Hybrid water heaters do not vary a lot from conventional water heaters. That said, it would be helpful to know these three crucial factors, regardless of whether you’re experienced with traditional heaters.
- Energy Efficiency: Heating the water and spaces is an energy-intensive process, especially if you live in cold environments. Therefore, your hybrid water heaters should use as little energy as possible and be able to retain heat longer. So buy a product with a UEF of 0.65 to 0.95.
- First-hour Rating: This refers to a hybrid water heater’s ability to heat a predetermined water volume within the first hour of operation. As a rule, the more water the device can heat within an hour, the better it is. For example, an 80-gallon FHR hybrid water heater is more efficient than a unit that only heats 50 gallons in the first hour.
- Recovery Rate: This factor defines a hybrid water heater’s ability to raise the water temperature to the ideal level after use, often expressed in gallons per hour (GPH). Choose a hybrid water heater with a higher GPH rating (i.e., 120 GPH vs. 85 GPH).
The best hybrid water heater offers you exceptional energy and cost savings as no other water-heating system can. It is the perfect solution for those who live in warmer climates, although you might be surprised that cold region inhabitants can benefit from it, too. The question now is how to choose the right hybrid water heater to install in your home. Let us find out.
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Top-Quality Hybrid Water Heater Reviews
1. Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 Water Heater
The Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 is one of the top-rated electric water heaters 80 gallon capacity on the market. It has a unique tank and heating element design that guarantees better energy savings every time you run it.
This water heater comes with a 4500-watt heating element that runs on a dedicated 240-volt system. Its stainless steel incoloy heating elements have a low-watt density rating, freeing you from costly energy bills.
Its main advantage is the use of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, which provides two distinct advantages. One, this unit will serve your family’s hot water needs longer than conventional water heaters and give you optimum savings. Two, it eliminates the need for anode rods and saves you from thinking about another component that may fail.
Performance-wise, this water heater provides you with 84 gallons of hot water in the first hour of operation. Its 0.57% standby heat loss per hour translates to 98% thermal efficiency, many times better than traditional water heaters.
Its 80-gallon capacity is sufficient for a family of five and more. Combining this with its remarkable first-hour delivery rating, you get a unit worth having in your home.
While this water heater is lightweight, I still recommend professional installation because it requires at least 75 inches of vertical space. I also find its 20-gallon per hour recovery rate at 90OF to be mediocre since I have seen products doing better.
2. Stiebel Eltron 233059 Water Heater
If you are looking to cut your water-heating expenditures by as much as 80 percent, I recommend the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300E. This product provides one of the highest energy cost reductions you can ever imagine among modern water heaters.
The Model 233059 80 gallon heat pump water heater efficiently uses ambient air. It features a substantially redesigned air fan that facilitates more efficient airflow. Its design guarantees an Energy Star factor of 3.39, better than the 2.5 rating of other systems.
I find its compressor motor pretty unique because of its ingenious rolling piston design. It works like a charm in drawing in warm and hot air from the external environment to heat your water. This unit can deliver almost 80 gallons of hot water in the first hour, ensuring your family of eight will enjoy 10-minute hot showers simultaneously.
While this product does not have an advanced thermostat, it sure did a fascinating job designing its digital display. The display information is bright and clear. You will never have to use your eyeglasses to read the system’s settings. Toggling between the menus is also straightforward.
Unfortunately, this heat pump water heater takes about 10 hours to heat all the water in the tank to a maximum of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, drawing in 59OF ambient air. The unit is also the heaviest on this list, weighing a whopping 297.6 pounds. It tips the scale at almost 1,000 pounds once full.
3. Rheem PROG50-42N RH67
You may not like the Rheem hybrid water heater reviews you read. However, the PROG50-42N RH67 PV is one of the most energy-efficient hybrid water-heating systems you can find on the market.
