The water heater is one of the most essential appliances in the home. Regardless of the climate, hot water will always be a necessity, whether it’s for bathing or cooking or cleaning. Luckily, there are several options for water heaters. Most impressive of all has to be the hybrid water heater.
What’s a hybrid water heater? Well, you have your standard tank water heater and your tankless water heater. Then, you have heat pump water heaters. When you mix-and-match the features of all three, you get closer to understanding what a hybrid water heater is.
To help understand what a hybrid water heater does, then, we need to break down three different types of common water heaters. After understanding the pros and cons of each, we’ll be able to see the advantages of the hybrid water heater.
Tank Water Heaters
Tank water heaters store several gallons of water and heat them to a warm temperature. They’re standard for most homes and can provide hot water to several appliances all at once, but they have some drawbacks. Tank water heaters will keep the water warm even if no one is using it, which can be inefficient at times.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters can’t store water, so they heat up the water only when it’s needed. They’re commonly called “on-demand” water heaters, but they won’t work as well if several appliances are trying to use hot water all at the same time. Tankless water heaters are much smaller than their tank counterpart, and their overall efficiency alone is a good reason to go tankless.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump water heaters are not like tank or tankless heaters for one reason: they don’t generate heat. Instead, they move heat from the air to the water. Heat pumps are commonly used in air conditioning systems, and they work similarly enough. Under ideal conditions, heat pumps are unmatched in efficiency. However, there is one major flaw behind them: they can’t draw heat out of the air in temperatures that are too cold.
Hybrid Water Heaters
So here’s where it all comes together. With a hybrid water heater, you get the best of all three heaters.
- Its main function is to operate like a heat pump, the most efficient of all three heaters. But in the event that the weather prevents the heat pump from working efficiently…
- It begins acting like a tankless water heater, generating warmth through electrical resistance.
- All the while, it has its own tank for storing hot water, allowing it to provide hot water quicker than a tankless water heater.
Is It Right for Me?
Despite all the benefits, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of.
- A hybrid water heater can be just as efficient as a natural gas tank water heater. If you already have access to natural gas, it might not be worth it to switch to hybrid.
- They take up more space than your normal tank water heater, and not just because they’re big—they require plenty of space to absorb heat from the air.
If none of that bothers you, then the hybrid water heater might be just the water heater for you!