Author: jgowans

Can I put a heat pump water heater in my finished basement? Won’t it take away from the efficiency of heating my house, by exhausting cool air into the basement?

Yes, it’s fine to put the heat pump water heater in a finished basement. You should just make sure the cool exhaust air from the water heater does not blow directly into commonly occupied areas. Yes, this will add a small amount of energy to the home’s overall heating load. However, this amount of cool air from the heat pump water heater will have a minimal effect on the home’s overall heating system performance/consumption. In addition, the cool air will help keep the basement cool in the summer months, reducing the energy used for air conditioning.

Where should I put the heat pump water water heater? How big does the space need to be?

Basements, utility rooms, and laundries are great locations for a heat pump water heater. Pick a spot that will not be frequented by occupants, and position it away from bedrooms and living spaces to fully mitigate any noise concerns. Heat pump water heaters mildly dehumidify the air around them, so they can be a helpful addition to a root cellar or pantry. You can locate the water heater in a small space as long as there is adequate airflow. This can often be achieved by installing a louvered door and grills or grates or similar air gaps.

Are heat pump water heaters more efficient than conventional water heaters? What is the uniform energy factor?

Heat pump water heaters are much more efficient than gas, propane, or conventional electric water heaters. The uniform energy factor (UEF) is the new metric for rating the energy efficiency of water heaters. The higher the UEF, the higher the efficiency. Heat pump water heaters have UEF ratings between 3.0 and 3.5, while “efficient” gas and propane water heaters have UEF ratings between 0.65 and 0.70. Conventional electric water heaters have UEF ratings of about 0.95.

How does the performance of heat pump water heaters compare to other, conventional water heaters? Do heat pump water heaters have adequate recovery times?

One of the measures of performance is the “recovery time,” which means the time it takes to provide hot water during periods of high usage (when the hot water in the storage tank is depleted). Heat pump water heaters have recovery times similar to those of natural gas or propane water heaters, and slightly better than those of traditional electric water heaters. Heat pump water heaters have an electric resistance heating element to complement the heat pump system for heating the water. In the “hybrid mode” setting, both the electric resistance and heat pump systems work together to heat the water, providing for quick recovery.

City of Boulder Rebate

City of Boulder (in addition to Boulder County and Xcel incentives). Heat pumps: $400 for cold climate heat pump, plus $500 if switching from gas. Heat pump water heater:$250, plus $500 if switching from gas WH

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Love Electric aims to accelerate the adoption of heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and other efficient electric technologies in homes and businesses across Colorado, to lower consumer energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide improved health, comfort and other benefits. Love Electric is an initiative of the Beneficial Electrification League of Colorado (BEL-CO).

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