heaters.

What is a hybrid water heater? 

A hybrid water heater, also known as a heat pump water heater, is a heater that combines a traditional water heater and a tankless heater. Similar to how a hybrid car combines mechanical components of a traditional gas engine and an electric engine, a hybrid water heater blends together the mechanics of both traditional and electric water heaters.

How does a hybrid water heater work?

A hybrid water heater moves hot air to the water tank when needed instead of heating the water on demand. When the demand for water is high, a hybrid water heater switches to standard electric heating. These water heaters often come with additional settings which can help you keep the cost of your water bill down or help you prepare for using a large amount of water. See the following demo video from Rheem for a visual.

What are the features of a hybrid water heater?

Hybrid water heaters come with the option to dictate how water is being used. The efficiency/economy setting allows you to save on energy consumption by only using the heat pump to heat water on demand. The electric setting is best for high demand use, but is the least energy efficient option. Additionally, a select few hybrid models come with a vacation timer that allows you to place your unit in a “sleep mode” while you are away and will not be using hot water.

What is the cost of a hybrid water heater?

The upfront cost of a hybrid water heater can be expensive. While there are some budget options on the market, hybrids heaters can cost $2500 per unit before installation costs. However, the energy saving features of a hybrid water heater could save you enough money over time to be worth the initial expense. The government Energy Star program estimates that depending on the size of your family, a hybrid water heater can save you between $1,320 and $5,560 in lifetime savings. Annually, households can save between $160 and $490 with a hybrid heater. To calculate what your specific energy saving for a hybrid water heater will be, check out the Department of Energy’s estimation guide.

Hybrid Water Heater Installation

The Department of Energy advises that hybrid water heaters be installed in a location which will stay between 40 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Because hybrid heaters pull heat from the air, they are well suited for a warm climate such as Florida. Hybrid heaters do not work efficiently in a cool space, and are therefore often installed in a room that already has excess heat, such as a furnace room or garage storage space.

The experts at Adams and Son Plumbing Services will help you with any questions you have on hybrid water heater installation, as well as any other plumbing needs. Contact Adams and Son today for a quote!

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