A hybrid water heater combines a heat pump system with a storage-tank water heater. Instead of using electrical resistance to heat up the water in the tank, the water heater takes heat from the air around the water heater using the heat pump. The heat pump’s refrigerant that absorbed the outside heat then transports it to a heat exchanger that releases it into the tank to raise the water temperature.
Hybrid water heaters are little different that other types of water heaters as they generate heat from the bottom of the tank from its burner and send cold water through from the top. Even for tankless hybrids you will find them heating from the bottom part of the heater.
Top Picks: 5 Hybrid Water Heaters
Depending on what you are looking for in a water heater and how much space you have available will determine which one will best fit your needs.
Top 5 Hybrid Water Heater Reviews
If you’re after a simple and durable hybrid water heater, this model from AO Smith might be just what you’ve been looking for. Thanks to its unique patented flow circulation design, this natural gas water heater will offer the performance far above the vast majority of its competitors in this price range.
The folks at AO Smith who came up with this system had, no doubt, but one thing in mind – efficiency. Namely, they’ve aimed the circulation system in this hybrid water heater to achieve the optimal thermal efficiency – meaning it can achieve up to 90% of it! (meaning thermal efficiency, of course) So, only about 10% of the heat energy generated by the burning of the natural gas will ever go to waste.
This makes the HYB-90N one of the hands-down most efficient natural gas-powered water heaters out there!
- Patented water flow circulation design
- 189 gallon of hot water first-hour delivery
- Up to 90% thermal efficiency
- 6-year limited warranty
- Some users were dissatisfied with the customer service
- Some users may not like the appearance of this unit
2. GE GeoSpring – Pro Hybrid Electric Water Heater
One of the toughest pills to swallow as a God-fearin’ bill-payin’ citizen would be to buy a water heater that works well but alas – isn’t at all frugal! Well, if you are battling with your fuel-guzzling ‘n’ electricity devouring home appliances, this hybrid water heater from GE GeoSpring may put a big ole smile on your face.
Thanks to its 3.39 energy factor, the folks at GE GeoSpring estimate that this thing can save you up to $396 every year! This is the money you can invest in anything from an inflatable swimming pool for your kids, to new car parts for your car. (And clothes for you wife. And everything else in between.) In fact, to go a step further, let’s compare this model with a standard electric water heater. When put head to head, this hybrid electric water heater will be 71% more energy efficient than its purely electric cousin.
Also, this model boasts easy-to-use electronic controls, 4 operating modes, as well as a vacation setting you can use when you’re away. (This will save even more energy in the long run!) So, if energy efficiency is your priority when it comes to water heaters, definitely consider obtaining this model!
- Excellent 3.39 energy efficiency rating
- Uses only 1407 kWh annually (71% better than standard electric tank heaters)
- Electronic heating controls
- 4 modes of operation
- Vacation mode
- Some users may not like the design of this unit
- A bit bulky
3. AO Smith – 50-Gallon Voltex Residential Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
Another beast of an energy-saving machine comes in the shape of this AO Smith 50-gallon Voltex water heater. Thanks to its excellent modernized design and configuration, this model can save you up to 73% of your water heating costs, which pitches it somewhat higher than the model you’ve seen above! (But they’re pretty close, all around.)
A big part of this unit’s incredible energy efficiency would be that it is capable to get rid of the humidity and to cool the air in its immediate vicinity, all the while attracting heat to itself. This way, the amount of fuel it needs to heat the water can be further reduced – resulting in even smaller costs! Quite clever, isn’t it?
- Attractive design
- Can reduce water heating bill up to 73%
- Uses environmental heat to heat the water
- Can cool the surrounding area and dehumidify it
- User-friendly display
- Vacation mode
- Some users claimed that this unit can be a bit loud
- Fairly heavy
4. HTP – RGH-100F High-Efficiency Crossover Hybrid Water Heater
If you’re looking for a small but plucky water heating contraption, this model from HTP can be just the model for you. It’s got a simple and sturdy stainless steel construction, which ensures longevity as well as the fact that it won’t ever get rusty.
It’s not all about the stainless steel onboard, however! The onboard insulation makes sure that this unit will be able to hold on to heat for much longer than a model with no similar insulation would – so, you can count in some energy-saving points here, as well.
Other than that, this unit has been preset to run on natural gas by the HTP folks, but it can be converted to run on liquid propane. What’s more, the manufacturers have included the liquid propane conversion kit in this offer, so you don’t need to worry about spending extra money to make this happen. (In case you plan to use liquid propane, that is.)
- Thick insulation (saves energy)
- Sturdy stainless steel build
- Comes with a liquid propane conversion kit
- Works on high altitudes (up to 10,000 feet)
- Some users have reported water leaks
- Some users have reported problems with the customer service
5. Rheem – Performance Platinum 50-Galon Hybrid High-Efficiency Water Heater
This model is a sort of water-heating hybrid contraption that represents a full package. You want energy efficiency – you got it. You want high-tech additions such as an LCD screen – you got it with this right here Rheem thing. You want an attractive design that goes well with your bathroom and other appliances in your home – Rheem’s once again got your back!
When it comes to energy efficiency, this contraption, in particular, carries the coveted ENERGY STAR rating, which in the case of this model means it will be able to save you up to $400 bucks annually.
As for controlling this excellent piece of water-heating technology, you can rest assured everything will be hunky-dory because this model boasts an easy-to-read LCD screen as well as an audio alarm for when your water is ready to be used!
- Excellent water-saving properties
- Futuristic design
- ENERGY STAR rating
- LCD screen for better orientation
- Audio alarm for when your water is ready
- Fairly expensive
- Some users may find it too bulky
Do Hybrid Water Heaters Save Money?
Using a hybrid water heater is actually a lot more energy efficient than other options out there. Heating using electrical resistance consumes a lot of power. A hybrid water heater, on the other hand, can actually cut down on how much money homeowners have to payout. An average household of four people can save almost $4,000 throughout the lifetimes of the hybrid water heater’s lifetime.
How Long Do Hybrid Water Heaters Last?
Luckily, hybrid water heaters last a bit longer than conventional water heaters. Where conventional water heaters last from 8-12 years, hybrid water heaters can last from 13-15 years.
Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth It?
While tankless water heaters can save quite a bit of money in the long run, they are a bit expensive to initally purchase. Not only do you get endless hot water and additional storage space, but you’ll receive lower energy bills, as well. Those are some great benefits, but tankless wanter heaters tend to cost up to three times more than traditional heaters. Also, some homes aren’t equipped to handle this type of heater, meaning you would have to hire an electrician to rewire some things, which could cost thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, you pretty much just have to way out the pros and cons of the situation. If you’re not willing or able to afford the initial start up cost, which could honestly cost quite a few a thousand dollars, then you might not want to check out what your other options are.
Who Makes the Best Heat Pump Water Heater?
As of right now, the best heat pump water heater on the market is the Rheem Prestige Series 80 Gallon Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater. Needless to say, Rheem knows what they’re doing in the industry, and their high-quality products are proof of that. The Rheem Prestige Series Water Heater is the most efficient heat pump water heater on the market, allowing homeowners to save around $4,000 in its lifetime. If you’re looking for a heat pump water heater that you can control from an app on your phone and costs less than 60 cents a day to operate, then you should definitely consider purchasing this unbelievable unit.
What are the Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater?
While there are plenty of benefits to this type of heater, there are also some disadvantages. For one, tankless heaters usually aren’t able to heat water for simultaneous uses. They also have to be vented to the outdoors, which can be a bit difficult to achieve. It’s also difficult to keep a consistent temperature at different flows with a tankless heater.