Is a hybrid heat pump water heater right for me?

What Is a Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater?

A hybrid heat pump water heater works like a refrigerator but in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from an enclosed box and releases it to the surrounding air, a hybrid heat pump water heater captures heat from the surrounding air and then transfers it to water in an enclosed tank. It then blows out the cooler air. Because it moves heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly, it is a much more efficient way to heat water.

Heat Pump diagram

Why Choose a Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater?

Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home behind heating and cooling—accounting for approximately 14% to 18% of your utility costs. Hybrid heat pump water heaters can cost less than half as much to operate compared to traditional water heaters. Not only do they heat water, but they also cool and dehumidify the space around them.

How Much Can I Save?

On average a family of four can save around $3,500 over the lifetime of the unit. Don’t wait for your old water heater to break! Replace it now with an energy-efficient hybrid heat pump water heater and take advantage of rebates from SMECO’s Home Energy Improvement Program (covering up to 75% of the cost of the unit!).

Installation Procedures:

Step 1: Complete an Audit. Step 2: Get Recommendations. Step 3: Work With Contractor

First, receive an audit with one of SMECO’s Energy Advisors. During that visit, your Energy Advisor will conduct a detailed assessment of your home and help you determine if a heat pump water heater is right for you. If so, you’ll receive rebates toward your heat pump water heater – covering up to 75% of the total cost! – that you can use with any of our Authorized Contractors.

Schedule Your Appointment

Installation Considerations:

  • Is the location in an unoccupied space where cooling and noise will not be an issue?
  • Does the location offer more than 1,000 cubic feet of surrounding air (that is, approximately the space of a 12-foot by 12-foot room)? (Your hybrid heat pump water heater will not be as efficient if placed in a closet—even one with louvered doors—and you need adequate clearance around air entry and discharge.)
  • Does the location offer sufficient height to install? (Hybrid heat pump water heaters are usually taller than traditional water heaters to accommodate the heat pump.)
  • Can the location accommodate, or does it already have, a condensate drain or pump?
  • Is air temperature consistently above the freezing range (32°F)? (Hybrid heat pump water heaters do not operate in freezing temperatures like outdoors or in garages during winters in northern climates.)
  • Does the air temperature remain between 40°F–90°F year-round? (An ideal spot would be near a furnace in a basement that is warm all winter.)


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EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your energy bill. EmPOWER programs can help you reduce your energy consumption and save you money. Learn more about EmPOWER and how you can participate.