How a heat pump water heater works?
If you’re remodeling your home, thinking about the water heater might seem rather dull. However, this is one place where a home renovation can save you money. Water heaters provide the most cost-effective heat for radiant floor heating systems. Here are some descriptions of energy efficient water heaters.
Heat Pump Water Heaters: A new technology, electric heat pump water heaters could save the typical family quite a bit each year when compared to a standard electric heater. They work similarly to heat pumps that are used for heating and air conditioning purposes and combine with your HVAC system. They work by drawing in warm outside air to heat the water, so they are only effective in warm climates. Homeowners can recoup the higher initial investment over time. (Most estimates are around three years.)
Heat pump water heaters are very different. Electricity isn’t converted directly into heat; rather it is used to move heat from one place to another. Therefore, they can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters. To move the heat, heat pumps work like a refrigerator in reverse. This is counter-intuitive because the heat is moved from a colder place (the room air where the water heater is located) to a warmer place (the water in the storage tank).
This seemingly magic process happens because a specialized refrigerant fluid is alternately condensed and evaporated in a closed loop. This process relies on phase changes of the refrigerant that capture and release significant amounts of heat.
Because heat pump water heaters extract heat from the air where they’re located, with most installations they increase heating loads somewhat. If you have an expensive fuel, such as baseboard-electric and are in a cold climate with a significant heating season, a heat pump water heater may not make sense. These water heaters can make a lot of sense when there is a lot of waste heat, such as in a basement where an oil or gas furnace or boiler is located.