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05 March 2024

Electric hot water unit vs Heat Pump?

When considering a new hot water unit for your new build or existing home, a lot of people have been mentioning heat pump technology. While they are much more efficient when comparing how much power they use, or the “COP” (Co-Efficient of Power), keep in mind that there is more to the story than that.

How Electric Hot Water & Heat Pump Units Operate

If you are in a warmer climate up North, the heat pumps will thrive as the outside ambient temperature is consistently higher which aids the COP and recovery rates.

However, if you are fortunate enough to suffer from the colder climates like us, the COP will drop rapidly and thus the recovery rate will suffer as well. What this means for the household is a hot water unit that will take a much longer time to heat up and we all know how cranky a family can get with no hot water!

Electric storage hot water tanks have been around for decades and are as simple as they come. While it is true they are nowhere near efficient as a decent heat pump, we are able to counter the inefficiencies with a larger PV system for a similar cost and enjoy the same recovery rate across the year, keeping everyone happy.

Advantages of Electric Hot Water Units for Home Heating

Solar Hot Water Diverters
Blue and Green Catch Power Solar Hot Water Diverters

Introducing a resistive diverter such as a Fronius OhmPilot or Catch Power means we can treat this hot water tank like a battery, sending surplus PV energy into the tank that would otherwise go to the grid for a minimal feed in tariff.

Consider the reliability and repair costs, a heat pump has many moving parts and can be costly to repair as multiple trades may be required to diagnose. If the unit has lasted past it’s warranty period, you might not be able to get spare parts and will be up for a whole new unit!

Electric storage units can be repaired by any plumber or electrician and you will find many units running for 20+ years.

Our main advice if you are looking to go down the heat pump path; spend the money on a decent unit, especially in the colder climates as you will require a backup element for when the unit freezes over in Winter. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!

Design the system properly for whatever unit you decide to go with, come see the KDEC team to work out what is best for you. Because Tomorrow Matters.

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