Heat pump hot water systems are fast growing in popularity. Australians are beginning to embrace the cost savings and environmental benefits, just as they have with solar power.
Heat pump hot water systems were developed at a Melbourne university in the 1970s. Today, they are helping more property owners move away from our reliance on fossil fuels.
So, what exactly are they and how can they save you?
What are heat pump hot water systems?
Most people are familiar with solar hot water systems. But did you know a heat pump also uses renewable energy to heat water?
A solar hot water system relies on the power of the sun. However, heat pump hot water systems use the heat from the air. This is then used to heat water for your home.
Why do people prefer heat pump water heaters?
While they do require electricity to operate a pump for a fan and compressor, heat pump systems offer far greater energy efficiency than an electric hot water heater.
When used and installed correctly, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can also save you a lot of money.
How do heat pump hot water systems work?
A traditional electric hot water system uses electricity to heat water using an element. It works in the same way an electric kettle does.
Alternatively, a heat pump water heater only relies on electricity to operate a pump, rather than using it to heat the water itself. The pump then moves a refrigerant through the system. This refrigerant transfers heat from the air through to the water to heat it. It pumps heat into water in a similar way to how a refrigerator pumps heat out to keep things cold.
The different types of heat pump hot water systems
There are 2 types of heat pump hot water heaters:
- Integrated – designed to be installed as a single outdoor unit
- Split – with components inside and outside the home, similar to an air conditioner for heating and cooling
Integrated systems consist of a heat pump and storage tank. The heat pump is usually mounted on top of the storage tank. The evaporator, which absorbs heat from the air, fan, condenser, and compressor, that concentrates the heat, are contained within the heat pump.
In a split system, the evaporator, fan and compressor are in a separate unit to the water storage tank, connected by piping.
5 Benefits of heat pump hot water systems
Regardless of which category you fall into when looking to upgrade your hot water system – seeking cost savings, trying to be kinder to the environment or keen to embrace evolving technologies – there is no doubt, a heat pump system offers plenty of benefits.
Benefit 1: Heat pump systems save you money
Heat pumps are much more energy efficient than a conventional electric water heater. They can save households 60-80% on running costs. As they cut down on energy use, they will greatly reduce the cost of your household electricity bill.
Benefit 2: Heat pumps are better for the environment
Heat pumps allow us to take advantage of renewable energy and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. They use a minimal amount of electricity compared to electric systems. And as the days become hotter due to climate change and the air outside becomes warmer, the easier it is for the heat pump to provide hot water.
Benefit 3: One of the easiest hot water systems to install
The installation of heat pumps does not require connecting gas lines, which is usually a major project. They have similar installation requirements to an electric system. They also offer a viable alternative for homes where flat-panel solar hot water systems can’t be installed due to roof pitch, council regulations, or shading.
Benefit 4: Heat pump systems work well with solar
If you already have a solar power (PV) system installed on your roof, heat pump hot water systems can save you even more money if you use a timer function to help them run more efficiently. As a heat pump uses the ambient air temperature to heat water, they are more efficient at heating during the day as opposed to at night time. Therefore, setting a timer on your heat pump system to heat water during the day can enable you to treat it like a thermal battery, storing it for use when required.
Benefit 5: Technology is improving heat pump systems
The technology used in heat pumps continues to advance all around the world as modern societies attempt to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Although they were once considered unsuitable for very cold climates where the temperature would cause parts to freeze or ice over, technology is now helping optimise their performance.
This means no matter the climate or season, there is a heat pump hot water system or solution to suit all parts of Australia. Whether you sweat through the hottest Queensland spring and summer or shiver through the coldest Victorian winter, there is a heat pump system for all Australian weather conditions.
How to choose the right heat pump hot water system
There is a huge range of heat pump water heaters that are suitable for most applications. But the best choice for your household will depend on several factors:
- The climate that you live in. Colder climates may require frost protection, an electric booster or defrost cycle.
- The amount of hot water your home requires. Generally, the bigger the heat pump hot water system, the more expensive the investment. Only purchase one as big as you require for the number of people in your home and the amount of hot water you are likely to use.
- Electricity tariffs (rates) available in your area. The tariff can have a large impact on the operating costs of the system. They can vary from state to state, so it’s wise to check with your electricity provider first.
If you’re still unsure if a heat pump is the right solution for your water heating needs, contact a heat pump specialist for advice.
The friendly team at Same Day Hot Water Service can answer all your questions and help you consider the options. Not only are we a supplier for well-known and trusted brands such as Evoheat and Reclaim, we can also handle the installation of your new hot water system.
From plumbing emergencies to repairs and services, the team at Same Day Hot Water Service are always on hand to help.