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Choosing the Best Hybrid (Heat Pump) Water Heater – 2017 Reviews

All water heaters, regardless of how great and effective they are, eventually outlive their usefulness. So, needless to say, when your current water heater reaches the end of its life expectancy, you’re left with the task of finding a replacement.

Water heaters are vital appliances that provide all sorts of conveniences that range from giving you the joy of using hot water, to quickly washing greasy dinner dishes, to enjoying a relaxing hot bath at the end of a long and tiring day. Therefore, finding a water heater replacement is a major responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Luckily for you, this guide brings your attention to what’s arguably the best type of water heater around: the Hybrid Heat Pump model. With this type of water heater as your go-to replacement option when your old unit gives out, you can be sure that you’re making a smart choice.

Top 4 Hybrid & Highly Efficient Water Heaters

In the next part of this guide, we’ll take a look at 4 super cost-effective and pretty popular highly efficient water heaters to help you get started on your hunt for the best model for your needs.

#1 – Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 Water Heater Review

If you’re currently shopping for an 80-gallon water heater, the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 will definitely make a good buy. It comes highly recommended by users and experts alike. It’s also durable, reliable, efficient, customizable, and a big money saver.

The Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 has been featured as one of the best options in several ‘10 best 80-gallon water heaters lists’, so you can be sure you are making a worthwhile investment. Here’s a quick guide on everything you need to know about this amazing water heater.

Westinghouse WER040C2X045

Promises a Lifetime of Hot Water

Durability is a top priority for those shopping for water heaters, and you will be happy to know that the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 meets that demand exceptionally well through a promise of lifelong service.

Built to last, this water heater features a stainless steel tank, which is laster welded and has both anti corrosion as well as anti-rust properties. Even if gallons of water go in and out of the heater each day, the tank will still retain its beautiful sleek look.

The Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 is also fitted with stainless steel incoloy elements, which have a low watt density that reduces chances of element burn out. So, you can be sure that it will provide your home with hot water for years to come. And should the water heater malfunction for whatever reason, there is a lifetime warranty.

Minimizes Standby Heat Losses

The Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 also features an energy efficient design. It will provide you with an endless supply of hot water (for as long as power lasts), but without consuming large amounts of energy. The water heater combines a 98% thermal efficiency with built-in insulation and an energy-saving design to minimize loss of heat during those times when hot water is not being used.

Measuring 2” thick, the tank’s insulation significantly slows down heat loss. Cleverly designed, the dip tube directs cold incoming water to the heating element near the bottom of the tank. This prevents cold and hot water from mixing, which would lead to temperature fluctuations at hot water fixtures. Thanks to these features, you can get hot water whenever you want without having to pay hefty electricity bills.

Delivers Hot Water by the Gallons

Any water heater buying guide will advise you to go for a model with a high First Hour Rating (FHR) You probably don’t want to run out of hot water in the middle of a shower. Well, with a first hour delivery of 84 gallons, the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 offers one of the highest FHR figures in the market. This amount of hot water is more than enough to adequately cater to the hot water needs of a household with 3-5 people. One user even claims that the heater’s FHR is enough to supply hot water to two dishwashers, two washing machines, and four showers at the same time!

Offers a Good Temperature Range

Aside from ensuring there is an unlimited supply of hot water whenever you want it, the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 also gives you the freedom of deciding just how hot you want that water to be. The electric water heater features an adjustable thermostat with a temperature range of 110 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you can adjust water temperature to your liking whenever you want.

High Recovery Rate

The Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 has a nice recovery rate of 20 gallon per hour at 90-degree rise which will ensure a continuous supply of hot water. With this high recovery rate, several people can take hot showers in quick succession without having to wait for water to heat up as is the case with other conventional heaters.

Accessories

  • User guide

Dimensions

The Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 measures 23.25 x 69 x 23.25 inches.