Performing a side-by-side hybrid electric water heater comparison with this unit will surprise you. It heats more water in the first hour than any electric heat pump system, capable of delivering 87 gallons.
This product is better than a dedicated electric water heater, like the Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 with an FHR of 86 gallons. The hybrid water system that comes close to its FHR is the AO Smith HPTU-50N’s with its 66-gallon first-hour rating.
The system’s recovery rate is also exceptional. Most hybrid water heaters can only recover 20 gallons per hour. This unit can provide your family with between 32.4 and 42.4 gallons of hot water every hour. Cold showers will be history with this unit serving your family.
I appreciate the inclusion of an R-Tech anode rod to improve the tank’s corrosion resistance. The system also features an integrated blower that removes flue gases more efficiently. Combine this with its 100-foot long venting system, and you have a unit that is as safe to operate as any other water heater.
I also love the electronic gas control system, although I wish the company included a thermostat for setting the preferred temperature. Finding replacement parts can also be worrisome unless you source them directly from the company or its authorized retailers.
4. Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Water Heater
An 80 gallon hybrid water heater is enough to deliver hot water for a large family, especially if you take the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300. It provides 50 gallons of hot water, sufficient for the simultaneous 10-minute showering of five people. If you need more, the unit’s electric heating element kicks in to deliver the hot water you need.
For every kilowatt that its fan and compressor consume, the unit can produce a 35-kilowatt equivalent in an electric water heater. It can reduce your hot water costs by as much as 80%. Its 2.5 energy factor should put your mind at ease.
Like many hybrid water heaters, this product has different purposes. You can use it as a means to run your air conditioning unit more efficiently. It sucks the hot air coming from your air conditioner, reducing your AC’s workload.
This unit can also serve as a dehumidifier, a welcome attribute if you live in colder regions. You can reduce the humidity in your basement, allowing you to enjoy a drier place to perform some of your activities.
Not everything is rosy about this hybrid water heater, though. First, it is quite tall at 79 inches or roughly 6.5 feet. You also have to factor in the water pipes connected to the water tank’s top and the tank’s base height.
A more pressing concern is the unit components’ durability. Some customers complained of the evaporator coils and condenser not lasting two years. Leaks and faulty air fans are also issues. It would be nice to buy a product with very few to no problems at all.
5. AO Smith HPTU-50N Water Heater
I believe the AO Smith HPTU-50N Voltex is the most trusted hybrid electric water heater any family can ever buy. Several reasons contribute to its 73% cost-reduction performance, complete with certifications from five of the world’s top product quality organizations.
Having this unit in your home can help you save more money on water heating than any other system. It delivers 66 gallons of hot water within the first hour, allowing your household of six to enjoy 10-minute showers simultaneously.
Putting it in Efficiency will give you the most energy savings. Its Electric mode is perfect for households needing more hot water than its 66-gallon FHR. There is no worry about electric consumption, either. Its heating elements only use 4.5 kW per hour.
It also has a Hybrid mode ideal for families who expect the system to activate its electric heating elements automatically when needed. There is also a Vacation mode, safeguarding your unit’s integrity when you go out of town.
The digital display is pretty useful. You can set it to display either Celsius or Fahrenheit. It is also easy to check for errors because of the device’s built-in diagnostics.
The tank features a CoreGard anode rod and a Blue Diamond glass coating that works to resist corrosion and rust. This unit will serve your family for many years.
The technologies and innovations integrated into this hybrid water heater translate to a high purchase price. It is also quite tall, requiring a vertical clearance of at least 70 inches.
6. Rinnai CHS199100IN Hybrid Water Heating
If you operate a small hotel or a business that relies on large volumes of hot water, the Rinnai CHS199100 is perfect. The company designed this hybrid water heater with commercial establishments in mind, offering large volumes of water for many people to enjoy.
The Rinnai hybrid water heater uses gas as its principal energy source for heating water. You can use either propane or natural gas, whichever is more practical for you. Venting is never a problem because it allows for multiple options, including room air, two-pipe, common vent, and concentric systems.
