Heat Pump Water Heaters

As energy costs are continuously rising, it is important that Vermonters know about new technologies that can save energy as well as money. The new heat pump water heaters can use up to 63% less energy than traditional electric hot water heaters according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Before replacing a broken hot water heater with a new one (or if you are thinking of upgrading), consider investing in a heat pump water heater.

What They Are and How They Work:

A pump pulls heat from the surrounding air and transfers it at a higher temperature to water inside a tank.  Rather than generating its’ own heat, it uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. The theory behind this is that it is easier to move something than to produce something (ie: heat). They are sometimes called “hybrids” as they can be switched (manually or automatically) to standard electric resistance heat during periods of high use (think two people using the shower at the same time you put in a load of laundry).



On average, heat pump water heaters cost per year is half as much as a normal, electric heater. If you use a boiler to heat hot water, your savings could possibly be higher. Heat pumps also can air condition and dehumidify the air around them. Be sure to check with local companies or organizations such as Efficiency Vermont as they may have rebates.



Heat pump water heaters usually cost more than traditional water heaters, but they have a lower operating cost and pay for themselves in just a few years. Before buying one, keep these questions in mind:

  • What size is ideal for your household use?
  • Based on your budget and location, is this fuel type best?
  • Are there any rebates available?
  • What are the overall installation costs?

As the years go on, energy and heating costs will most likely continue to rise. Replacing a water heater can be pricey at the onset, but investing in a heat pump water heater will save you in the long run. Not sure if one is right for your home? Consider having an energy audit where our auditors can give you a reliable and unbiased opinion of what may work.  The HEAT squad can also help beyond just an energy audit as they can coordinate your installation project and assist you in getting rebates from Efficiency Vermont. For more information, check out www.heatquad.com or call to schedule your audit at 802-438-2303.


Author: Bailey Aines, part-time NWWVT employee.