Pros

  • Easy to install. Comes with good instructions.
  • Perfect for large homes
  • Offers unbeatable reliability
  • Heats up water fast
  • The unit’s design includes protection against overheating
  • Does not require much maintenance
  • Despite being tall, the water heater has a slim design that will easily fit into narrow spaces
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Requires a storage area that is at least 6ft high

Westinghouse WER040C2X045-22

Consumer Ratings (4.4 out of 5 stars)

Aside from a few complaints about leaks, the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 has nothing but positive reviews from its users. According to the many satisfied users, the water heater is easy to install, works really well, delivers hot water at a nice flow, and recovers quite quickly.

Summary

The quality of the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 is compelling. Not only is the water heater large enough to serve a whole household, but it is also long lasting, energy efficient, and provides a steady supply of hot water. And to top it all, it has a lifetime warranty with online registration. So, if you have a few extra hundred dollars to spare, go for the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045. It could very well be the best water heating purchase you will ever make.

More reviews and latest deals here!

 

#2 – AO Smith PHPT-80 Residential Electric Water Heater Review

If you’re looking for the best in hybrid water heating, the AO Smith PHPT-80 residential electric water heater makes a great fit. It offers everything you would expect in a hybrid water heater plus more.

ao smith phpt-80

Best Features

With energy efficiency and a continuous supply of hot water being the two main selling points of hybrid water heaters, the AO Smith PHPT-80 ensures you enjoy both benefits in spades. It features an innovative design with a high capacity storage tank that ensures the unit runs on the heating pump most of the time. The backup electric elements only kick in when absolutely necessary. So, since the heating pump operates more frequently than the heating elements, you get to cut down on your monthly water-heating bill by up 65% when using this water heater. Additionally, this water heater’s design also helps cut down on operation cost, which means more savings for you.

When it comes to ensuring a continuous stream of hot water, very few water heaters can compete with the AO Smith PHPT-80. This unit is fitted with remarkable power that enables it to provide 4.5 hot showers all at once and at full heat. What’s more, the unit provides up to 142 gallons of hot water before it starts cooling down. This amount is capable of meeting the hot water demand of most homes even during times of when multiple fixtures run simultaneously.

The AO Smith PHPT-80 does not stop there. It also features:

  • Durable Tank

Made of steel, this water heater’s tank has a permaglas coating. The coating helps protect it from rust and other environmental factors that may cause it to deteriorate at an accelerated rate. Included also is a maintenance free powered anode that guards against corrosion, and hence further maximizing the tank’s lifespan.

  • Adjustable Operation

Thanks to multiple operating modes (efficiency, hybrid, vacation, and electric), you can adjust the unit’s performance to suit your heating requirements or current environmental conditions. Selecting the various modes of operation is made easy by an electric control module (with LCD display), which is designed for easy interaction. The included LCD indicates the mode, set point, heat pump on, elements on, level of efficiency, and whether the control panel is locked or not. Therefore, you’ll have a clear indication of what’s going on with your water heater at all times.

 

Pros

  • Highly efficient and even delivers more savings than some hybrid water heaters.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Allows you to set water temperature over a range of 95-1500F and has a child resistant temperature set point safety lock.
  • Provides a good user experience through a user-friendly LCD display and a removable air filter that is easy to clean.
  • Features long-lasting components that promise a long life.
  • Dehumidifies your home environment which is a great benefit for hot regions.
  • With a first hour delivery rate of 70 gallons in efficiency mode, 84 gallons in hybrid mode, and 76 gallons in electric mode, the water heater is perfect for large homes.
  • Protects components from freezing damage when set in vacation mode.
  • The included powered anode ensures that the tank performs optimally for at least a decade.
  • Comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

 

Cons

  • The unit is quite noisy during operation.
  • Measures over 7 ft and may therefore it may not fit in some homes.

phpt80

Everything about the AO Smith PHPT-80 residential electric water heater from its high-capacity tank down to its long-lasting incoloy heating elements is high-grade. Therefore, you can be sure that it will outperform your current heating system.

More reviews and latest deals here!

