A heat pump or hybrid water heaters transfer heat from the surrounding air to the water. As a result, it will produce cool, dry exhaust air. Today’s hybrid water heaters have the capability to run in 2 modes. The first mode is heat pump mode, this is the most energy-efficient mode. The second is conventional electric resistance mode. The second mode is less energy efficient than the first mode.
However, when operating in heat pump mode, it does not heat water as fast as conventional electric resistance heaters. This is most especially true when the water heater is recovering after significant usage.
Consequently, to maintain performance, hybrid water heaters may switch between the two modes. These two heating modes are why heat pump water heaters are also referred to as “hybrids”.
Hybrids are optimally designed to be installed in unconditioned or semi-conditioned areas. For example, garages or basements. However, if placed in conditioned space, hybrids will produce cool and dry air that is useful in the summer months but will lead to higher heating bills in the winter months. If you think a heat pump water heater is the right product for you but you need to install the hybrid in a conditioned space such as a laundry room, you have the option of ducting the exhaust air outside.
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