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3130RE: [hreg] Hot Water Heaters

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  • Mike Ewert
    Jul 4, 2005
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      As the lack of responses to your question indicates, heat pump water heaters are pretty rare. I have only read of them. If the electricity to natural gas price ratio went down, then they could become more popular.  Remember that a gas water heater converts gas to heat at about 80% efficiency and a power plant converts gas to electricity at about 40% efficiency (both approx. #'s) so the heat pump water heater (which converts electricity to heat) would have to have a coefficient of performance greater than 2 to pay off from an efficiency standpoint.  This is more difficult the hotter you want your water. Hence John Miggins comment that heat pump water heaters are good for swimming pools (lower temperature).  And, though cost can be debated, he also has a very good point about solar water heaters.  These "convert" (harvest) heat to heat with a collection efficiency of 60-80%. 
      So, if it's heat energy you want, think SOLAR - it's already hot!  Building interest in solar thermal applications such as solar water heaters will be the focus of the HREG meeting on July 31st.  I hope everyone will come and learn and get fired up!
      -----Original Message-----
      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
      Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 7:22 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hreg] Hot Water Heaters

      Has anyone on our list used a “heat pump water heater”?  Is this a good option for our climate (e.g., pump cool air into the house as you heat your water)?  It looks to me like the major downside is the initial cost and the slow recovery rate.  But properly sized, it should save a lot of money, seems to me.  If anyone has any experience and/or contractors, manufacturers, I’d like to know.


      Also, what is the latest thinking on cost/payback on solar water heating in the Houston area, and again, manufacturers/contractors.  I’d be pleased to hear from any vendors in our group.


      Robert Johnston


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