Heat always transfers its energy to cooler matter, regardless of whether that matter is a gas, liquid, or solid. In addition, moving heat from one location to another is more efficient than heating electric resistance coils. This is why heat pump technology can be applied to water heaters to provide hot water. Most standard hot water tanks can be converted to use a heat pump.
How Heat Pump Water Heaters Work
A standard hot water tank uses electricity to heat coils inside the tank to warm the water. However, a heat pump water heater includes an electric heat pump that sits on or near the hot water tank. The pump extracts heat from the air and transfers it to the water tank. The pump itself is a simple mechanism that includes a fan, an evaporator coil, and a compressor.
More specifically, a fan draws in warm air from the room and blows it across evaporator coils that are filled with cold refrigerant. The heat from the air transfers to the cooler refrigerant. The warm refrigerant flows into a compressor that pressurizes the fluid. This compression heats, vaporizes, and expands the refrigerant, propelling it down into a condenser unit inside the water tank. The water in the tank is colder than the refrigerant, so radiant energy transfers to the water. The refrigerant, now cooler, returns to a liquid form, goes back to the evaporator, and the cycle starts again.
Why Heat Pump Water Heaters Are Called Hybrids
Heat pump water heaters are also referred to as hybrid water heaters because water tanks have electric resistance elements within them that can still be used. When the demand for hot water increases, these elements are activated. They can heat water faster, although less efficiently, than the heat pump.
Why Heat Pump Water Heaters Are Energy Efficient
Heat pump water heaters have fans and compressors that are both low-voltage, many of which only use 33% of the power that regular electric water heaters do on average. That is why most heat pump water heaters are given high energy efficiency ratings by Energy Star.
At Airvengers, LLC, your trusted HVAC provider in Oakdale, we specialize in providing repair, maintenance, and installation of all types of heating and cooling equipment. We also install whole-house fans. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.