As your demands for hot water increase, you wish to own a sturdy model that can supply a lot of hot water in tremendous force while keeping your pockets light.
People with these exact requirements always turn towards heat pump water heaters, popularly called hybrid water heaters. These hybrids are excellent fixtures that can give you unmatched hot water flow while keeping the environment green.
These models are usually equipped with Energy Star approval, thus resulting in impressive energy and water savings. The main difference that separates these hybrids from traditional storage tank models is their way of operation.
Hybrids use a heat pump for swiftly moving the warm air from the surroundings to the water chambers while venting colder air back into the surroundings. These heat pump water heaters are excellent during the summer seasons as the entire process keeps the room’s air cooler and dryer, thus making the summer season more bearable.
This buyer’s guide will inform you about the most impressive and energy-efficient heat pump water heaters, along with some tankless water heaters for people with more minor hot water needs.
We highly recommend perusing our FAQs to understand whether buying a hybrid is worth the money or not!
Table of Contents
Best Overall: Rheem ProTerra Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater
Our winner for the best hybrid water heater is the Rheem heat pump water heater. This ProTerra Hybrid heater is one of the most trusted and sought-after products from this category.
The outer body has a classic gray color to make the unit look visually pleasing. The machine also works flawlessly and promises to be 400% more efficient than traditional electric water heaters. Allow us to explain to you this heat pump water heater’s pros and cons.
- Manufacturer: Rheem
- Type: Hybrid heat pump water heater
- Power: 60 GPM
- Size: 20.25 x 63 x 20.25 inches
- This Rheem ProTerra Electric Hybrid is one of the most intelligent and efficient water heaters on the market. Buyers wishing for a genuinely energy-efficient model can rely on this unit. The heater also reduces carbon footprint by reducing energy use up to a whopping 75%.
- The water heater is classified under the energy rebate model and is fully eligible for local, state, or other utility rebates. The manufacturer informs that buyers can receive up to $300 in federal tax credits and $1000 in general utility rebates.
- The entire water heating system is ingenious and has built-in WiFi and the EcoNet app. Users can easily track the power consumption, hot water availability, energy usage, and control various modes with extreme ease.
- Its energy efficiency mechanism is bound to give you energy cost savings of $460 per year.
- The body uses a self-cleaning mechanism to fight any pesky buildups at the bottom of the tank. The premium brass drain valve enables easy drains, while the stainless steel elements prevent any unwanted mineral buildup.
- This heat pump hot water is an excellent system for households that have 2-4 people. The hybrid system gives a powerful performance with homes that have 2+ bathrooms. You will never compromise on the flow of your hot water, even while the system is distributing the water to multiple faucets.
- The entire device is straightforward to install and comes with an easily accessible electrical junction box for a more quick hookup.
- Rheem ProTerra Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater can heat the water till the maximum Temperature of 150° F.
- Other impressive features include an entirely glass-lined tank for corrosion protection, an overheat protection system, and a temperature-pressure relief valve for smooth operation. The device also has a vacation mode to keep the system fully functional in your absence.
The major drawback of this hybrid system is the noise generated by the unit. The fan usually creates a loud noise, while the condenser unit has a buzzy sound that reverberates throughout the house.
This Rheem hybrid heat pump comes with a ten-year warranty and a one-year in-home labor warranty. Buyers can connect to their customer service to know more about the guarantee.
This unit is a very efficient and intelligent water heating system with decent warranty service. However, we highly recommend doing complete sound insulation to avoid noise pollution throughout the house.
Runner up: A. O. Smith Signature Premier Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater
A.O. Smith Signature Premier Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater has dominated the hybrid water heater market for nearly a century. Its sleek and narrow structure is considered one of the best space-saving models by many homeowners.
This Lowe’s heat pump water heater is also very budget-friendly as compared to other hybrid models. The model is readily available at Lowe’s website and outlets.
- Manufacturer: A.O. Smith
- Type: Hybrid heat pump water heater
- Power: 50.0 GPM
- Size: 63 x 22 x 22 inches
- This water heater model is Energy Star certified and thus reduces your water heating costs up to 73%. The ultra-saving model provides a complete payback in mere 2-3 years of its purchase.
- Its efficiency is directly correlated to money. You can save approximately 306 dollars annually, thus saving over 3,000 dollars over ten years compared to standard electric water heaters.
- A. O. Smith heat pump technology uses a user-friendly electric interface to keep tabs on the temperature, operational mode selection, and other temperature readings. Its easy-to-use temperature display shows the temperature in either °F or °C according to your preference.
- This hybrid pump heater is an ideal choice for households with 3-4 members. The system can easily handle the massive demand for hot water in multiple rooms.
- The heater’s two backup 4,500-watt copper heating elements can quickly provide the first-hour delivery of 66 gallons without any complications.
- The hybrid heater is designed to be slim and tall for easy installation. It takes relatively less space than other hybrids.