I love this product’s water-heating performance. It is so efficient that it can heat 315 gallons of water within the first hour. Even if you have a football team using hot water simultaneously, this hybrid water heater can still deliver 231 gallons of 100-degree water every hour. Most products can only recover at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
I also find its control panel pretty helpful. It has an easy-to-dial thermostat that lets you control its temperature between 98 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. You can enjoy a great cup of drip coffee or French press straight from your hot water tap with this unit installed.
While this hybrid water heater has pre-assembled components, I still recommend getting a plumber to install it. It is large and heavy that no DIYer can install it on his own. It is also a commercial unit, giving you a price tag beyond the ordinary household’s reach.
7. American Water Heaters GH-90N
Most of the hybrid water heaters we have are bulky and tall, requiring plenty of installation space. The American Water Heaters GH-90N hybrid gas water heater only needs a vertical clearance of about 50 inches and a floor area of 35 by 27 inches. It is also lighter than other brands, enabling you to install the system with ease.
Like an electric heat pump water heater, this device comes with a few operating modes to improve your energy utilization. Set it in Eco mode, and you can heat your water using your natural gas supply. Put the settings in Boost, and you will enjoy a continuous hot water supply like on-demand tankless water heaters.
If you compare the installation costs of this hybrid water heater vs tankless water-heating system, it will still come out on top. Its lightweight and compact characteristics are not the only things that make it easy to install. Its power vent design also helps.
I like the electronics integrated into this water heater. It provides better and more precise control of the system’s operation, including its temperature. You can bet you have enough hot water for everyone in your family, even if you decide to use hot water simultaneously.
On the downside, this unit requires professional installation if you do not want to void its 6-year limited warranty. I also find its thermal efficiency to be a little bit lower than other hybrid water heaters, with about 90%.
8. AO Smith GDV-50 Water Heater
The AO Smith GDV-50 looks like the best-selling AO Smith hybrid water heater, the HPTU-50N Voltex. The only difference is that this system works more as a natural gas water heater than a hybrid system. That does not mean it is no longer energy efficient, a characteristic we all love about hybrid water heaters.
This product has one of the safest designs on the market, complying with industry standards for flammable vapor ignition-resistant products. It seals the combustion chamber, making it safer to operate the system.
I am amazed at this product’s water-heating performance. You can enjoy up to 89 gallons of hot water in the first hour alone. If you have plenty of visitors in your house taking turns at the shower, this water heater delivers, too.
Plus, it can recover 45 gallons of hot water at 90 degrees Fahrenheit every hour. Never again will you complain of cold water during showers.
I like the use of the Dynaclean dip tube because it allows for more efficient water heating. It also resists corrosion to extend your system’s service lifespan. The temperature and pressure relief valve also has certification and rating from the CSA and ASME, respectively. That is additional peace of mind for you.
Unfortunately, gas water heaters are not as cost-efficient as electric systems. This product is no exception. Additionally, I find its height a bit taller than most, at about 76 inches. Do take note that you still have to make an allowance for your fittings.
9. Rheem PROE20 Water Heater
Looking at the Rheem PROE20 1 RH, you cannot help but wonder if it is the same as the Rheem Performance Platinum 10-Year Tall Hybrid Electric Water Heater. The only difference is their size, with the Platinum standing taller than this unit. On the bright side, this water heater is perfect for small homes and those who want to install a water heater under their kitchen sink.
As a point-of-use water heater, you can turn this product into an integral part of your under-sink water treatment system. It meets the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act’s stringent requirements, while its components comply with UL specifications. You get a product that is of the highest possible quality and performance.
This water heater can get your hot water ready in a few hours. Its recovery rate is also comparable with other systems, ensuring you have a continuous hot water supply. The tank will last you many years, too. It has a proprietary lining that keeps corrosion and rust in check.
