A heat pump is a unit that either removes heat from the house and blows it outside (a/c) or removes it from the outside and blows it inside the house (heater). An electric water heat pump works similarly to a standalone air conditioner or a refrigerator.
How an Electric Water Heat Pump Works
Both take warm air from outside – a compressor then moves the refrigerant through a condensing coil and an expansion valve, here the refrigerant gas cools as it expands in a low-pressure environment. It then passes through an indoor evaporator coil where a fan blows air from indoors across the coil drawing heat to the refrigerant, which because of evaporation boils. This warm air now gets cooled as the refrigerant absorbs the heat in the air blowing over the coil. The cooled air now cools your home or your food.
Now reverse this process and you extract heat from the outside air and blow it inside you get heated air that can either be blown in the house or in a tank of water. Instead of using fuel to heat water, a heat pump is merely using electricity to move air from one place to another. In the case of the electric water heat pump it pulls heat from the ambient air and stores it in a tank full of water.
Efficiency of an Electric Water Heat Pump Tank
Your basic electric water heater converts 1kW–hour of electricity into 100–percent heat. Only 90–percent of this generated heat is transferred into the water creating an Energy Factor of 0.9. The electric water heat pump also converts 1kW–hour but moves an equivalent of nearly 3kW–hours of heat into the water tank creating an Energy Factor of 2 or more.
Advantages of and Requirements for an Electric Water Heater Pump
- The electric water heat pump can be purchased as an integrated unit or it can be retrofitted to an existing electric water heater unit.
- Cooled air can be vented inside or out
- Will need 1,000 cubic feet of air space around the unit
- Requires ambient temperatures of 40-90 degrees year round for maximum efficiency
- A combination heat pump system can be purchased that is an air conditioner, heater and water heater
When upgrading your existing water heater consult with Best Plumbing to choose the most efficient and useful water heater to fit your family’s hot water needs. Call us at 206-633-1700 for a consultation or installation.
Have a leak, a clog or any plumbing problem that needs repair? Give us a call at 206-633-1700 for an appointment. We’re at your service.