- The tank is equipped with a ceramic fused tank shield and a protective anode rod to provide tank protection while reducing the corrosion to a greater extent.
- Its four modes – a hybrid, electronic, vacation, and efficiency can be dialed down and adjusted for a more efficient water heating system.
- You can easily wash the filter to prevent any grime and dust from invading this hybrid heating system.
- This particular model may qualify for some tax credits and energy efficiency rebates according to your local area codes and laws.
- This water heating system is not entirely digitally advanced. It is neither WiFi compatible nor is it Bluetooth compatible.
- The anode rod can be a challenging part to change after it starts to attract built-up. You might have to use power tools and a torque impact wrench to dismantle the rod from the system.
This A. O. Smith Hybrid Water Heater comes with a 10-year limited residential warranty after the date of purchase.
We highly recommend this model for homeowners who wish to own a sturdy water heater without any advanced innovative technology. Buyers, however, should pay attention to the hookup lines as this device has electric and water lines at the bottom, unlike other models that have the lines at the top.
Alternative: Rheem RTEX-24 Electric Tankless Water Heater
This Rheem RTEX-24 water heater is a fully tankless water heating system. The device uses a maximum amount of 240 Volts during its operation.
Its alloy steel gray color with ultra-thin diameter is perfect for tiny houses and basements. Let’s look at the specs to determine why this model secured a place at the alternatives spot.
- Manufacturer: Rheem
- Type: Electric tankless water heater
- Power: 5.9 GPM
- Size: 18.25 x 3.5 x 17.63 inches
- Rheem RTEX-24 Electric Tankless Water Heater offers an uninterrupted stream of hot water within a short span. This on-demand water heater is genuinely perfect for single point-of-use applications.
- Since the system doesn’t use any colossal storage tanks to store and heat water, you can enjoy the luxury of on-demand continuous hot water at all times of the day.
- The entire system is relatively compact and has a digital temperature control with increments of 1°F from 80°F to 140°F. People can set the temperature according to their choice.
- The manufacturer promises that this device is 99.8% energy efficient compared to other models in this category.
- This tankless water heater is equipped with robust copper immersion heating elements to increase the durability of the water heating system. The top of the heater is brass with threaded components for easy no-fuss replacements.
- The device has a relatively simple installation system guide. Users can install this system within a few minutes.
- The device can give out different GPM according to the application. A standard water saver shower head can have a 1.5 GPM, while a dishwasher can have 1 to 2 GPM in flow rate.
The most critical drawback of this water heater is its subpar customer service. The department is not at all proactive in hearing the grievances of its customers.
The manufacturer provides a 5-year warranty on this Rheem RTEX-24 Electric Tankless Water Heater. You can also get a different warranty period for specific parts and other damaged items.
If you are gravitating towards a nontraditional tankless water heater, then this model is one of the best on the market. Since this system needs immense power, you will need a substantial power driver, breaker, and wires. It would be ideal if you considered rewiring the device to the fuse box while installing this model.
Alternative: Camplux 3.18 GPM Gas Tankless Water Heater
Our second alternative is the Camplux 3.18 GPM Gas Tankless Water Heater. The device is made for people who wish to take a break from electric water heaters.
This water heating system purely works on propane or natural gas as its primary power hookup. Let’s dive down to understand the features and drawbacks of this tankless water heater.
- Manufacturer: Camplux
- Type: Gas tankless water heater
- Power: 3.18 GPM
- Size: 14.37 x 4.72 x 25.39 inches
- This propane-powered water heater features an ultra-sleek black tempered glass panel. Apart from its design, the water heater is entirely automatic. The front has automatic temperature control, a fully functional touch screen, and an LED display to showcase the temperature readings, GPM flow, etc.
- This gas tankless water heater is perfect for apartments, houses, and tiny homes that need one or two hot water faucet connections at a time.
- Its child locking technology is an excellent addition that adds up the security level of this device.
- Other essential features include a safe electronic ignition system, dry combustion protection, anti-freeze protection, and an additional flame failure device. These multiple systems help keep the water heating system miles away from any dangerous mishap.
- The heating system has a water flow output of 3.18 GPM with a 95-149 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. You can adjust the system’s temperature according to the climate, application, and preference.
- The device also comes with a horizontal stainless steel vent pipe for a more energy-efficient and safer operation.
This Camplux model is not ideal for elevation above 2000 ft. People who have their winter cabins in highly elevated places should consider twice before investing in this model.
- The entire body of this tankless water heater is made with reinforced tempered glass that gives a sleek finish to the whole heating system. The heater is not a complete eyesore, unlike some models on the market.
- The manufacturer gives a one-year warranty for the parts and an additional five-year warranty for the heat exchanger.
We suggest this particular model for people who are very reluctant to purchase standard gray tinned heater boxes. The model is also ideal for people who wish to have a gas-powered water heater in their homes.