I am surprised to learn that many customers found the product information misleading. For example, it is a 120-volt system, not 240 volts. Its diameter is also not 16 inches, but 18-3/4 inches. While these may not seem a big deal, voltage rating and tank diameter are critical information you need to consider when buying a water heater.
Given that it only has a 20-gallon capacity, I also find the product’s price to be a bit higher.
10. Westinghouse 16500W Water Heater
If you do not believe Rheem 80 gallon electric water heaters are the most suitable for your business, you might consider the Westinghouse WEC080C3W165. The company designed this water heater for modern commercial establishments, giving them sufficient hot water supply for their business to thrive.
Three premium-quality, 5,500-watt rated titanium heating elements form the system’s water-heating core. These elements combine for a whopping 16,500 watts of power, allowing you to reduce your water-heating time to a few hours. You can rest assured your guests will have a refreshingly hot shower anytime.
The tank’s interior is also worth mentioning. The company ditched the traditional glass-lined design for pure 316l stainless steel. The design eliminates the need for anode rods, taking your worries about having to repair broken rods away.
I like using an internal fuse block that improves the device’s overall electrical safety. You can also connect it as a single-phase unit or a three-phase system, whichever works best for your needs.
Its dimensions blew me away. Most of the commercial water heaters I know are huge and bulky. This product only requires a vertical clearance of about 75 inches and a floor area of 24 inches.
Of course, its commercial quality often translates to a higher price tag. While it is more compact than other commercial units, I would still advise getting a professional to install it. Remember, you do not want to connect the wrong wires.
What Is The Top-Tier Hybrid Water Heater/ Who Is This For
The top-tier hybrid hot water heater offers families better cost-savings and energy efficiency than traditional water-heating systems. It relies on two heating mechanisms to provide greater energy efficiency. When one system cannot meet high hot water demand, the water heater activates the secondary water-heating system.
Hybrid water heaters are ideal for families living in warmer climates because the system draws in hot air from the environment and uses this to heat water. It is perfect for reducing your air conditioning unit’s workload by allowing the water heater to draw in hot exhaust from your AC.
These water-heating systems are also great for those living in colder climates. They can use the system to dehumidify their basement or any other crawl space since it draws in warm air.
How Do Hybrid Water Heaters Work
Hybrid water heaters work like other water-heating systems, with the main difference being their energy source. Conventional heaters use only one energy source, including electricity, gas, solar, and geothermal. Hybrid systems utilize any of these energy sources, but with the addition of another energy source – warm environmental air.
A hybrid system has two major components: a condenser-evaporator compartment and a secondary heating system. A fan draws in hot air from the environment and is compressed into the evaporator coils. A refrigerant in the evaporator coils picks up the heat and moves it to the heat exchanger. It is here where the system heats the water.
The second component features heating elements that connect to an electric control unit or gas burners. Suppose the primary heating element (the heat pump) cannot meet hot water demand. In that case, a control mechanism activates the second unit to deliver sufficient hot water for everyone in the family.
What Are The Different Types Of Hybrid Water Heaters
Hybrid water heaters can come in different types. However, the two most common are electric and gas hybrid water-heating systems. These products correspond to the second heating system that supports the heat pump.
An electric hybrid water heater is almost like an electric water heater, except for the heat pump’s addition at the tank’s top. An increased hot water demand activates the electric water heating element to meet the demand.
A gas hybrid water heater has a burner as its second heating system. It may be wise to differentiate a true hybrid water heater vs a gas water heater. The former has a heat pump in addition to the gas water heating component. A gas water heater does not have this component.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Hybrid Water Heater
Using a hybrid water heater can provide you and your family with the following advantages.
- It can reduce your water heating costs by as much as 80% per year, translating to hundreds of dollars of savings.
- Hybrid water heaters are more durable than traditional water heaters, further giving you greater savings.
- Setting it up requires no significant changes or modifications to your electrical or gas system.
