Heat Pump Water Heaters: Are They the Future of Hot Water?

by Editor, Izabela Chmielewska.

Despite the innovative methods governments have come up with to make homes more energy efficient, it remains a challenge to reduce the emissions that heating homes produces. Water heating notably faces this issue. 

A majority of heating systems burn materials in order to create energy, in turn causing pollution to be created and released. This archaic technology is still being used by most people today.“In a typical UK Household, more than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water,” states Energy Saving Trust, “Nearly all homes in the UK have either a central heating system – a boiler and radiators – or they use electric storage heaters.”

Yet there is hope. In the past 5-10 years, a new and promising technology has offered an alternative solution: Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH). 

This uses energy from the air or ground in order to heat the water, which is gathered in an insulated tank. It then moves this heat to your radiators rather than generating energy from fossil fuels, using less energy overall. This makes HPWH much more efficient than conventional electric or gas water heaters. 

In light of recent achievements where coal is currently generating 0% of Britain’s power and has done for the last 19 days, this heating system will further benefit the environment and reduce carbon emissions even further than it ever has before. Over the course of 6 years the carbon intensity rate of the UK has decreased exponentially, with a 59.4% decrease from 2013 to 2019. 

“HPWH can work in places where solar water heaters fail due to the fact they don’t need a lot of contact with the sun,” claim Green Match. 

According to Hot Water Solutions, a HPWH uses 60% less energy compared to a standard electric water heater. They have been designed to be more energy efficient than the standard heating systems, and by cutting electricity use by 60% this has a direct effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

How a HPWH works:

Energy Star explains, “During periods of high hot water demand, HPWHs switch to standard electric resistance heat (hence they are often referred to as “hybrid” hot water heaters) automatically.  HPWH come with control panels that you to select from different operating modes, which include: Efficiency/Economy, Auto/Hybrid, Electric/heater and Vacation & Timer.” You can view more information on what these settings do on their website here

We can only hope that technology such as this will improve in the years to come and give us a chance to make a difference with the energy we use, or rather, save. 

Izabela Chmielewska

Izabela is Editor and Senior Writer at Cleantech News with a Masters degree in Journalism. Izabela believes that Cleantech News is doing is vital work to support the change the world as we know it. Clean Technology is becoming more advanced by the day, and Izabela is showcasing these new inventions, startups and accelerators through journalistic finesse. Izabela is passionate and dedicated to this industry and looks forward to what the future might bring.