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MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. Blog

All About Heat Pump Water Heaters


Heat pumps are amazing appliances. They work as air conditioners, and they do an excellent and efficient job at that. But they’re even more impressive as heating systems, using a tiny amount of energy compared to what a furnace requires to accomplish the same task. So, if heat pumps are so great at heating air, can they also be used to heat water? Yes!

Heat pump water heaters are a great way to use this remarkable technology. But if you’ve never heard of heating your water with a heat pump, you’ve probably got some questions. We’ll tell you all about heat pump water heaters and how you could benefit from having one installed in your home.

How Traditional Water Heaters Work

Whether a water heater is a tankless system or a standby tank water heater, whether it uses electricity or gas to power the system, the bottom line is the same: it consumes a lot of energy because it has to generate heat. 

Electrical resistance is used in the heating elements of an electric water heater. This means that electricity is pushed through a metal, often in the shape of a wire or coil, which is not a great conductor. This type of metal offers resistance: as the electricity enters it, it cannot flow easily through it. This causes the element to heat up.

Combustion is used in a natural gas water heater. There must be an actual flame, burning fuel, like heating a pot of water over a fire. Again, heat must be created, and this is an energy-intensive process.

Transferring Heat Vs Generating Heat

A heat pump avoids all that energy use by simply never generating any heat. All it does is transfer the heat. It’s absorbed in one location by the refrigerant evaporating as it flows through the coils, and released in another location as the refrigerant condenses. In an air conditioner, or a heat pump being used for cooling, the heat is transferred from the air in your home to the air outside.

When this technology is used to heat water, it’s going through the same process, simply in a different location. The air around the heat pump provides warmth, which is soaked up by the refrigerant. It doesn’t even have to be hot air, just warmer than the super-cooled refrigerant, because this system works on temperature differential and doesn’t require a particularly high temperature.

Then, the refrigerant coils enter the water tank of your heat pump water heater. All the heat that has been absorbed is released into that water. And the refrigerant continues to flow, absorbing more heat that it will carry to your water tank. This allows for all the heating your water needs without the actual generation of any heat at all!

We feel strongly about the benefits of a heat pump water heater vs. electric in Wayne, NJ. We would love to have a conversation with you about your home, your family’s needs, and how a heat pump water heater could meet those needs while cutting your energy bills.

Contact MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. today with water heater concerns or any questions about heat pump water heaters!

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