No system is ever perfect. Hence, some of a hybrid water heater’s drawbacks include the following.
- Hybrid water heaters are more expensive to purchase than traditional systems.
- The addition of a heat pump increases the height of the hybrid water heater tank.
- You do not get energy savings if you do not use the Eco or Auto mode.
Hybrid Water Heater Buying Guide
Taking the time to read different hybrid or heat pump water heater reviews and learning about the device type perfect for your home can help you decide which best hybrid water heater to buy. It will also help if you consider the following.
- Energy Efficiency
You will want the hybrid water heater to retain as much heat as possible and minimize heat loss over a longer period. For example, if you heat your water today, it should still be hot tomorrow. Always choose a product with a higher energy efficiency rating.
- First-hour Rating
The ideal hybrid water heater should provide you with the required volume of hot water within the first hour of operation. As a rule, always pick a product with a higher first-hour rating. For example, choose a hybrid water heater with an 85-gallon FHR instead of a unit with a 40-gallon FHR.
- Recovery Rate
How fast the system can heat water after use is also important. Its recovery rate refers to the hybrid water heater’s ability to bring water temperature back to its preferred levels after use, often expressed in gallons per hour (GPH). The higher the GPH, the better is the hybrid water heater.
- Operating Modes
A hybrid water heater should have at least three operating modes.
One mode uses only the heat pump for optimum energy savings. Another mode emphasizes water heating performance using the electric or gas heating element instead of the heat pump. The third mode automatically switches between the heat pump and the secondary heater, depending on hot water demand.
A Vacation mode is a nice feature that safeguards the unit when you are away.
- Physical Dimensions
In general, hybrid water heaters are taller than conventional water heating systems. These products can range in height from five to seven feet. They may have the same diameter as a traditional tank water heater.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the quietest hybrid water heater?
The A.O. Smith Voltex AL hot water heater with heat pump is the world’s quietest at only 45 dBA. To put things into perspective, the average refrigerator hums at 55 dBA, while a quiet suburban community has a noise level of 40 dBA at night.
Although the Voltex AL is not available as a 40 gallon heat pump water heater, its 50-, 66-, and 80-gallon units are sufficient for most households. Moreover, Voltex AL heat pumps provide extra savings compared to conventional water heaters.
For instance, the 66-gallon Voltex AL has a UEF of 4.02, saving families over $500 annually. A.O. Smith’s Energy Star certification also enables you to take advantage of tax credits and rebates.
The Rheem Performance Platinum electric water heater is another quiet product, operating at only 49 dB. Compared to the overpriced Bradford White hybrid water heater’s 55 dB, it’s a lot more silent. The Performance Platinum also outclasses the State Premier Hybrid water heater models.
It is worth noting that the A.O. Smith Voltex beats them all, including Rheem’s best-selling hybrid water heater. Their products have been showered with praise on various online communities, such as Reddit.
What is the average lifespan of a 40/80 gallon hot water heater?
The average 40/80 gallon water heater should last eight to twelve years, with the median at ten.
Many of the most efficient hybrid water heaters are durable, giving homeowners a long-lasting system. However, longevity is directly proportional to the level of maintenance and care you put into the technology. Care for it, and the water heater will last longer than others. Neglect it, and you will buy a replacement within a few years.
For example, in the Rheem ProTerra vs Performance Platinum Hybrid debate, the former has a lifespan of five to fifteen years. Although the Performance Platinum series has a similar longevity, servicing it every five years can extend its operational lifespan by several years. It might even outlast the ProTerra.
It is worth noting that tankless systems last longer than hybrid water heaters with storage tanks because the water flows through the device only when needed. This attribute prevents hard water minerals from depositing and accumulating in the hybrid water heater.
Is Rheem the same as AO Smith?
The only similarity between AO Smith vs Rheem is their gas and electric heater types. Other than that, there are many differences to be noted between the two brands.
