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Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Heat Pump Water Heater

Keep your heat pump water heater working at top notch efficiency for long-lasting energy savings.

You can read about all the advantages of heat pump water heaters here if you’re still on the fence about whether to install one in your own home, you can even learn exactly how a heat pump water heater works. But if that’s not what you’re here for, read on to learn more about how to maintain your heat pump water heater as part of an efficient water heating system. 

Pick A Professional Grade Water Heater with an Industry-Best Warranty

When you get a professional-grade water heater you can be sure that it will last longer than a box-store water heater. You’re also less likely to run into faulty components that will result in you wasting time and money trying to get it fixed - all while you still don’t have hot water!

Prevent the headache. Go with the right choice the first time instead of gambling on a box-store water heater. There’s a great deal to learn about the differences between box-store and professional-grade water heaters, but you’re here for heat pump water heaters.

Heat pump water heaters are a truly wonderful investment for your family and your wallet. In short, they pull heat from the surrounding air and run it through a compressor to condense the heat into your water storage tank. They do this passively, unlike standard electric or gas water heaters which use electric resistance or active fuel burning to heat water, which results in major cost savings for homeowners while eliminating fossil fuel emission at the same time. ENERGY STAR-rated heat pump water heaters can be up to three times more efficient than conventional water heaters! 

At Water Heaters Now, we offer only professional-grade, ENERGY STAR-rated heat pump water heaters, with industry-best 10 year warranties to back them up. Working with us to select and install your next water heater will ensure you get the best high-efficiency unit for your space, installed quickly by industry professionals. 

Get the Heat Pump Water Heater Installation Right

One of the most important ways to keep your heat pump water heater working efficiently for years to come is to get the water heater installation right. Make sure to work with a professional plumber so that your new water heater is installed correctly and ready to reduce your operating costs.

Heat pump water heaters are also called hybrid water heaters or even abbreviated as HPWHs. Whatever you call them, these appliances need the right-sized room to work properly. Since HPWHs pull heat from the surrounding air and then condense it into your water storage tank to heat the water, they need at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space surrounding the water heater so that they have enough air to do their job. You can help to maximize the air space for your water heater by leaving the door open on whatever room it is in to give it more air space from which to pull.

The temperature of the air also matters: heat pump water heaters need to be installed in locations that remain between 40º–90ºF year-round. Now, you might look at that range and think it’s huge (because it is), but in previous decades, you couldn’t install HPWHs in cold climates. Newer models make that possible. This makes them ideal for a basement installation, or in a garage or storage area. In fact, a furnace room is the perfect installation spot for a heat pump water heater, since they take advantage of the excess heat created by the furnace and are able to increase their efficiency. Another bonus: heat pump water heaters can help to dehumidify the air around them, which means they can take over for a high energy use dehumidifier as well. 

Heat pump water heaters aren’t a good candidate for installation in a small storage closet — that’s when you can look at a tankless water heater as an efficient option for your hot water needs. 

Keep the Fan and Filters Clear

An essential task in keeping your heat pump water heater running smoothly is to make sure it gets the attention it needs. Clear the space around the unit as much as possible so that the fan for the electric heat pump can pull air in efficiently. It helps to check the fan periodically and make sure there isn’t dust or debris caught on the intake. 

Newer hot water heaters may have an indicator that lets you know when the filters need to be removed and rinsed off — some models, like those from Rheem, are even WiFi equipped and can send you an alert directly to your smartphone. 

Make sure your condensate overflow line is clear, too. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clear it if you suspect it might be clogged. Keeping the fans and filters in good working order will lengthen the lifespan of your unit and help lower energy consumption, too. 

Use the Right Settings for the Heat Pump Water Heater

To maximize energy efficiency, whenever possible, keep your HPWH in the “heat pump only” mode, which keeps the backup electric heating system from turning on. This will save you on energy costs. And set the water temperature to the lowest setting possible to meet your hot water needs; we recommend 120ºF. 

If you find that the unit isn’t meeting your hot water needs, you can experiment with turning on the “hybrid” mode which will allow the unit to switch to the backup system, allowing it to operate like a conventional electric water heater in addition to using the heat pump system. This will still use less energy than a traditional electric tank water heater, but increase the amount of hot water being delivered to your faucet or shower head. 

Maintain Your Unit Yourself — Or With the Help of a Professional 

Make sure to flush your tank water heater annually—here’s instructions on how to take care of that. 

And if you notice your unit isn’t running as efficiently as it used to, make sure to call in a pro for a quick water heater inspection. If you keep your appliance in tip-top shape, you can expect a long life of reduced utility bills. 


Thinking about installing a new heat pump water heater to save on natural gas or electric bills? You may qualify for rebates, tax incentives, or even upfront discounts, too, which help offset the initial cost of the water heater and the installation costs. Check out to see what your household might qualify. 

And if you’re in the Twin Cities Metro area or Rochester, MN, check out our service area and see if we can help you get a new heat pump water heater in your home as soon as today! 

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