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Serving Northern California Since 1946

Serving Northern California Since 1946


DeHart Plumbing, Heating, and Air Inc. Blog

The Heat Pump Water Heater: Is It Worth It?


For decades, the standard water heater in homes has been the storage water heater, also called a “tank” water heater for obvious reasons: it stores water in a large tank, where it’s kept heated either by natural gas jets or in-tank electrical heating elements.

There is nothing disastrously wrong with these standard water heaters, but homeowners looking for something different to cut down on energy consumption might wish to look into a heat pump water heater. These models of water heaters still use tanks, but take a different approach to how they heat the water in them.

We’ll explain how a heat pump water heater works and then see if it’s a worthwhile investment for your home.

Heat Pump Water Heater 101

A heat pump is a device people usually associate with heating and cooling for a house. It’s a refrigerant system that works much like an air conditioner—evaporating refrigerant to absorb heat from inside a house and then condensing it to release it outside—except it can reverse the direction it operates to move heat into the house as well. 

When used for a water heater, what a heat pump does is provide thermal energy to heat up the water in the tank by drawing on the air around the water heater. Cold refrigerant moves through a coil exposed to the air outside the water heater, evaporates to absorb heat, and then this refrigerant moves into a heat exchanger where it releases that heat into the tank. Think of it like a refrigerator that’s working in reverse: it cools the air around the water heater and sends that heat into a water tank.

How This Can Be Beneficial

Why would you consider using a heat pump water heater rather than standard water heaters? The main reason is energy efficiency. An electric water heater generates heat by running an electrical current through the heating elements in the tank, and this consumes a large amount of electricity. In fact, an electric water heater may be the single highest-consumer of electrical power in a household. On the other hand, a heat pump water heater only uses electrical power to move heat from one place to another, and this uses far less electricity. 

Is It Worth It?

If you want to save energy in your house, a high-efficiency water heater is one of the best places to start. If your home is all-electric, then a heat pump water heater is a great choice to replace a standard electric water heater. The average family can save almost $5,000 over ten years by switching from an electric to a heat pump water heater. 

If your home uses natural gas, then you might want to look into a different option for energy-saving water heaters: a tankless water heater. These water heaters use natural gas but significantly reduce energy consumption because they only work “on-demand.” You can read more about tankless water heater benefits here.

But the best way to find out which water heater in Modesto, CA is best for your home is to call our experts. 

Greenhart installs the best in high-efficiency equipment so you can “Live Green, Save Green!” Talk to us today for more information about heat pump and tankless water heaters.

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