Selecting the right hot water system for your house is super important. You must choose how to heat the water and decide between keeping it in a tank or flowing continuously. Also, consider the size, cost, and how much energy it uses.
One type of system is called a heat pump. It works by moving heat from one place to another using a particular machine and various cool liquids or gases.
But why should you get a heat pump hot water system for your home? Should you get it? Well, let’s try to answer the questions.
Heat pumps are better because they don’t use a lot of energy. Heat pumps are becoming increasingly prevalent worldwide because they help save money on energy bills.
If you’re considering getting a new hot water system, this article talks about the essential things to think about before deciding on a heat pump system.
What is a Heat Pump Water Heater?
A heat pump is fundamentally a backward refrigerator. It takes heat from the air and moves it into a tank to heat water. It can transfer heat from a chilly place to a warmer one.
Not only that, but it can also cool a home by removing heat and sending it outside.
When heating, the pump squeezes the outside heat, making the pump’s fluid very hot. This hot energy is sent inside to warm the water and then sent outside again. Heat pumps are eco-friendly and efficient.
A COP number measures their effectiveness. Higher numbers mean it uses less energy.
Components of A Heat Pump
A heat pump water heater is a simple system made up of nine main parts:
Tank: This is a big container for water, like in a regular water heater.
Compressor: It’s at the top of the heat pump. It pressurises a special liquid, making it heat up and move through the system.
Evaporator: These coils are near the top of the pump and get warm air from the surroundings. The liquid heats up, gets pressurised, and turns into a gas, creating high pressure and heat.
Condenser: These coils are around or inside the water tank. The hot gas cools down, turns back into a liquid, and gives its heat to the water in the tank.
Fan: It pulls warm air from your basement, storage room, or garage.
Thermostats: There are usually two. They check the water temperature at the top and bottom of the tank. They control whether to heat the water or stop heating it.
Cold Water Inlet: It’s where cold water enters from your home’s main line.
Hot Water Outlet: This is where heated water leaves the heater to go to your shower, sink, washing machine, or dishwasher.
Drain: If you need to empty some water from the tank, this is where you release it.
Types of Heat Pump Hot Water System
Different kinds of hot water systems exist, including heat pump water heaters. These systems vary based on where they get their energy and the type of unit used.
There are three main types of heat pumps based on their energy source: air-source, water-source, and geothermal.
Air-source heat pumps are the most common in Australia and work by extracting heat from the air. They are effective in many areas but might not suit freezing climates.
On the other hand, geothermal heat pumps get heat from the ground, which remains warmer and more consistent in temperature. While more expensive initially, they are efficient and cost-effective in the long run.
Water-source heat pumps rely on available groundwater, making them less common but a great option if your home meets the requirements.
Air-source heat pumps are more commonly installed, have lower initial costs, and are suitable for various climates between the three types.
Meanwhile, geothermal and water-source heat pumps are more efficient but might require more investment and specific conditions for installation.
Heat pumps can also be categorised as integrated or split systems. Integrated systems have the pump and tank connected as a single unit, while split systems have these components separated.
Split systems offer installation flexibility, particularly for homes with limited outdoor space. On the other hand, integrated systems are easier to install but might need less plumbing work as the tank and pump are already connected.
Pros of Heat Pump
Cost-effectiveness and Lifetime Savings
Installation and Maintenance
Setting up and caring for your heat pump hot water system is crucial for making it work efficiently. A proper installation depends on the fuel you use, the weather where you live, and the rules for building and safety in your area.
That’s why it’s a good idea to get a qualified professional, like a plumbing and heating contractor or a geothermal heat pump expert, to set up your heat pump system.
Here’s what to do when choosing the right professional:
- Ask for written cost estimates
- Request references from them
- Check if the company is reputable
- Ensure they’ll get any necessary permits and understand local building codes.
Regular maintenance for your water heater is essential, too. It helps your heater last longer and work better. You can find specific instructions for keeping in the owner’s manual.
Can a Heat Pump Run on Solar Energy?
Heat pumps combined with solar panels offer an environmentally friendly way to cater to space heating and hot water needs at home. You could also generate surplus energy to meet your energy needs.
Solar power is broadly categorised into thermal solar energy and photovoltaic solar energy. Utilising solar thermal energy to heat your water significantly reduces the electricity demand of your heat pump.
On the other hand, photovoltaic solar panel systems directly capture the sun’s energy, converting it into usable electricity. This electricity can supplement the power used by your heat pump.
It will decrease your dependence on grid electricity and reduce fossil fuel usage.
In Australia, solar panels are increasingly popular among homeowners. Homeowners also favour heat pumps.
These devices also extract heat from the surrounding air or the earth’s core, utilising renewable energy or solar panels.
Rebates and Incentives available
The Solar Homes Program in Victoria offers discounts and rewards for people who want to buy specific heat pumps or solar hot water systems.
If you live in Victoria, your household earns less than $180,000 per year, and your home is worth under $3 million, you can get up to $1,000 to help you buy one of these systems.
This offer is also open to non-profit community housing providers if they’re applying for their tenants.
To qualify, you should be replacing a hot water system that’s older than three years and select a product listed on the Clean Energy Regulator’s Register of solar water heaters.
But you can only get one rebate from the Solar Homes Program. If you’ve already got a solar panel system or solar battery rebate, you can’t get this one.
Is It Worth Investing in a Heat Pump Water Heater?
Suppose you’re considering getting a new electric water heater or dealing with high electricity bills because of your current one. In that case, you might be contemplating switching to a heat pump water heater.
Heat pumps are much more efficient than traditional electric water heaters. According to officials, they can save an average home around $330 a year on energy bills.
It could accumulate to nearly $3,400 in savings.
The more individuals living in your home, the quicker these savings will grow. Typically, a 50-gallon heat pump water heater costs around $1,200, whereas a traditional electric water heater costs about $300.
On average, the price difference can be recovered in just three years, after which you’ll start seeing significantly reduced water bills.
Is a Heat Pump Hot Water System the Right Choice for Your Home?
Lots of homes find them helpful right away. They work well, especially if you require more space for a big water tank. They give you good hot water that’s affordable and reliable, and you can feel good because they help reduce greenhouse gases.
Heat pumps are getting popular because they work well, are cheap, last a long time, require little maintenance, and work reliably. If you’re worried about any problems, a heat pump can likely fix them, making it an excellent solution for your hot water needs.
If you’re thinking about hot water systems, contact Solar Emporium or Smart Lifestyle Australia. We offer energy-efficient heat pumps across New South Wales and Victoria. We can help your home have a good and efficient hot water system.
You can buy hot water systems on our website or talk to energy experts about fixing or maintaining your system.
Heat Pump Hot Water FAQs
In contrast to a standard water heater that creates heat directly, a heat pump water heater doesn't generate heat from the beginning. Instead, it utilises the natural warmth present in the air to heat a refrigerant, which, in turn, heats the water. This method, although intricate, proves to be a significantly more effective approach to warming water.
The price of a heat pump system in Australia can change based on its size and functionalities. It can typically cost around from $1,500 to $5,000.
Yes! Heat pumps will save you money or your monthly bills regularly. It will save you money in the long run, too.
Heat pumps do not require fuel. Hence, they are environmentally friendly. They generate heat and transfer it to water using environmentally friendly refrigerants.
Traditional hot water systems require fuel combustion, which produces soot, which is harmful to the environment. Heat pumps, on the other hand, simply extract heat from their surroundings and transfer it to water.