Discover the advantages and benefits of the American heat pumps. These electric water heaters are recommended for homeowners who are looking to go green and would like to take advantage of the high efficient water heating.
The American electric heat pumps are actually hybrid water heaters that combine two technologies; heat pump and electricity; detailed review can be found here.
The heat pump transfers the heat from the ambient air through the heat exchanger to heat water, while cooling and dehumidifying the room at the same time.
The Energy Factor, which measures the efficiency of the unit, is two times bigger, or more, than on standard electrical heaters.
Due to its great benefits and energy savings, the American heat pumps are the only type of electric water heaters that is Energy Star compliant and at the same time eligible for tax credits and rebates from utility companies.
There are two types of the American heat pumps: smaller with the 60-gallon capacity, and larger with 80-gallon tank size. They both provide the same amount of hot water as the conventional 60- and 80-gallon models, but at half the cost. They are usually built with the higher tank capacity so the heat pump can operate more often than the heating elements, which ensures not only better savings but more hot water for periods of the high demand.
Below is the table with the available models, capacity, First Hour Rating and the energy factor.
It is important to say that the water heater will get the highest energy efficiency in the efficiency mode, while the smallest in electric mode. Also the greatest First Hour Rating is in the Hybrid mode (shown in the table above), while the smallest is in the efficiency mode. The more often the heat pump is used, the more efficient it becomes.
The American heat pumps are using the "environment-friendly" refrigerant to extract the heat from the surrounding air and the built-in compressor to increase the temperature. On the other side, the backup electric heating system is utilizing the long lasting Incoloy heating elements, upper and lower with the total power of 6500 W. Thanks to the smart control system the heating elements are protected from dry firing.
The hybrid technology allows American heat pumps to work in four operating modes:
Hybrid mode allows the water heater to work between the heat pump and the electric heating elements, and it depends on the heat requirements. The heat pump is the primary source while the heating elements are functioning only during the high demands. This is what causes the high efficiency operation and quick recovery. The hybrid mode is the default mode.
Electric - this is the mode when only electric heating elements are working.
Efficiency mode uses the heat pump most of the time, but can turn the heating elements ON also, if there is a need - for example, when the temperature of the surrounding air won't provide optimal heating (when the temperature is below 49 F). This is the most energy efficient mode.
Vacation mode is used during the extended absence when it reduces the work and costs, while protecting the unit from freezing cold temperatures.
Another great advantage of these electric water heaters (great savings is probably the biggest one) is the advanced electronic systems, which gives you very useful info; the status, modes, it gives you better control, convenience and more.
The control panel found in the upper part of the water heater comes with the large LCD display and touch pad. You will be able to set and change the temperature, lock the settings, check the status, and find out about the problems through the error codes.
As opposed to most of the conventional type of the electric water heaters, the American heat pumps are equipped with the powered anode rod, to protect the heater's tank from corrosion. This type of the anode eliminates the need for the service and reduces the cost of the maintenance since it is not sacrificial such as the magnesium or aluminum type. Also, there is no smelly, rotten egg odor as found in water heaters with the non-powered anodes.
The American electric heat pumps are recommended for families with four and more members and medium to large houses that utilize 240VAC single phase and 25 Amps circuit breaker. They are indoor units, recommended for rooms with enough fresh air, and the best places are attics, basements and garages.
The company gives the 10-year warranty on the tank and its parts. According to their website, savings are over $4000 over a 12-year period and the payback period is three years or less.
(Photo credit to American Co)