If you're considering a hybrid water heater, you may have heard that it's more energy efficient and eco friendly than a conventional water heater. These are great reasons to opt for a new type of water heater, but before you decide, it's important to do the homework and make sure you know all about the requirements, use, care, and operation of a hybrid water heater. Here are three things that you may not have heard about hybrid water heater installation and use.

1. It has very specific location requirements

In order to provide a suitable environment for the installation and use of a hybrid water heater, you'll need to have a room that:

  • Provides enough square footage that the heater can draw warmth from the air (at least twelve by twelve feet)
  • Can be regularly cooled by the water heater without becoming a problem
  • Is tall enough for the hybrid heater to easily fit
  • Isn't a living space (bedroom or living room, for example)
  • Is indoors so it will never freeze
  • Has a condensate pump installed (or can have one installed later)

2. It can save more energy in warm climates than in cold climates

Because a hybrid water heater draws heat from the air whenever possible to raise the temperature of the water it's heating, it has a cooling effect on the surrounding room. In summer, this can be a good thing, because it will reduce the overall amount of work that your air conditioning system will have to do. In the winter, however, it can actually work against your heating system, raising heating bills. So the fewer months the furnace is required and the more time you spend using your air conditioning unit normally, the more use a hybrid water heater is likely to be. And the colder your climate, the more time it will spend fighting against your furnace.

3. It can actually waste energy if installed incorrectly

A hybrid heat pump has very specific installation requirements, not the least of which is ductwork that removes excess cold air from the room (very important in winter especially). If the cold air isn't removed from the room, it will become harder and harder for the unit to extract heat, making it less and less energy efficient. Because of this, it's important to have the heater installed with the proper ductwork for maximum energy savings.

Even if you do your homework, your plumber will know more about hybrid water heaters than you do, so if you're unsure whether your home is suitable for this type of water heater, ask for a professional opinion before making up your mind.