3 Best Hybrid Water Heaters of 2020
The hybrid water heater is perhaps the most efficient type of water heater that exists as it absorbs heat from its surrounding and uses that environmental temperature for heating the water.
Thus, the hybrid water heater drastically diminishes the amount of electricity or natural gas that it needs to heat water. This allows you to make a lot of savings on your electricity or gas bill. You will quickly be able to repay for the price of the hybrid water heater based on those savings alone.
If you are fresh on the market for a hybrid model, then we have you covered! Our hybrid water heater review below covers a few popular models in order to help you get a quality heater at a great price.
3 Best Hybrid Water Heaters – Review
1. HTP RGH-75F (Best Overall)
2. American APPGH90N (Highly Efficient)
3. GE Geospring (Heavy-duty & High capacity)
1. HTP RGH-75F
2. American APPGH90N
3. GE Geospring
(Heavy-duty & High capacity)
1. HTP RGH-75F – Best Overall Hybrid Water Heater
- Capacity: 50 gallons
- Fuel Source: Electricity or Propane Gas
- Modes: 2
The HTP RGH-75F is a modern looking and high-capacity hybrid water heater that can heat up to 50 gallons of water at a time. But what we like the most about this model is that the fuel source can easily be converted from electricity to propane gas, or vice versa. This makes it very versatile.
Moreover, it is very easy to install by beginners as it has only 2-3/4 inches NPT connectors and does not store water inside the heater. This means that the heat loss that occurs from this hybrid water heater is minimal therefore making it more efficient when compared to a traditional water heater.
In addition, the stainless-steel build construction of this water heater means that it is very durable and long-lasting. This model is also high attitude compliant so you can install it at high altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.
Also, this outer stainless-steel casing is connected directly to the heat exchanger which makes the transfer of heat from the heater to the water even more efficient. When it comes to water delivery, the flow rate of 2.8 GPM is high enough to ensure that it can deliver enough hot water for heavy-duty usage.
All in all, this HTP model is one of the best hybrid water heaters on the market in terms of fuel source versatility, efficiency and design. This is a purchase that you will not regret and will pay for itself down the line because of the savings you will be making on your electricity or gas bill.
The only caveat is that this unit is difficult to repair and in case of breakdown, you will need to purchase another unit.
2. American APPGH90N – Highly Efficient Hybrid Water Heater
- Capacity: 25 gallons
- Fuel Source: Propane Gas
- Modes: 2
This hybrid water heater has a simple design, but it functions quite effectively. This model has a capacity of only 25 gallons which is not the most we have seen. However, this model is definitely one of the most efficient that you will find in this review.
The way it works is quite ingenious as this hybrid water heater absorbs the heat from the surrounding air and then transfers it directly into the water coil with up to 90% efficiency.
For casual use or where the demand for hot water is not very high, this unit is definitely one of the best hybrid electric water heaters when it comes to price to performance ratio. The installation of this hybrid water heater is also very simple as there are only 2 inlet and outlet connectors of 3/4 inch for the installation.
Note that you will need a separate water tank as this unit cannot hold water and only heats up the water. Additionally, this heater has been tested with a high-water pressure of up to 300 PSI.
If you live in a region where your plumbing system has a high-water pressure, or if you use a heavy-duty water pump, then you have nothing to worry about as this hybrid water heater will be fully compatible. It also sports an outer stainless-steel build construction which means that it is quite durable and long-lasting as well.
The only problems with this model is its low water capacity of 25 gallons. Additionally, the temperature digital display at the front of the device is a bit small.
3. GE Geospring – Heavy-duty and High capacity
- Capacity: 50 gallons
- Fuel Source: Electricity
- Modes: Multiple
In terms of water heating capacity, this GE hybrid water heater is pretty much unbeatable. This model is able to heat up to 50 gallons of water at a time. If you need to heat a lot of water really fast and very efficiently, then this is an excellent model to get.
Also, it is energy star qualified, so it means that it will not use a lot of electricity. When not in use, or when heated water is not required, this model with going in a power standby mode so that it conserves maximum electricity. And when you need it heating capability, it is a highly efficient hybrid water heater, so it will use electricity quite conservatively.
The way this hybrid water heater works is that it has a fan that absorbs heat in the air and then transmitted directly to the heat exchanger. It does so quite efficiently and does not consume a lot of electricity in the process. Furthermore, this hybrid water heater has an informative display at the front.
There is also a panel that will allow you to switch between the different modes of this hybrid water heater, including a power saving mode to conserve maximum energy. Indeed, in terms of functionality, this model from GE is one of the best hybrid heat pump water heaters currently on the market.
A few issues with this model is that it is known to give false alarm about the filter. Also, the beeping alarm system in case of problems is not very loud.
The Difference Between Hybrid Water Heater and Other Water Heaters
Even if the hybrid water heater may look a fair bit similar to the traditional water heater, they are different types of heaters. In fact, they use an entirely different technology. Here is a quick breakdown of the main differences between the two.
Traditional Water Heater: The traditional water heater uses a copper coil that conducts water from the bottom of the water tank to the top. This copper coil is normally heated at the top since call water naturally sinks to the bottom and hot water rises to the top.
In addition, the traditional water heater has a small water pump that will push water from the bottom of the water tank to the top, further helping convection to occur.