 

#3 – Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300 Electric Water Heater, 80 Gallon Review 

The Accelera 300 from Stiebel Eltron is a high-end electrical heat pump water heater from a reliable brand. The manufacturer is confident about this unit so much so that buyers get a 10-year warranty as long as installation is done by a licensed professional. As far as features are concerned, keep reading to learn more in the following Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300 Electric Water Heater review.

stiebel accelera 300

 

Key Features

Just like the AO Smith PHPT-80, the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300 features an innovative design that enables you to save a ton of money in the long run. As with all Stiebel Eltron heat pump water heaters, the Accelera 300 is designed to rely more on the heat pump than the backup electric heating element. The pump extracts 80% of the heat needed to raise water temperature by drawing thermal energy in ambient air. Additionally, as part of its innovative design, the Accelera 300 features a condensing coil that wraps around the tank. This in unlike other water heater models which heat up water by circulating it around a condensed coil. This unique heat transfer method of the Accelera 300 heats water fast thereby saving on energy. These efficiency features combined enable you to reduce your water heating costs by up to 80%.

Other notable features of the Accelera 300 include:

  • 80-Gallon Storage Tank

According to Stiebel Eltron, the 80-gallon tank on their Accelera 300 allows up to five people to take a hot shower lasting 10 minutes all at the same time. The electric heating element kicks in during times of heavy demand for hot water. Stiebel Eltron did not skimp on insulation either. The storage tank is well insulated with closed cell-foam to keep stored water hot for longer.

  • Sacrificial Anode Rod

The Accelera 300 features a glass-lined tank for long life. In addition, the tank comes equipped with an anode rod for maintenance free corrosion protection.

  • Top Mounted Single Heating Element

Unlike traditional storage-tank water heaters, the Accelera 300 features a top mounted single heating element. In this kind of configuration, the cold-water inlet remains at the bottom of the tank while the hot water outlet at the top section helps to promote the heat pump’s efficiency.

When running, this heat pump water heater produces about 64.2 decibels of noise. It’s neither too loud nor quiet. If installed in a basement, you’ll hardly hear it over normal background noise in the house.

 

Pros

  • The large storage tank provides enough hot water for large families or serves multiple fixtures simultaneously.
  • Very energy efficient, with an expected consumption of just 1391 KWh per annum.
  • Insulated storage tank helps to reduce standby heat losses.
  • Cools and dehumidifies the air around it.

 

Cons

  • This unit is not ideal for small or squeezed houses. It stands at 78.7-inches tall. Stiebel Eltron recommends the installation room must be at least 10’ x 10’ x 8’ in size.
  • Due to the single heating element, recovery is rather slow.

More reviews and latest deals here!

 

#4 – General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater, 50 Gallon Review

For those in search of a good, low-budget heat pump water heater, the General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater is worth looking into. This GeoSpring works pretty much like a standard hybrid (heat pump and electric) water heater. It operates by drawing in ambient heat from the surrounding using the built in compressor, evaporator, and two variable-speed fans. Heat transfer coils wrap around the tank from the top all the way to the bottom. The electric heating elements get involved only when hot water stars to run out.

GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water HeaterGEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater2

 

Top Features

The GEH50DFEJSR GeoSpring hybrid water heater comes with a 50-gallon tank. Therefore, this unit is ideal for a two-to-three-and-a-half-bath house. Its first hour rating is 65 gallons, which is quite good considering the tank capacity it has.

Like most hybrid units that heat water using ambient temperature, this model is designed to bring down your energy bill. According to the manufacturer, the GEH50DFEJSR GeoSpring hybrid water heater can save the average 2-4 person household anywhere between $160 and $300 every year. The unit itself is estimated to consume about 1830 KWh per annum.

Other features to expect from this hybrid water heater include:

  • Quiet Heat Pump

Of all hybrid water heaters suggested in this guide, the GEH50DFEJSR model from GeoSpring has the quietest heat pump. It produces only 55DB (decibels) of noise, so you won’t have to put up with unbearable vibrations as this unit runs.

