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The next generation of water heaters? New heat pump water heaters signal a rebirth of an energy-saving technology Water heating has become the second largest user of energy in an average home, accounting for approximately 20 percent of residential energy consumption. To save energy, consumers have wrapped water heaters in blankets or wrapped hot water pipes in insulaA heat pump water heater needs space of at least 10 feet square to ensure adequate tion. While those practices are good air exchange. An open basement, a utility room, or—as seen with this GE Hybrid and should continue, a new type of water heating product is entering the Water Heater—a garage, will work. market, and it may lower energy conpayback for the purchase can take as sumption and save consumers money. a family requires, a backup electric little as three years. Check to see if resistance element in the tank takes Heat pump water heaters, while not your cooperative offers incentives. over when outside air becomes too a new technology, are experiencing Heat pump water heaters can be cold or when consumers need extra a rebirth. Some major water heater most efficient in North Carolina’s hot water. In summer, cool exhaust manufacturers and other appliance warm and damp climates, where air can be released into the vicinity companies have entered the market homes benefit from the appliances’ where the heat pump water heater is with a new and improved generation cooling and dehumidifying features. located, assisting home cooling, or it of heat pump water heaters. A heat pump water heater needs can be returned outside via ducts. space of at least 10 feet square to Because a heat pump water heater How they work uses electricity to move heat rather ensure adequate air exchange. An Heat pump water heaters come in than generate heat, it consumes open basement, a utility room—or, in two types. The more expensive “intesome areas, a garage—will work. roughly half the electricity of a congrated” model replaces an electric Noise becomes another considerventional electric resistance model. resistance water heater with one that ation when deciding where to place This efficiency qualifies integrated combines a heat pump with a stora unit. While conventional electric heat pump water heaters for an age tank. The second version adds a resistance water heaters operate quiheat pump unit to an existing electric Energy Star rating, a first for electric etly, most heat pump water heaters water heaters. water heater. But this added efficiency comes have noise levels similar to window In both versions, a heat pump circuwith a high price tag. Integrated units air conditioners. lates a refrigerant, which absorbs heat sell for $1,400 to $2,000—more than Visit www.energystar.gov and search for from surrounding air before it passes heat pump water heaters to learn more. through a compressor to maximize heat twice the cost of standard electric resistance water heater. Depending output. Essentially, heat drawn from the By Alice Clam, a technology writer for the on electric rates and the installed air transfers to water in the tank. Cooperative Research Network, a service cost of a heat pump water heater, While a heat pump water heater of the National Rural Electric Cooperative including any financial incentives, can produce most of the hot water Association.
Can you help others save energy? Send your conservation ideas or questions to us: P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC 27611, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Carolina Country OCTOBER 2010 7
Published on Sep 21, 2010