Cover photo for blog and video "Pros and Cons of Hybrid Water Heaters"

Hybrid water heaters, also known as heat pump water heaters, are gaining a lot of popularity and for good reason. More clients are wanting to be more energy efficient and make smarter investments with their money when it comes to replacing items in their homes, and upgrading your water heater is the perfect opportunity to do so. Did you know that according to energy.gov the average household with an electric water heater spends 25% of their electric bill heating water? The average tank style water heater can cost $400.00-$600.00 per year to operate which is more than the average refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer combined.  For clients that want to save money on the energy costs of heating water, a hybrid water heater can be an excellent choice.

What are the pros of a hybrid water heater?

  • Can save up to $4700.00 in energy costs in the first ten years 
  • Can last up to 2X longer than a traditional tank style water heater 
  • Improved warranty over a standard tank style water heater 
  • Doesn’t require upgrades to the electrical system to install  
  • Smart App connectivity (RUUD Ultra Series
  • Leakguard technology (RUUD Ultra Series)  

What are the cons of a hybrid water heater?

  • Upfront cost 
  • Increased size 
  • If not used in hybrid mode energy savings are void 

Hybrid water heaters, when used correctly, are incredibly energy efficient– they can save homeowners about $470.00 a year on water heater costs compared to a standard electric water heater! These savings add up quickly and in just the first ten years can pay clients back on their investment with energy savings of around $4700.00.

RUUD Hybrid water heaters are built to last and under intensive testing showed that they could last up to twice as long as a standard water heater with proper maintenance, of course this helps compensate for the initial investment of the upgrade and helps the water heater to continue to pay you back on your investment for many years.

RUUD hybrid water heaters come out of the box with an exceptional warranty. A standard electric water heater comes with a 6 year warranty on the tank, a 2 year warranty on the parts and 1 year on the labor. A RUUD hybrid water heater comes with a manufacturer warranty of 10 years on the tank, 10 years on the parts and 1 year on labor.

Upgrading an electric water heater for more energy efficiency gives you two options: one is an electric tankless water heater and the other is a hybrid water heater. Electric tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than standard tank style water heaters, but they don’t touch the energy efficiency of a hybrid water heater. While a tankless electric water heater runs at about 99% efficiency a hybrid water heater can easily operate at 370% efficiency. The other thing to consider if trying to choose whether to upgrade to a hybrid or a tankless unit is that tankless units require that the electricity be upgraded in order to handle the energy demands of hot water on demand.  Hybrid water heaters do not require any electrical upgrades for installation.   

The RUUD hybrid water heater is currently the only hybrid water heater on the market that is a smart water heater. The RUUD hybrid water heater comes with an app called Econet. This app allows clients to easily adjust the temperature, track their energy usage and even set the operating mode right from their smartphone. The smart water heater is so advanced that there is an app for our technicians that will connect to the water heater and allow the plumber to review detailed alerts and alarm codes. The Ecosmart app empowers our clients to set the water heater to one of 5 operating modes to best accommodate your family’s needs which can change from day to day. These 5 operating modes allow you to adjust the hybrid water heater to meet your lifestyle from energy saver operating at its most energy efficient all the way to high-demand for those situations that require that your water heats quickly with the use of more energy, even set it on vacation mode right from your phone.

The RUUD hybrid also comes with an incredible feature called Leakguard, this amazing feature prevents your water heater from flooding your home by sensing if there is any water leaking from the tank and shutting the water heater down while sending you an alert through your smart app. This feature limits water leaks to 20 oz rather than potentially hundreds of gallons of water if the tank should leak while you’re not home.

Let’s cover the cons– the hybrid almost sounds too good to be true so let’s get into the downfalls of a hybrid water heater. The first and most obvious is the upfront upgrade fee. The hybrid water heater, with all of its advanced technology, improved warranty and custom installation, is more than a standard water heater of the same capacity. The initial investment of a hybrid water heater can easily be 40% more than a standard electric water heater. Like many upgrades that pay you back, they require an upfront initial investment that, over time, pays itself off and then produces a profit (putting money back into your wallet)– this is the case with a hybrid water heater. If you plan on staying in your home for the potential lifespan of your water heater, then the investment is absolutely worth it; however, if you’re not, then the initial investment won’t have an opportunity to pay you back. The initial investment increase typically pays itself off in the first 2 years and then the water heater just continues to save you money on your electric bill.

The size of the hybrid water heater is larger than a standard water heater, so if space is an issue for you a hybrid water heater may not work for your home. The water heater dimensions should absolutely be checked if being installed in small spaces like closets.

The hybrid water heater won’t save you a dime if not set correctly. If you leave the water heater in “high-demand mode”, thenb energy efficiency isn’t that much better than a standard tank; likewise, allowing it to run on 100% electric mode won’t allow you the opportunity to benefit from the advanced energy saving technology. 

Services in Phoenix & Beyond

When you’ve found yourself in need of plumbing services in the Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, or Chandler area, you can trust Robins Plumbing to provide you with prompt and expert care, contact our team today! In addition to our toilet services, we also offer a variety of residential and commercial plumbing services, including: drain cleaning, water heater repair and replacement, sewer camera inspection and locating, backflow prevention, commercial and residential jetting, water treatments, and more. Visit our reviews online to see what others have to say about our local plumbing company!