GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater

    GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater

    Heating water for showers, laundry, dishwashers and other household needs can account for up to 25 percent of a home’s total energy cost. General Electric hopes that they figured out a way to persuade homeowners to upgrade from a conventional electric storage-tank water heater to its new heat-pump water heater, expected out in the fourth quarter of 2009. A heat-pump water heater is quite common in Japan, but GE’s 50-gallon Hybrid Electric Water Heater represents the only U.S. version from a major manufacturer. This is an electric conventional style tank that holds between 40 and 60 gallons.

    This heat-pump technology being used works be allowing heat to transfer from the air to the water stored in the insulated tank. (The conventional style tank will also retain some traditional electrical heating elements, which will kick in when needed.) GE claims this new water heater will use 2,300 kilowatt hours annually, about half that of a standard electric water heater. Those savings could help defray its cost, which at $1,200 to $1,500 American is higher than purchasing a conventional tank.

    Realistically if you have gas or propane service at your home it would be much more efficient and cost effective to go with the new tankless water heaters that are available. Additionally since the unit is absorbing heat from the surrounding air it has to give off cool air which in Toronto and surrounding area means that your furnace will have to then work to heat that new cool air.

    This may be an interesting product for any cottages or homes with electrical service only.

    Author: John

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    1 Comment

    1. I have installed the G.E. hybrid unit and it works great and it has only run in heat pump mode with no difficulties. I removed my oil hot water and furnace and also went geothermal. I would any day put this unit against a tankless. I am a heating/air conditioning mechanic and have installed and serviced many tankless units with mixed results. The article does not take into account the maintenance and sometimes very costly labour to install a tankless properely.
      Most burner inputs are higher than the furnace heating the residence, so you are still using enegy to heat your water, just faster as the old standard tank would run after heavy useage but much less btu’s 150,000 to 33,000. Tankless units are best suited for people using 100gallon plus soaker tubs or using them to do both domestic and hydronic heating duties. Not many tankless units will go 20 years with no or very little service. Like all equipment ther are good and bad points and none are perfect, but to recommend tankless units to the masses is incorrect unless all the factors are explained. I will take some cold air and dehumidification any day, over a tankless which has hot water delay (wasted water) and reduced water flow during heavy demand. The heatpump can operate efficently to 40 degF, so how much will you have to heat your basement?

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