Hybrid Water Heater Versus Tankless

Hybrid Hot Water Heater Versus Tankless

Tankless hot water heaters have been the choice of energy conscious consumers over the past 15 years. The new trend is hybrid hot water heaters that combine tankless technology with a tank. Which is better? I’m vote Hybrid/Heat pump style hot water heaters, especially in warm humid climates. Update: FPL weighs in on the issue and the Heat Pump Hybrid wins with them as well, read more here.

The tankless hot hot water heater is only on when there is a demand for hot water. This saves money over the traditional tank style heater. The old tank style can lose energy from heat loss because the hot water is stored. The disadvantage is that many tankless heaters may need to be installed near the point of use. If a whole house tankless is used, then you have issues with having to run the water to drain the water in the line before you get to the hot water. You can install a recirculating pump to eliminate this lag. However that requires and electric pump and possibly a tank. The tank is what we were trying to avoid with this installation. Another disadvantage is flow rate, many tankless hot water heaters have low flow rates and the tankless heaters with high flow rates that can handle a whole house tend to be very expensive.

The hybrid heat pump hot water heater use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. Therefore, they can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters. To move the heat, heat pumps work like a refrigerator in reverse.

Heat pump water heaters require installation in locations that remain in the 40º–90ºF (4.4º–32.2ºC) range year-round and provide at least 1,000 cubic feet (28.3 cubic meters) of air space around the water heater. Cool exhaust air can be exhausted to the room or outdoors. Install them in a space with excess heat, such as a laundry room or a garage. The heat pump also dehumidifies the space where it is installed.

The energy costs of a hybrid hot water heater are slightly lower or equal to the tankless style heaters.

If you live in a warm climate, the clear winner is the Hybrid Hot Water Heater (Heat Pump), if you live in a colder climate the tankless would be a great option.

Hybrid Hot Water Heater
1. Low Energy Costs – 80 Gallon Hybrid Est. Costs $151 vs. Traditional $555+ Yearly
2. Cools Your Garage or other installation space, while the Heater is running.
3. Dehumidifies the installation space
4. Has a large tank that can easily fill large roman tubs
5. Wifi Connected
6. Vacation Modes
7. Leak Alerts

Call us 561-869-4497 if you are in Palm Beach, Martin, or St. Lucie County in Florida, and we will be happy to consult with you on your hot water heating needs.

Advantages of Hybrid Electric Water Heater Versus Natural Gas Power Vent Water Heater

Hybrid Hot Water Heater Instead of Natural Gas Power Vent Hot Water Heater

In the past, natural gas hot water heaters were the choice for energy conscious consumers. They were less expensive in terms of monthly energy costs. However, now heat pump electric hot water heaters, also called hybrid hot water heaters, are changing that.

The hybrid hot water heater has several advantages over a gas hot water heater.

Hybrid Advantages

Does not need an 18″ High Platform to be installed in a garage

No flame burning in the unit – safer

Lower Energy Costs $151 per year estimated in warmer climates

Blows cool air and dehumidifies the space

Quieter – A power vent gas hot water heater is loud when running, sounds like a small jet engine. The Hybrid has a fan that is only 51db about like a refrigerator. A power vent gas is 74 db.

No exhaust fumes that exit the unit outside your home. Again, safer and not risk of CO2 poisoning.

Disadvantages

Not ideal for cold climates – Would require extra ducting to vent cold air outside.

Needs extra lines for condensate drains

Requires 220v service

Here is an example of a switch from a natual gas power vented hot water heater to an electric hybrid hot water heater. This water heater is installed in Evergrene subdivision Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The owner is very happy with the switch. They enjoy the little air conditioning boost in their garage and the decrease in sound levels.

Before – Natural Gas Hot Water Heater
After Hybrid Hot Water Heater

FPL on Tankless vs. Tank Water Heaters vs. Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

FPL on Tankless vs. Tank Hot Water Heaters

Phil Tornelli is a Business Energy Survey Program Manager with over 30 years of experience helping a wide range of customers from small- and medium-sized businesses to large manufacturing facilities reduce their energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

Question: Are tankless water heaters better than traditional water heaters?
– Felix G., Miami

Answer:
Thank you for asking this question, Felix. In today’s cost-conscious society, any way to save energy and money should be explored. The cost-saving benefit of replacing a conventional electric water heater with a tankless electric heater is often overestimated. The energy savings from eliminating the heat losses through a typical insulated storage tank is around $20 to $30 annually. Tankless water heaters (sometimes called instantaneous water heaters) don’t have a water storage tank and therefore water has to be heated much more quickly as it passes through a compact heating unit and typically requires an upgraded electrical circuit to handle the extra power.

Now, there is an attractive alternative to tankless water heaters called a heat pump water heater (HPWH) which requires no electrical upgrades and can save up to approximately $175 annually on water heating costs. Modern heat pump water heaters which take up no more floor space than conventional heaters are reliable and available from several familiar manufacturers with warranties of around 10 years.

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