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October 16, 2020

What is a Heat Pump Water Heater?

what is a heat pump water heater

Heat pumps are often used to heat and cool the air inside of homes, but you might be wondering: what is a heat pump water heater? In this post, the experts at Gold Star Services explain what it is and how it works.

What is a Heat Pump Water Heater?

A heat pump HVAC system is similar to an air conditioning system in that it transfers warm air out of the home when cooling. It reverses this process to transfer heat into the home during the cold months, while an air conditioner would need to be paired with a furnace.

A heat pump can also be used to heat water, with the option of being a dedicated water heating system, or as a combination water heating and indoor space conditioning system.

How Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Work?

Rather than generating heat directly, heat pump water heaters work much like refrigerators, but in reverse. They use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air, then dump it, at a higher temperature, into a tank to heat the water inside. By using this process, heat pump water heaters can be far more energy efficient than traditional electric resistance water heaters.

Installing a Heat Pump Water Heater

A heat pump water heater should be installed in a location where temperatures remain between 40° and 90°F year-round. It’s a good idea to install a heat pump water heater in a space with excess heat, like a furnace room, as it relies on pulling heat from the air. There should also be at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space surrounding the water heater. Cooled exhaust air can be expelled into the room, but this will decrease the overall temperature, or it can be expelled outdoors.

Some air-source heat pump systems combine heating, cooling and water heating. As these systems rely on pulling heat from the air, they work more efficiently in warm climates. Geothermal heat pumps are a popular option for most homeowners. These systems draw heat from the ground during the winter, and from indoor air to cool the space during the summer months. To heat water, a desuperheater can be added to a geothermal heat pump system.

Gold Star Services Can Help

If you have questions about water heating, reach out to Gold Star Services today! We offer repairs, replacement and maintenance services in the areas of heating, air conditioning and water heaters. Call 1-302-947-8694 to get started!

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