If you live in California, you’ve likely heard about hybrid water heaters thanks to the large rebates the state government is offering those who want to purchase them. California is committed to increasing energy efficiency, so hybrid water heaters are a natural choice to promote. They offer significantly better efficiency than even a top-of-the-line gas water heater. How? What makes hybrid heaters so efficient? We’ll explain below.

Heating Strategy: Generating vs. Collecting

Hybrid water heaters are equipped with heat pump technology. This system uses refrigerant to move heat instead of generating heat. That means your water heater can pull the heat from outside of your home and use it to heat your water. This works kind of like your refrigerator in reverse. And the good news is that a California winter is still warm enough for this process to work very efficiently.

How does this make the system energy efficient? Well, it costs much less energy to simply move heat than to generate it. Other options, like electric heat pumps and gas heat pumps, need to burn fuel to generate the heat from nothing. Hybrid water heaters need only use electricity to move the refrigerant, power its controls, and other very low energy uses. They, therefore, use much less energy to produce the same volume of hot water.

What About Recovery Rates?

Homeowners who are well-versed in heat pump technology are right to be a little bit skeptical about a heat pump water heater. Can it really keep up with the highest demand moments in busy households? That’s what the electric backup system is for. It maintains a high recovery rate so that hot water is still available when you need it. The hybrid water heaters we install deliver the same amount of hot water as the standard electric options in their size, including 50-, 65- and 80-gallons.

Flexible Hybrid Water Heaters

At Barnett Plumbing & Water Heaters, we have a strong preference for The AeroTherm® Series

heat pump water heaters. These models offer great performance and the flexibility that our customers need to really take full advantage of their efficiency.

  • Vacation mode: Many homeowners want to save money on maintaining their hot water supply when they are on vacation. However, there are risks to turning off a water heater altogether. All of the units in this series have a built-in vacation mode which drops the temperature to a still-safe level while letting you save money.
  • Electric-only mode: Naturally, homeowners want to be sure that they won’t need to worry about rationing out their hot water. The heat pump mode for these water heaters works well, but the electric-only mode offers peace of mind. If you ever feel like you will need more hot water—like family are visiting and showering, all you need to do is turn on this mode, and the water heater will work like any other electric water heater.

How much will a hybrid water heater save you? Discuss the math with your trusted plumber.

What questions do you have about your water heater — hybrid or conventional? We’ll be happy to answer them and ensure you have the system that’s right for you and your family. Give us a call at (925) 438-6326.

Here’s my personal promise to you: When you call or schedule an on-site estimate, there will be no pressure. No obligation. We will not sell you a water heater you don’t need or want.

Thanks for letting us be your trusted plumber.

Headshot of a smiling man with short hair
Phil Barnett
President of Barnett Plumbing & Water Heaters