Hot water is something a lot of households take for granted, but people definitely notice when it isn’t on tap, as is expected. According to Consumer Affairs, a water heater is one of the most inefficient appliances in a home, and the government program Energy Star notes that these appliances are the “second highest source of energy usage in the home.” This means that a lot of energy, and money, is being wasted every day by a machine most people don’t even bother to check or service until something goes wrong.
For households on the lookout for a solution, heat pump water heaters may be the answer. Heat pumps, that act as furnaces and air conditioners, are known for their efficiency and low running cost, and heat pump water heaters run on that same technology. The appliance takes in air through the vents at the top and then pulls the air through fins on evaporator, a radiator-like device. The air then heats the refrigerant that is stored in the evaporator. The refrigerant collects and condenses the heat. Once the refrigerant is hot, it travels down the coiled pipe that is inside the water heater. This heats the water stored inside the tank, and the now-cooled refrigerant goes back to the evaporator to be heated again. Linked here is a YouTube video, posted by Chris Savage, that explains the process with the help of a diagram.
This technique of heating water “can use up to 63% less energy than traditional water heaters”, explains Sarah Widder of DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This is because heat pump water heaters are only moving heat from one place to another, and not creating their own (Trout).
While heat pump water heaters are incredibly efficient, they also come with a higher price tag. This initial increase in price is offset, however, by the savings, which are estimated to be around $330 for a four-person household, and by the longer life span that heat pump water heaters have over the traditional version (Trout).
Orange County REMC offers a way to make these money-saving appliances much more affordable with a $500 rebate offered when a member purchases a heat pump water heater with at least a 40-gallon tank.
By investing in a heat pump water heater, households can see savings on their monthly energy bills, rebated cost on the purchase of the appliance, and a longer-lifespan for a unthought of, but not unappreciated, household necessity.
Learn more about the rebate program by clicking here, or by calling (812) 865-2229 or toll free (888) 337-5900.
Energy Star. Heat Pump Water Heaters. 2018. <https://www.energystar.gov/products/water_heaters/heat_pump_water_heaters>.
Trout, Jonathon. “Are heat pump water heaters worth the cost?” 1 June 2018.Consumer Affairs.<https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/heat-pump-water-heater-value.html>.