Alternative: Stiebel Eltron Tankless Heater
Our last but indeed not least product is the Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater (Navien Tankless Water Heater). This sleek water heater is an excellent choice for homeowners gravitating towards electric water heating systems. The model is ideal if you do not want to spend thousands of dollars on heat pump water heaters.
- Manufacturer: Stiebel Eltron
- Type: Tankless electric water heater
- Power: 0.77 GPM
- Size: 4.62 x 16.63 x 14.5 inches
- The Stiebel Eltron Tempra 36 Plus Tankless Water Heater is equipped with Advanced Flow Control German technology that maintains a constant water temperature throughout your shower or other application processes.
- The device can heat cold water within a few seconds. Users do not have to wait for 15-20 minutes to get a constant flow of hot water.
- Users can install the device even in a cramped corner of the house or basement. Its sleek and compact design is perfect for small spaces and homes. Furthermore, the system doesn’t require venting, so you are bound to save money during the installation phase.
- This tankless heating system had an electronic switch activated for a virtually silent operation.
- You can run this single-phase system on a 208 V electric power pack.
- Apart from the excellent flow rate, this device uses a highly sturdy copper sheathed heating element housed inside an equally sturdy copper cylinder.
- The entire water heating system is engineered and made in Germany for a more remarkable and quality-controlled product.
- The additional digital displays help in giving accurate temperature delivery. Apart from the intelligent digital display, the system is extraordinarily silent in its operation.
Many users have complained that this particular model tends to fluctuate the water temperature within a few minutes. Even if the system supplies water to just one faucet, the inconsistent temperature is very easily noticeable.
This tankless water heating system comes with a seven years leakage warranty and a three years parts warranty.
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Heater is an excellent choice if you always wish to switch to a fully electric water heating system. The system is moderately priced according to all the features manufactured by the company.
Heat Pump Water Heater Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Are heat pump hot water tanks worth it?
Yes, people might have the common misconception that heat pump water heaters are costly and time-consuming to install, but these hot water systems are genuinely worth it in the longer run.
Since these heat pump water heaters absorb the warmth from the air and then transfer the energy into hot water, the entire operation costs very little energy. Most water heaters (see also ‘Best Water Heater Stand For Any Heater Out There’) operate on electricity but still are three times more efficient and economical than a conventional tank storage water heater.
When installed and used in the right environment, these heat pump water heaters can save thousands of dollars, energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These tanks can have higher initial costs, but they have lower operating costs in the long run.
If you have a big house that needs a heavy flow of hot water for cooking, cleaning, and other operations, then opting for a heat pump water heater is an ideal choice to make.
How much is a heat pump water heater?
The heat pump water heater prices can highly vary from model to model. These water heaters are undoubtedly more expensive than the regular tank or tankless water heaters.
A standard 50-gallon heat pump water heater can cost around $1,100, while a plain essential water heater can cost anywhere from $300 to $400. More advanced heat pumps can cost about $1500-$2000, but they have a bigger tank capacity, extra features, and more extended warranty period.
You will also have to consider additional heat pump water heater installation costs that are necessary. Since the device can be a little complex to set up, it’s always a better idea to let the professionals handle the installation.
These costs might seem higher, but you will save a considerable amount for the rest of your life in electricity bills and tax rebates.
Is a heat pump the same as a water heater?
No, heat pump water heaters are different from traditional water heaters. Both these water heaters perform the same function, but the process by which the water gets heated varies.
These pump water heaters use the surrounding atmosphere to suck up the air. The air then moves through the chambers, heating the pipes and water. The process also gives rise to colder air that gets ventilated to other parts of the house. These heat pumps work the same as your refrigerator but in reverse.
Because of this process, pump water heaters are more energy-efficient than standard ones. On the other hand, a typical electric water heater (see also ‘Ariston Water Heater GL 4 In Depth Review For 2021‘) will heat the metal tubes while the water passes through them, thus making the water hot during the process.
Are heat pump water heaters more expensive?
Yes, this is a known fact that heat pump water heaters are more expensive than any tank or tankless water heaters. Their base price can start from a few thousand dollars and go high according to the features.
On the contrary, you can buy a regular water heater for $300. A basic breakdown of the expense can look like this:
- Unit cost: Hybrid water heaters cost between $1,200 to $2,500 for 50 to 80-gallon tanks.
- Installation cost: Professionals can charge anywhere between $600 and $1000 dispensing on your system.
- Additional supplies and tools: You might need soundproofing, other supplies, and tools that can cost nearly $300.
Therefore these heaters are expensive to buy and install. But the only factor that makes it worth the investment is the tax rebates, savings on electricity bills, and lesser carbon footprint. Your system will pay for itself within the first three years of its installation.
We hope our comprehensive buyer’s guide gave valuable insight into the world of heat pump water heaters.
We highly recommend the first two heat pump devices for your heating systems. But if you’re gravitating towards a more standard heating model, our alternatives can serve the purpose quite well.