One disadvantage of the traditional water heater is that the water needs to be constantly heated or else it will lose its temperature rather quickly. This means that the traditional water heater is not very efficient in keeping water hot.
Hybrid Water Heater: On the other hand, the hybrid water heater is a new type of heater that uses an entirely different type of heating.
Instead of focusing on heating the copper coil that you will find in a traditional water heater, the hybrid water heater uses an air pump that absorbs the surrounding air and extracts the temperature from that air by using a special refrigerant.
This heated refrigerant then moves to a compressor that heats it even further. Once this has been done, this refrigerant now moves to the heat exchanger that then transfers the heat from the refrigerant to the water.
One of the biggest advantages of the hybrid water heater is that it is able to keep water hot for a longer period of time and is much more efficient than the traditional water heater.
How to Buy the Best Hybrid Water Heater
In order to help you find the best hybrid water heater for the money, here is a quick buyer’s guide that will show you some key points to consider.
The capacity of the hybrid water heater will depend on your need and purpose. The higher the capacity of the heater, the more water it can heat, but it also uses more electricity or gas for the heating.
On the other hand, a high-capacity model can deliver more heated water for a longer period of time. If you have a big family and your demand for heated water is high, then it is always best to go with a high-capacity hybrid water heater.
In most cases, a hybrid water heater that can deliver at least 50 gallons or more is more than sufficient for heavy-duty purposes. If you will not be using that much and looking for a heater for casual use, then you can safely go with a model that has a capacity as low as 25 gallons.
2. Flow Rate
The flow rate is how fast the hybrid water heater is able to deliver heated water to your water outlet. This value is normally measured in GPM (gallons per minute), and for casual use, around 2.5 GPM is more than enough.
Also, bear in mind that the capacity and the flow rate go hand-in-hand. Normally, a high-capacity hybrid water heater like the HTP RGH-75F or GE Geospring will also have a higher flow rate than a lower capacity model.
3. Fuel Source
There are 2 common fuel sources when it comes to the hybrid water heater. Electricity and natural gas. In North America, propane is the most common type of natural gas used by the hybrid water heater, and other types of water heaters as well.
Both of those fuel sources are excellent solutions for powering the hybrid water heater. There is no “best” here. When choosing between those 2 types of fuel sources, go with a source that is cheaper for you and more readily available.
In addition, a few top-rated hybrid water heaters provide you with the ability to convert the fuel source from electricity to gas. They do so by including a conversion kit that allows you to quickly and easily switch between those 2 power sources.
4. Storage Space
The hybrid water heater is generally bigger when compared to a traditional heater. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have sufficient space to store it. Also, note that most hybrid water heaters need to be installed on the floor and should not be mounted on a wall due to the way they are designed and supposed to work.
5. Easy to install
Even if you have never installed a hybrid water heater, it isn’t very difficult. Most models come with a detailed manual that will show you how to install it. Most of the time, the installation process should not be very different from how you install a traditional water heater.
How to Install the Hybrid Water Heater
Step 1 - Locate your Installation Space
Choose a suitable area for installing your hybrid water heater. You need to leave at least 7 inches clearance space between the wall or any nearby object to your hybrid water heater so that it can work efficiently and not get affected by nearby objects.
Step 2 - Set up Your Water Tank
Your hybrid water heater will need to connect to a water tank that will store the water. If you do not have a water tank and plan to connect the hybrid water heater directly to your plumbing system, then you can skip this step.
If you have a tank, connect the 3/4 inch NPT inlet connector of your hybrid water tank to the outlet of your water tank.
Additionally, your water tank needs to be level to the hybrid water heater or higher up but not down because it needs adequate water pressure to enter the hybrid water heater.
Step 3 - Connect to your Condensing Drain Line
Your hybrid water heater has something called a condensation line that helps heat water more efficiently. Connect the condensation drain port to your condensation drain line using standard 3/4 inches NPT fittings.
Step 4 - Connect Your Electrical Wires or Gas Line
With the above step down, you now need to connect your hybrid water heater to the fuel source. If your heater uses electricity, connected to the mains. If it uses gas, then make the connection to your gas system. You may need an extension in both cases if you are installing the hybrid water heater in a remote location in or outside the house.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s installation process when you do so as you may easily void the warranty if you do not install it correctly. Most hybrid water heaters come with a detailed manual that will show you how.
Step 5 - Make Some Final Adjustments
Now that you have made the proper connections, you can switch the electricity or gas on to power your hybrid water heater. Once it is powered on, your heater should have a few modes like energy efficiency, normal use, etc. Choose a setting that fits your need and purpose.
There you have it. Installing the hybrid water heater is quite easy and very similar to installing a normal water heater.
If you want to make a lot of savings on your electricity or gas bill, then you absolutely need the hybrid water heater. Unlike the traditional water heater, it consumes less fuel and is able to heat water more efficiently.
You cannot go wrong with models like the HTP RGH-75F as it has a rich feature set and versatile in terms of fuel source. This model comes highly recommended especially if this is your first hybrid water heater purchase.
But if you don't have big water heating need, then consider the American APPGH90N. Despite its small water capacity of 25 gallons, this model is highly efficient and will not consume a lot of electricity.
- How to Install a Hybrid Water Heater - doityourself
- 3 Best Hybrid Water Heaters – Review
- The Difference Between Hybrid Water Heater and Other Water Heaters
- How to Buy the Best Hybrid Water Heater
- How to Install the Hybrid Water Heater