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Old 01-30-15, 08:33 AM   #1
Brandon727
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Default Help me get the most out of heatpump water heater

long time lurker first time poster. i will be adding a heatpump water heater within the next few months. i'm looking to maximize the energy savings so i'm looking for tips on location, if i need to add intake or exhaust fans, heattraps, etc,

I just bought my house last year, first thing i did was install led bulbs(7w and 9w) in every fixture and rewired 2 florescent tubes to led(13w and 18w), i then installed a 1.5gpm and 1.75gpm shower head in out two showers, 1.0gpm aerators in the 2 bathroom vanitys and a 1.8gpm(vs the 2.2gpm) kitchen faucet. replaced 2 old crank out windows that wouldn't shut(1" gap). plugged various holes in the roof, and added a programmable t-stat, the house came with a water heater timer I use. My plans this year are to replace the remaining 5 crank out windows, add insulation, and switch to a heat pump hot water heater.

Home specs
Avg useage over the first 10months 827kwh(27khw daily)
1250sq ft a/c space.
Location Coast of central Florida so very humid and hot most of the year.
2 people with plans to add a third(kid). so usage will only go up.

Living in coastal Florida i think i would benefit greatly by installing a hybrid water heater as i should be able to run it 300+days a year in heatpump only mode.

I will be installing it in my garage 11"x24"x8"(2100cuft) but the attic is open into the garage so i have plenty of space to draw from.

i have freedom to mount it where i need to so what is a better choice close to the interior wall or the exterior wall, would I benefit from any intake or exhaust fans/vents and would setting up heat traps be helpful, any other tips are appreciated.

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Old 01-30-15, 09:23 AM   #2
hamsterpower
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Considering your location, I would try to find a spot inside the conditioned space to install your water heater. Reason being, to get the benifits of the cooling/dehumidifying inside the house.
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Old 01-30-15, 11:08 AM   #3
Brandon727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterpower View Post
Considering your location, I would try to find a spot inside the conditioned space to install your water heater. Reason being, to get the benifits of the cooling/dehumidifying inside the house.
the current water heater is in the garage so keeping it in there is easiest(cheapest), and the only closet i could put it in inside is across the house, I have a very small attic not crawl friendly, so reruning piping would be a bear and costly that is a more last resort. I would be willing to run a duct from the house to the water heater to get the cooling/dehumidifying effect, any write-ups on here i can look at?
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Old 01-30-15, 11:49 AM   #4
Geo NR Gee
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Where is the current water heater in regards to the Cooling/Heating unit? In WA the practice for new construction is to have the hot water heater and heating/cooling units next to each other, so it would be easy to vent the conditioned air to the supply line during the cooling season.
If I remember right the last time I was in Florida, some are on the roof away from the hot water heater.........
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Old 01-30-15, 12:19 PM   #5
Brandon727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo NR Gee View Post
Where is the current water heater in regards to the Cooling/Heating unit? In WA the practice for new construction is to have the hot water heater and heating/cooling units next to each other, so it would be easy to vent the conditioned air to the supply line during the cooling season.
If I remember right the last time I was in Florida, some are on the roof away from the hot water heater.........
in the crude picture attached the water heater is the red X, the Cooling/heating air handler is the Black X, to the left of the A/c is a door into the house so i can't install there but i can put it on the right side and run any vents.

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Old 01-30-15, 12:24 PM   #6
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You could mount it in the garage and vent the output to the house.
Of course, if you actually park vehicles there or store potentially dangerous chemicals you won't want to do this. Maybe you could duct air in directly to the unit through an outer wall and direct air out to the house.
Keep in mind you'll have condensation to deal with so you'll need a place to drain water.
If you go with a Geospring the other post here regarding the availability of a duct kit may interest you.
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Old 01-30-15, 12:30 PM   #7
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The geospring wasn't on my list as it was a 2.4ef and for the same price i could get the whirlpool that has a 2.75ef, but i was just looking and i see GE is rolling out there updated Geospring line that is ~3.1ef in the next few months so if it is within $100 of the whirlpool i will pick it up.

How much will the ducting help? yes i know it's a case by case basis but where is a avg price that makes it worth it, if the kit is $25 i will do it, but at 100-150 is it worth it long term?
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Old 01-30-15, 12:34 PM   #8
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Ducting the cool dry air into the house would reduce your AC load.
I don't know the cost of the Geospring duct.
Noise is an issue too if you decide to duct to the house interior.
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Old 01-30-15, 01:37 PM   #9
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I think a garage location is pretty ideal already.

If you duct only the output of the WH to the house then the output air may not actually be cool enough to help. GE says you should only do this when the garage air is less than 15 degrees higher than the house's indoor air.

If you duct the input and output to the house, then the WH will (I'm guessing, not 100% sure) be less efficient since it won't have access to that extra hot garage air. It will also be a hindrance in the winter. I know it doesn't get that cold there, but it does get cold enough to want to avoid "free" AC dumping into the house.

AND, you are generally not supposed to run ducts between the house and garage. It is a fire safety and indoor air pollution issue.
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Old 02-01-15, 06:07 AM   #10
hamsterpower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon727 View Post
the current water heater is in the garage so keeping it in there is easiest(cheapest), and the only closet i could put it in inside is across the house, I have a very small attic not crawl friendly, so reruning piping would be a bear and costly that is a more last resort. I would be willing to run a duct from the house to the water heater to get the cooling/dehumidifying effect, any write-ups on here i can look at?
It would be unwise and against code to duct garage air into the house. A HP water heater also can not be hidden in a closet as it needs lots of air movement to work correctly. If you are not willing to place the unit inside conditioned space (to help with cooling load) then you are likely better off with an on-demand water heater. The cheaper efficient option.

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