Hybrid Electric water heaters are starting to gain more traction especially in environmentally conscious homeowners. Unlike a tankless water heater, a Hybrid is an energy efficient option that does not require additional venting or an increased gas supply.
If you have an electric water heater you can save as much as $400 year by switching over to a Hybrid electric tank. An electric water heater is far less efficient that a standard gas Atmospheric type tank.
The hybrid electric water heaters utilize heat pump technology to heat up the water. The heat pump heats the water in a different way which takes longer to heat up. When hot water is being used in high demand it switches over to an element style of heating to provide a quick recovery.
A typical hybrid electric model will have a payback period of less than two years and over the lifespan of the water heater can save you thousands on your water heating bills.
Not everybody thinks the Hybrid Electric water heaters are a good fit for the midwest climate. They typically do work a little better in warmer climates. These units will actually take heat out of the surrounding room which can make your furnace work a little harder.
These units are definitely quite a bit louder than traditional electric water heaters. They have a fan that runs when the water heater is in heat pump mode. There is also an intake that will need to be cleaned out on a monthly basis.
A hybrid electric water heater needs at least a 10 x 10 room to operate properly. We have replaced several units less than 4 years old that were installed in small closets without sufficient combustable air flow.
Reliability is also going to be compromised whenever you have a higher tech product with more moving parts. While not all of these units have trouble, it can be difficult for find a technician to service the unit if it does need repair.