Rheem Proterra Hybrid Electric Water Heater

Available on iTunes

Rheem Proterra Hybrid Electric Water Heater Podcast:

Tim Carter received the following email from Harlan not too long ago:

"Have you changed your opinion on hybrid (heat pump) electric home water heaters? They claim they use 1/3 the electricity and will pay for the price difference in about four years.

Yes, I'm concerned about the added "equipment" and its cost if needing repair as well as how much "heat" you are paying for in your home that it will extract by using it to help heat your water.

Guess I'm better off with natural gas but my main concern with them is the chance for an explosion as you occasionally hear about on the news. Thanks for your help, Tim."

I was really curious about the fuel-savings claim because, at first blush, one might think that it takes a given amount of energy to raise one gallon of water one degree Fahrenheit. We all discovered this to be true in high school physics class, remember?

I asked Harlan where he got the information about the energy savings and he pointed me to the Rheem Proterra Hybrid Water Heater page. Here's what I saw when I went there:

rheem proterra hybrid electric water heater

You can discover much more about this heat pump water heater LISTENING to the above podcast.

CLICK or TAP HERE to get a price on an electric hybrid water heater. Remember, there could be REBATES available. LISTEN to the podcast above where we discuss available rebates.

CLICK or TAP HERE to get FREE BIDS from local Plumbers who can install a new Hybrid water heater in your home.

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4 Responses to Rheem Proterra Hybrid Electric Water Heater

  1. Hi Tim, this is Harlan and I've just listened to your great interview on the podcast. The answers were very helpful but there are a couple of things not addressed. How does the fact that you are using warm room air, which you are paying for (winter mostly) via your furnace, play into the overall costs.... the expense of heating the air to provide warmth to the heat pump. If you bring in air from outdoors (winter) it must be much less efficient than the warmer room air. In other words there must be less heat in the 10 deg below zero than the 80 deg summer air. One more thing is what is the rate of failure of the additional "equipment".... ie. cheap standard elements vs. costly heat pump repairs. One repair of the heat pump could likely lose all the savings over heating element version of heater.
    Lastly, I called various dealers and utility providers about rebate and all seemed ignorant of anything available here in Minnesota and being on Excel electrical provider, they too seemed of no help, also my tax preparer was not aware of any rebates for my 2019 tax return............thanks again, Tim.. Harlan

    • It's simple thermodynamics. The Btus are INSIDE your building envelope. You're splitting hairs. These machines are far more efficient than a traditional electric water heater. Yes, the heaters will be FAR MORE expensive to repair - so if they fail, ALL of your electrics savings could evaporate in seconds. I can't address your rebate issue as I'm not in charge of creating nor issuing them.

  2. i just had one of these put in at an apartment house i own last week. i have had several put in. i used to use the A.O Smith brand from lowes. they work ok but are noisy. the rheem is much less noisy. i install them in the cellar of the rentals i have. they are very cost efficient to operate. they do lower the temp of the room about 5-10 degrees but it also dehumidifies, drying out the area very well. i live in maine and efficiency maine offers a 750.00 rebate for these.

  3. Thanks for that great report by a person very familiar with these units. So they do result in a significant temp drop in the room where they are located such as a finished basement. Yes it is great that it dehumidifies but mainly in that room. I would be relying on my A/C to handle the humidity throughout the house. Dehumidifying wouldn't be a benefit in our already very dry winter months. So
    bottom line is they have a great initial advantage but also have significant trade offs. It appears that I brought up a product a lot of folks may not be familiar with and contrary to initial impressions, it does save a significant of energy and worth considering. Tim, regarding rebates, I was only curious to, whether in your circle of contacts, you may have heard of whether a Federal Rebate program exists that might benefit me. Sometimes this information is not that freely available so can't hurt to ask. If I could get a rebate that large ($750) I wouldn't hesitate buying it in spite of the disadvantages I see. Thanks to you and Michael for your help. I believe I will stay with the conventional unit.

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