The standard water heater that most people think of is a tank water heater, also known as a storage water heater, which keeps a supply of water in a large tank. The water is maintained at a high temperature so that it’s ready for use when a tap turns on somewhere in the building. There are other models of water heater available, such as the tankless water heater, which has become popular in the U.S. over the last decade. A tankless water heater heats up water as it is needed rather than storing it.
There’s a third water heater alternative: the heat pump water heater. It’s not as well-known as the other two, but it offers some excellent advantages to homeowners. It’s worth considering if you’re looking to have a water heater installation in Pomona, CA or elsewhere in Southern California.
Heat Pump Water Heater Basics
In operation, a heat pump water heater is similar to a storage tank water heater. Water is stored in a tank, and energy is applied to the water to heat it up and maintain its temperature. When there’s a request for hot water from a tap, a circulator pump moves heated water from the top of the tank. Fresh water enters through a dip tube in the tank that releases the fresh cold water at the bottom of the tank. As it is heated, the water rises.
The difference with a heat pump water heater is the source of its energy. Rather than combusting natural gas or heating up electrical elements in the tank, a heat pump water heater draws heat from the air outside the tank and moves it inside the tank. This is the same operation as the heat pumps used to warm or cool a house: heat is absorbed from one location and the released in another through the action of condensing and evaporating refrigerant.
Why This Can Be Beneficial
If a heat pump water heater works similar to a tank water heater, what advantages does it really offer? There are some major ones:
- Energy efficiency: It requires much less power to move heat from one location to another, as with a heat pump, than to create it by burning fuel or with electrical resistance heating. Heat pump water heaters cost less to run than most tank-based systems.
- Availability for homes without natural gas: A heat pump water heater is especially beneficial to homes that lack connections to natural gas lines. Instead of using an energy-draining electric water heater, a household can enjoy the power and efficiency of another type of electrically-powered system.
- Safety: Homeowners who don’t want to rely on natural gas because of concerns for safety will find a heat pump water heater an excellent alternative.
- Flexibility: For homes that already use a heat pump for comfort, the system can be retrofitted to also heat the water.
Are you interested in learning more about heat pump water heater installation? Then talk to our water heater professionals today.
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