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oil pan 4 09-12-17 08:48 AM

Heat pump hot water heaters
Does any one know how many BTUs the heat pump side of these water heaters move?
The ratings I find appear to include the electric heating elements too.
I'm thinking about getting one and using the heat pump only during the summer.
They are only $1,000 to $1,800 each and the place is already wired for an electric water heater, the water heater is right next to the A/C handler with it's condensate pump and I can rip out the old one and plumb in the new one with out any problem.

jeff5may 09-12-17 10:34 AM

The smaller, residential units have 1/3 to 1 ton compressors in them, plus resistance heating elements for "turbo boost" demand water heating during high usage. Most of the units have an average COP (aka energy factor) of 2 - 2.5. The commercial units (above about 80 gallons) go up from there in both compressor size and COP. Nearly all of the units produced before 2015 had cap tube metering systems in them. Many of the modern units still do, but some are now being built with electronic expansion valve systems, which should theoretically boast higher COP as long as they don't fall back on resistance heating very often.

oil pan 4 09-12-17 06:10 PM

I like the idea of a 1 ton, no so much the idea of a 1/3 ton.

mejunkhound 09-13-17 07:54 PM

We have a GE geospring WH. Got it on a closeout ($700) at Lowes 2 years ago, and the POCO 'rebate' paid for 100% of it (I still got stuck with sales tax though, but the federal tax credit just about covered the sales tax, so close to 'free')

Best I can tell it is just 1/2 TON HP. 550W, 3.2 COP.

Only the 2 of us at home now, we run it in HP mode only.
Installed about 2 years ago, have a separate wh meter on the WH.

Installed just under 2 years ago in Sept, it has used 723 kW-hrs in 2 years, average of about 11 cents a day for hot water. Installed in the 'unheated*' basement where temperature is in the low 60s most the year.

2 or 3 times a year when we have overnight guests we do set it for 'demand', otherwise the resistance heaters are never on.

*WSHP compressor is in the basement as are only partially insulated ducts, so there is some basement heat.
I did build a box around the tank area and added R-22 insulation.

oil pan 4 09-13-17 09:05 PM

Half ton is good enough.
Wonder if I can get a 80 gallon GE.

I would install this one in the main part of the house and use the cool air given off to help cool the house. So there should be plenty of heat available to warm the water.

jeff5may 09-13-17 10:29 PM

Lowes has it advertised for around $1350:

oil pan 4 09-14-17 05:06 AM

That's weird I searched for it and it didn't come up. They would have to order it where I am. I saw the 80 gallon A.O. Smith one for $1,900. I would just prefer to not spend $1,900.

For whatever reason the 80 gallon GE one is not available where I am.

jeff5may 09-14-17 07:05 AM

I asked my plumber buddy and he said the 80 gallon geospring units have recently been discontinued. He didn't have anything good to say about them, but said the voltex units by a o smith are built better anyways.

Straight from Treehugger:

"The GeoSpring water heater was a clever design with an air source heat pump mounted on an insulated tank. Heat pumps are more efficient because they move heat instead of making it, and the GeoSpring could save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year and could pay for itself in just two or three years.

But alas, that’s not good enough for the I Want It Now culture; Scott Gibson writes in Green Building Advisor that GE is pulling the plug on it writing that " according to published reports, GE Appliances will stop manufacturing the water heaters at the end of the year because of low sales, just four years after the energy-efficient appliances were introduced."

Evidently they cost too much, (two to three times what regular resistance water heaters cost) and GE has been losing millions on them. But there were other issues, raised by commenters at GBI:

Regular water heaters are silent, while the GeoSpring had compressors and was actually noisy, some complain that it was noisier than a fridge;

The quality, at least at the beginning, was not very good;

Lack of clear contractor serviceability; the plumber doesn't know HVAC or refrigeration and the HVAC guy doesn't know plumbing or water heaters;

And my favorite comment:

People just don't care about energy efficiency here in the USA. That's my take on it. Everyone is into the house lipstick. It's not what's inside the walls but what's the wall painted with. Those concerned with true house energy efficiency is a very small minority, especially here in the USA where electricity is still cheap.

The whole story is just sad; when you read Brian’s post there was so much excitement, optimism and hope about high tech manufacturing returning to America with a great energy saving product. Except when it isn’t, and when everyone is into my favorite new term, house lipstick."

mejunkhound 09-14-17 07:52 AM

Sorry for the confusion, did say I got mine on a closeout.

Meant the post only to convey the energy use I'd had and the wattage, 1/2 ton, 550W, cop of 3.2 information.

Even 2 years ago there were only 4 or 5 GE HPWH left at the Lowes 'locally' (> 10stores in Sea-Tac metro area) and noticed that when they were gone there were no more. Had to drive 20 miles to get mine, 3 other stores within 6 miles were out and did not want to move one from another store being they were priced as closeouts. .

Lowes in our area now stocks only AO Smith, 50 gal at $1200.

BTW, definitely LOUDER than a refrigerator, you would not have wanted the GE one in an area where you wanted to watch TV or have a quiet conversation. Do have to say that the one I got has been trouble free for 2 years.
You might want to closely review any HPWH noise rating on sone numbers.

oil pan 4 09-14-17 07:58 AM

Sounds like I'm qualified to work with one of these.
Since I do refrigeration, plumbing and electrical.

Where this heater would go is by the kitchen and bathroom, not really close to the living room or bedroom.

They do cost a lot.

If I remember correctly these were part of Obama's green environmental economic stimulus package, give money to companies to encourage them to make stuff either no one will want or can/is made cheaper in china.

I think a heat pump water heater is brilliant. As long as you live in warmer climate or need a dehumidifier in the basement.
During the winter it gets so cold here I'm switching to a gas heater. I will have room for both soon.

I think I will get the A.O. $mith water heater, if it costs more, but is quieter and more efficient how can I argue with that.

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