Hybrid Water Heater Review: Is It Right For You?
Do you have a conventional water heater or a tankless water heater and are curious about the hype surrounding a hybrid water heater, wondering if it’s right for you? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Finding the right water heater for your home can be a daunting task, which is why we’ve created content to make this process easier.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- Pros and cons of hybrid water heaters
- Who a hybrid water heater is right for
We here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air are trained and certified with some of the top water heater manufacturers on the market. Since 2007, we’ve helped thousands of clients across the Los Angeles area with their water heater needs including helping them decide if a hybrid water heater is right for them. Now, it’s your turn!
Hybrid Water Heaters: What’s the hype?
Hybrid water heaters are rising in popularity because they use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat like a tank-style water heater or a tankless water heater which can use natural gas.
Therefore, hybrid water heaters can be two to three times more energy efficient than tank-style electric water heaters. However, to understand how water heaters work further, check out this article here as we dive into all the details.
Pros and Cons Of Hybrid Water Heaters
With all the hype around hybrid water heaters, you must be wondering what are the pros and cons of having a hybrid water heater. Some of the pros of having a hybrid water heater include:
- Customizable usage
- Environmentally friendly
- Customizable Usage
The majority of hybrid water heaters feature a control panel. This control panel let's you select one of several preset heating modes. These modes include:
Auto mode: While there are other viable settings, auto mode is the most common setting used. Auto mode is favored because it adjusts to your home's hot water demand. This mode uses the heat pump and electric element as required.
Efficiency mode: Using just the heat pump, efficiency mode is more efficient than other modes and can lower energy bills.
Electric mode: This mode is essentially what it sounds like. Electric mode uses the electric element, making it ideal for high-demand homes where two or more fixtures are in use, like multiple showers.
Sleep mode: Another somewhat self-explanatory mode, sleep mode puts the water heater into sleep. This mode will also save you money on your energy bills since it prevents the water heater from running while you're away for longer periods of time, like when you're out on vacation.
- Environmentally Friendly
A hybrid water heater uses less energy than gas-powered and electric water heaters when not in electric mode. This means that hybrid water heaters offer lower emissions than other styles of water heaters.
To take things to the next level, you can install solar panels to provide power to your hybrid water heater.
Because hybrid water heaters run on electricity, they are inherently safer than water heaters powered by gas.
Despite homeowners' efforts to safeguard their families, gas is susceptible to more potential dangers.
Cons of Hybrid Water Heaters
Not every aspect of the hybrid water heater is outstanding. Some of the cons of having a hybrid water heater include:
- Higher costs upfront
- Inefficient in cold weather
- Lots of space
- More maintenance
- Higher Upfront Costs
The upfront investment is usually what deters homeowners from buying a hybrid water heater. Hybrid water heaters typically start at $1,200 and can reach up to $2,500 and beyond.
Despite the cost, some companies offer financing to offset the financial burden a bit. We recommend that you call a certified technician to find this information.
- Inefficient in Colder Temperatures
Unfortunately, because hybrid water heaters rely on the heat pulled from their environment, they aren't the best option for colder climates.
We recommend that you store your hybrid water heater in a place that is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes lower than this, the heat pump won’t work properly. The water heater will have a tough time pulling enough surrounding heat to raise your water temperature to an acceptable level. As a result of this factor, hybrid water heaters will go into using their electric elements to operate. Switching to using the electric element will end up increasing your energy bills due to the extra energy use.
- Lots of Space
You'll need about 1,000 cubic feet of breathing room around your hybrid water heater for it to function properly. Anything less than this amount of space will result in the water heater not working efficiently.
- More Maintenance
If you do choose to go with a hybrid water heater, be aware that they require more maintenance than other alternatives. On top of the draining service that tank-style water heaters require, hybrid water heater filters need cleaning every two to three months. Their heat pumps also need attention, so there's another maintenance factor to think about.
While you can drain a hybrid water heater yourself, we recommend that you call a certified technician to perform maintenance on your unit.
Is a Hybrid Water Heater Right For You?
Hybrid water heaters are gaining popularity among homeowners but are they for you?
You should consider getting a hybrid water heater if:
- If saving on energy costs is top of the list, go with a hybrid water heater. The hybrid design has several different control options to choose from to help save on energy costs.
- If you are aiming to be more environmentally friendly, then hybrid water heaters are right for you because they use less energy than gas-powered and electric tank-style water heaters.
- If you have unlimited space and live in warmer climates, a hybrid water heater may be right for you because hybrid water heaters need at least 1,000 cubic feet to run properly and use outside air to heat the water in the tank.
You should avoid getting a hybrid water heater if:
- If you’re on a budget, a tank-style water heater is a better option since they pose a lower upfront investment than a hybrid water heater.
- If you live in colder climates, the hybrid water heater may not be for you as it should only be stored in temperatures of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you're looking for long-term savings, don't go with a hybrid water heater. The long-term savings do not exactly balance out the higher upfront costs.
Not convinced a hybrid water heater is right for you? Check out the article below as we also have a similar article that will help you decide if a tankless water heater is right for you, as well as the differences between tank-style and tankless water heaters, just in case you were considering the traditional tank water heater.
We here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air are dedicated to giving you all the information you need on hybrid water heaters so that you can make the best decision for you and your home. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in learning more about hybrid water heaters, feel free to call us at 310-853-8690, and one of our call center representatives would be happy to help you.