With electricity rates constantly on the rise, it’s no surprise that consumers are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy they consume. Even with changing all your lights to LED’s, living in the dark, and using your electronic devices sparingly, you may find that your bill has barely moved! Why? Your water heater is one of the most inefficient appliances in your home. It uses more energy than your refrigerator, dishwasher, and your washer and dryer combined. It accounts for about 18% of your electric bill!
So, what’s the solution? A hybrid hot water heater or heat pump water heater. It’s still an electric water heater, but with new energy efficient methods it can use up to 63% less energy than your typical electric water heater.
Let’s talk about how they work. A traditional water heater generates its own heat, but with a hybrid water heater, it pumps the heat from one place to another. It pulls heat from the surrounding air and pumps it, at a higher temperature into a tank to heat water. It works similar to a refrigerator, which keeps things cool by pulling heat from inside and distributing it into the air in your kitchen.
If there is a high demand for hot water, the hybrid unit can automatically switch to a standard electric heating method. You can set the unit to switch at a certain volume or leave it set in the energy efficient mode and simply wait for more hot water to generate. If you have several people who need to shower at the same time, being able to switch to a traditional heating method may be best to ensure no one is late, and then switch back to the hybrid, energy efficient method afterward.
So how much will a hybrid water heater save you? Of course, it depends on the size of your family, but the average savings is between $160 and $490 per year according to the Energy Star Program. Larger families may see higher savings. A typical water heater lasts about 10 years while a hybrid heater can last between 13 to 15 years making it a better investment over time. You may also be eligible for tax rebates for installing an energy efficient system in your home -programs come and go and change often, but it’s always worth investigating!
If you are trying to shave some dollars off your utility bill, a hybrid water heater might just be a great place to start – after switching out all those old light bulbs to LEDs!