Rheem enjoys high hot water heater ratings and offers air conditioners, combi boilers, thermostats, gas furnaces, air handles, and more. Some say Rheem’s diverse product offerings are its biggest advantage.
Meanwhile, A.O. Smith’s principal advantage is its singular focus on water heaters, allowing the brand to put all its resources towards designing and manufacturing some of the world’s top-quality water heaters.
After examining these two water heater brands’ pros and cons, we determined that Rheem is slightly better when it comes to electric water heaters, including units with smart technologies. Meanwhile, AO Smith aces the gas-powered water heater market.
It is worth pointing out that comparing Rheem vs Ruud heat pumps is pointless because the latter is a Rheem subsidiary.
You will have a similar experience differentiating Rheem vs GE, especially the latter’s GeoSpring hybrid water heater. Bradford White bought the innovative hybrid water-heating system in 2017. In that case, a more appropriate comparison is between Rheem and Bradford White.
Do hybrid water heaters work in winter?
Yes, hybrid water heaters work in winter. We must realize that heating systems feature technologies that warm spaces and water. Otherwise, there is no point calling them “heaters” if they cannot work in cold environments.
What are the most trusted hybrid water heater brands?
AO Smith, Rheem, and Westinghouse are all reliable and trustworthy hybrid water heater brands. You can also try the products of Westinghouse, Stiebel Eltron, and American Water Heaters. I recommend checking out the individual hybrid electric water heater reviews for each brand before making any purchasing decision.
Are hybrid water heaters more energy efficient?
In theory, hybrid water heaters are more energy-efficient than other water-heating systems. You must understand that the system uses two different water-heating mechanisms. The first mechanism uses hot or warm air from the external environment, which is free. The only energy used is the one that runs the compressor.
A secondary heating system kicks in only when the hot water demand exceeds the heat pump’s hot water supply capability. Only when this event occurs will you incur substantial energy expenditure.
If you are the type of household that does not use plenty of hot water, there might never be a need to activate the system’s electric or gas component. Hence, you will only use nominal wattage for running the compressor. The result is higher energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
What size hybrid water heater do I need?
Check the product’s first-hour rating. It should be within 1 to 2 gallons of your hot water peak-hour demand. If your peak-hour hot water demand is 20 gallons, a hybrid water heater with an FHR of 22 gallons will suffice.
How to care and clean?
Caring for your hybrid water heater entails the same procedure as any other water-heating system. You must check all connections for signs of damage and wear that can be the source of leaks. If you have removable components, you can clean these before replacing them individually.
It is also a good idea to drain and flush your hot water tank at least once every six months. If you want to have a lesser frequency of tank drainage, you might want to include a water softener and a sediment pre-filter before your hybrid water heater unit.
Where to buy?
Most people buy their stuff from Amazon because it is more convenient. The e-commerce giant has an extensive collection of hybrid water heaters with different specs and features for your needs. Plus, the reviews can provide you with a glimpse into these products’ real-world performance.
Other noteworthy e-commerce platforms to buy your hybrid water heater include Lowes, Sears, Home Depot, and eBay. The manufacturer’s official website is also a good place to buy a hybrid water heater. They can also direct you to an authorized retailer or dealer nearest you.
The best hybrid water heater gives you as much as 80 percent energy savings. It has enough operating modes to let you pick the right one for your family, depending on your prevailing needs. While it may be more expensive than usual, the ideal hybrid water heater should still be cost-effective in the long run.
We shared with you 10 of the most exciting hybrid water heaters on the market today. If that did not help, I am sure our comprehensive buying guide has shown you how to pick the most suitable system for your home.
Hi, I am Ronald, founder of Saveourh2o. With this website, we aim to solve all the problems related to your water filters, softeners, and heaters. I have five years working in water equipment sales & service. I hope to bring the knowledge gathered from my daily work to help you to achieve comfort and safety in your home!