  • Two 4,500-Watt Electric Heating Elements

Unlike Stiebel Eltron’s Accelera 300, GeoSpring’s GEH50DFEJSR hybrid water heater has two electric heating elements. This speeds up the recovery time during high demand but keep in mind that having two heating elements equals high power draw. On the plus side, this unit primarily depends on the heat pump to draw in ambient heat from the surroundings.

  • Compatible with GE-WiFi ConnectPlus

Buyers looking for fancy features in a water heating system will be glad to know that this model uses GeoSpring’s “Appliance Connectivity Module” that connects through a home WiFi. When you use the ConnectPlus module/app, you can control and monitor your water heater directly from a Smartphone.

  • Electronic Controls

Operating the GeoSprings GEH50DFEJSR hybrid water heater is quite easy thanks to its intuitive digital controls. You can easily set water temperature for optimal energy savings performance. There are up to four operating modules, including a special vacation setting.

  • Removable Air Filter

GeoSprings equipped this hybrid heater with an air filter that protects the evaporator and fans from accumulating too much dirt and dust. When the filter needs cleaning, a red indicator light comes on and an audible beep will sound. The filter comes off for easy cleaning.

 

Pros

  • With a 3.5 Energy Factor, this hybrid heater is designed to help you cut back on your power bills.
  • Compatible with the GeoSprings app that allows for remote operation.
  • The large 50-gal tank makes this model a whole house water heater.
  • Quiet during operation.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

 

Cons

  • Based on user reviews, the GeoSprings GEH50DFEJSR has high failure rates after several years or months of use. It is therefore recommended to purchase this item from a vendor that offers extended warranty protection. More importantly, follow the maintenance guidelines in your manual and the unit should last for years with few problems.

Recovery times can take up to several hours depending on ambient air temperature. However, the entire family can wake up to a tank full of hot water when this unit is installed a warm room such as the basement.

More reviews and latest deals here!

 

What It Is and How It Works

The great thing about hybrid heat pump water heaters is that they produce more than twice as much hot water for every unit of electricity consumed as any other type of electric water heater. So, as far as energy efficiency is concerned, these water heaters take the lead over other models.

A hybrid heat pump water heater can best be described as a water heater, which has some features of both storage and tankless designs, and a unique water heating system. The water heater works like refrigerators, but in reverse.

Whereas refrigerators transfer heat from inside the fridge to the room where the appliance is located, these water heaters use a heat pump (a device that delivers heat through a compressor) to transfer heat from the room to a tank of water. As heat is drawn into the tank, the cooler air inside is blown out causing the water to heat up. The heat pump also features resistance elements that come into play during high demands for hot water (or when certain conditions will not permit the heat pump to function properly). Hence, the term “hybrid” since these water heater types feature 2 heating methods. They’re also called hybrid because they possess a mixture of tank and tankless features. For example, they allow for multiple simultaneous use like storage models and produce hot water whenever needed like tankless designs.

heat pump

 

Fuel Types of Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

The beauty of hybrid heat pump water heaters is that they can be electrically powered or gas-fired by either propane or natural gas. Some high-end models even use the “surrounding air” as their fuel source. Therefore, you can use the default water-heater fuel source available in your home when installing these hybrid models. Choosing to install another type of fuel usually means more installation costs.

Electric units use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air and direct it into the water heater, while air-source units take the free and natural heat from within and outside the home and convert it to usable heat which is then directed to a water tank. Gas-fired units, on the other hand, use a modulating infrared burner that is triggered by a thermostat or water-flow. When triggered, the burner drives heat through pipes to a water tank.

All models come with their own specific set of benefits. For instance, air-source units do not require any fuel. On the other hand, electric models come with different operation modes (efficiency, hybrid, electric, and vacation settings) that allow you several benefits such as maximizing energy efficiency and adjusting heater performance to match hot water demands. Therefore, the best hybrid water heater for your home comes down to your specific needs and personal preference.

