Heat Pump Water Heaters Used Half The Energy Than Electric Heaters
With electric water heaters being so widely used in many parts of the world, it is no wonder that knowing just what heat pump water heaters can do will make people listen up. What if you know these heat pump heaters used only half the heat energy to do the same amount of heating compared to electric water heaters, would you be interested? Of course you would be.
Big bucket of potential savings
New heat pump water heaters use about half the energy of your typical electric water heater. Since water heating accounts for 15 to 20 percent of most homes’ electricity use, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and save money on your utility bill by making the switch.
With electric water heaters in four out of every 10 Northwest homes, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power Plan projects that about 33,000 homes will make the switch from electric to heat pump water heating within the next four years, which would save the region enough electricity to power nearly 7,000 homes for an entire year.
By making an energy-saving switch like swapping your electric water heater with a heat pump water heater, not only do you immediately save money on your utility bill, you’re also doing your part to reduce energy demand. That in turn reduces the need for investments in new, more expensive energy generation, helping keep future electric rates low.
Rise of an energy-saving star
Heat pump water heaters weren’t always considered an energy-saving darling. Rewind the clock to the 1980s when Northwest companies experimented with heat pump technologies; many of the early units were fraught with reliability and customer service issues. Some units performed so poorly that they were pulled from the market.
“Early on we saw a lot of poor performing units and customers had limited access to technical support,” said Kacie Bedney, BPA project manager. “Couple that with concerns about their noise, the cooling exhaust air and the general skepticism about their suitability in the Pacific Northwest climate, and it seemed doubtful we’d be encouraging Northwest residents to adopt the technology.”
Although heat pump water heaters have proven their worth in warmer regions of the country, researchers didn’t know how effective they would be in the Northwest’s heating and cooling zones. So the research started with lab testing in 2009. In 2010, BPA and Northwest utilities began testing 40 heat pump water heaters in single-family homes across the Northwest as part of a national demonstration project sponsored by EPRI that included 160 units around the country.
Researchers noted the homeowner’s satisfaction with the test units. Mike Wright, a pilot program participant, said two of his initial concerns, the change in temperature around the unit (a cooler garage) and the noise (noticeably louder than a conventional water heater), weren’t deal breakers for his family.
“If I had the choice of purchasing another heat pump or an electric water heater, I would choose another heat pump water heater because of its energy efficiency,” he said. “We’re saving about $15 to $20 a month on our energy bill.”
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"New heat pump water heaters use about half the energy of your typical electric water heater. Since water heating accounts for 15 to 20 percent of most homes' electricity use, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and save money on your ..."
If you are deciding whether you should invest in a heat pump water heater instead of electric heaters here is one more thing to consider. Think of the many billion pounds of carbon monoxide emissions that you are going to remove from around the space you live in. So do you still think you want to stick to electric water heaters?