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 that are slightly longer than 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 quicker recovery than traditional electric water heaters. If your home has frequent periods of high usage, another option to improve the recovery time more efficiently than relying on the “hybrid mode” is to choose a larger tank size, and/or to increase the temperature setting to ~130 degrees F and install a mixing valve to deliver the needed temperature.