What's New in Water Heating?

September/October 2012
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2012 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 02, 2012
Over the past year, you may have seen advertisements or promotions for new “hybrid electric” water heaters that use less than half as much energy as traditional electric-resistance water heaters. What are these products, and do they really save so much energy? These hybrid water heaters, also known as heat pump water heaters (HPWHs), are not entirely new, but they have not sold widely in the past. Earlier products, produced by small niche-market manufacturers, have proven unreliable, and the market for them has been limited. Recently, several manufacturers—including General Electric, Rheem, A.O. Smith, Stiebel-Eltron, and AirGenerate—have entered the HPWH market.

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