 

Common Household Sizes and Uses

Hybrid heat pump water heaters can be used for just about anything from providing hot water for showering and bathing, to dishwashing and laundry. The hot water usage in your home plus the size of your family plays a huge role in determining the water heater size you’ll need. Basically, hybrid heat pump water heaters come in various sizes ranging from 40 to 80 gallons or more. Typically, the larger your family, the larger the water capacity needed.

It’s also advisable to look at a water heater’s First Hour Rating (FHR) when comparing sizes. Given in gallons, FHR basically indicates the amount of hot water a hybrid heat pump heater can deliver reliably in a set amount of time. The water heater you buy should have a FHR that’s higher than the amount of hot water needed in your home during peak use times.

 

Pros and Cons

The biggest downside to hybrid heat pump water heaters is the initial upfront cost. These models are 3 to 4 times more expensive than standard natural gas and electric resistance water heaters. The upside, however, is that you can recover the hefty upfront cost with time since hybrid heat pump water heaters use the least amount of energy and therefore end up saving you tons of money on utility bills in the long term.

Another downside is the fact that hybrid heat pump water heaters can be quite a menace during the winter season. Since these models use ambient temperature as the fuel source, they can suck out much of the hot air in their immediate surroundings. This will leave your home chilly, forcing the heating system to work at overdrive and therefore consume more electricity. However, you can avoid such a scenario by installing the water heater in spaces with excess heat (e.g. a furnace room).

Hybrid heat pump water heaters also make more noise than other water heaters, require careful installation to avoid blocking the intake and outflow area, and have a filter that needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure optimum performance.

Cons aside, these water heaters have several pros that make them a great buy. They:

  • Are highly energy efficient.
  • Can dehumidify and cool the air inside your home during summer.
  • Provide a continuous flow of hot water on demand.
  • Save on fuel during low-flow situations by adapting minimum fixed fuel usage.
  • Allow households to use more than one hot water fixture at the same time.
  • Deliver a steady flow of water even during simultaneous multiple use.
  • Heat up water quickly.
  • Allow for water to be delivered with even tiny loads.
  • Eliminate the annoying “cold water sandwich” issue of tankless water heaters where you can get a sudden shot of cold water when showering.

 

Basic Installation Requirements

To be able to install a hybrid heat pump water heater in your home, you must meet the following requirements.

  • A Large Storage Room

The performance of hybrid heat pump water heaters is drastically affected by small spaces. Tiny spaces prevent proper airflow around the unit thus resulting in a drop in performance. So, to ensure optimum performance you’ll need a large room to store your water heater. Most hybrid heat pump water heater manufactures specific that the installation site should measure at least 700 or 1000 cubic feet.

  • High Ceiling

Taller than electric-resistance water heaters, heat pump water heaters come in a height range of 63 to 82 inches. So, the higher the ceiling of your heater’s storage room, the better.

  • Secluded Area

The noise levels of hybrid heat pump water heaters go up to 70 decibels or higher. This is similar to the sound made by a car engine. Unless you have a high tolerance for noise, you’ll want your water heater as far away as possible from the most frequented areas of the house. Secluded areas such as a utility closet, boiler room, or basement are good options.

  • High Temperature Setting

Because hybrid heat pump water heaters extract heat from the surrounding air, they do not do well in cold areas. That is why you’ll need a storage area that remains in the 400 to 900F range all year round.

  • A Condensate Drain

This is a necessary component for all hybrid heat pump water heaters as it prevents a wide range of issues. If you don’t have a condensate drain, at least ensure that the storage location of the water heater allows for the installation of one. Alternatively, you can go for a model that allows the use of a condensate pump.

Hybrid heat pump water heaters are the new generation water heaters due to their reliability, continuous hot water supply, and energy-saving benefit. Therefore, when looking for the best water heater replacement, a hybrid heat pump model is the best way to go. Just make sure to check out hybrid water heater reviews online to ensure you find the perfect fit for your home.

 

Other awesome guides:

Best Tankless Water Heaters Guide
Best Whole House Water Filter Guide & Reviews
Storage Tank Water Heaters Guide
Best Reverse Osmosis System

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