What is the Best Hybrid Electric Water Heater? (2021 Review)

Last Updated On October 19, 2021
what are the best Hybrid Electric Water Heaters (1)

There is a lot of buzz about the new hybrid electric “heat pump” water heaters. They are growing in popularity in the U.S., and for good reason. 

How do you know which hybrid electric water heater is best for you? In this PlumbingNav guide, you will learn:

  • What are hybrid electric water heaters?
  • What are the different types of hybrid electric water heaters?
  • How much does a hybrid electric water heater cost?
  • Are hybrid electric water heaters actually worth it?
  • What are the pros and cons of a hybrid electric water heater?
  • How long do hybrid electric water heaters last?

ImageProduct
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A.O. Smith HPTU-50 Voltex
  • (FHR) – 70 gallons
  • EnergyStar rated
  • Dual-voltage options
  • (FHR) – 70 gallons
  • EnergyStar rated
  • Dual-voltage options
View on Amazon
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Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300
  • Reduces water costs to 80%
  • Dual-voltage options
  • EnergyStar rated
  • Reduces water costs to 80%
  • Dual-voltage options
  • EnergyStar rated
View on Amazon
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Electrolux EE66WP35PS
  • Tank size – 66 gallons
  • Energy Factor – 2.3
  • Stainless steel tank
  • Tank size – 66 gallons
  • Energy Factor – 2.3
  • Stainless steel tank
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RUUD HP40RU/JPYA-A040J11
  • FHR – 56 gallons
  • Low-maintenance
  • 3 mode operation
  • FHR – 56 gallons
  • Low-maintenance
  • 3 mode operation
View on Amazon
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Stiebel Eltron 233058 Model
  • Reduce electricity costs up to 80%
  • Redesigned airflow
  • Anti-corrosion features
  • Reduce electricity costs up to 80%
  • Redesigned airflow
  • Anti-corrosion features
View on Amazon

Our #1 Rated Hybrid Electric Water Heater

Updated On May 21, 2021

A.O. Smith HPTU-50 Voltex Hybrid Water Heater

Here is our top pick! The A.O. Smith HPTU-50 Voltex hybrid water heater gives you efficiency, power, and modern features at an affordable price.

It also allows for different operation mode options. This means you can switch from efficiency, hybrid, or electric to your conditions or preferences!

Maintenance is also easy with the washable air filter, and you’ll save money on your energy costs compared to a traditional electric water heater.

Our Top 5 Hybrid Electric Water Heaters for 2021

  1. A.O. Smith HPTU-50 Voltex (Our Top Pick)
  2. Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300 (Best High End)
  3. Electrolux EE66WP35PS (Best High Value)
  4. RUUD HP40RU/JPYA-A040J11
  5. Stiebel Eltron 233058 Model AcceleraTank 

What's In This Guide?

      What Are Hybrid Electric Water Heaters?

      Hybrid electric water heaters combine the best parts of both conventional water heaters and tankless water heaters. A heat pump will move heat to the tank when needed instead of generating the heat directly in a process similar to how a refrigerator works. When in high demand, the hybrid electric water heater will switch to standard electric heating. 

      What Are The Different Types of Hybrid Electric Water Heaters?

      There are three types of heat pumps depending on where they collect the heat:

      • Air-to-air

      Air-to-air heat pumps are the most common option available. While original options struggled in cold weather, modern versions work well in any climate. Air-to-air heat pumps usually use a duct ventilation system, but you can also find ductless options. Heat pumps with a “reverse cycle chiller” can contribute to heating the nearby floor and air. 

      • Geothermal

      Geothermal heat pumps take heat from the ground near your house and transfer the heat to the water tank. Geothermal options provide the best benefits, including high efficiency, humidity control, and reliability. 

      • Water Source

      Water source heat pumps work similar to geothermal heat pumps, except they pull water from a water source instead of the ground.

      How Much Does A Hybrid Electric Water Heater Cost?

      Hybrid electric water heaters require a larger initial investment than conventional water heaters. Prices vary greatly based on the following factors:

      • Tank size
      • Efficiency 
      • Brand 
      • Material of tank 
      • Power 

      The higher initial cost can repel potential buyers who might not know the effects the new hybrid water heater can have on your electric bill. 

      Are Hybrid Electric Water Heaters Actually Worth It?

      When looking at whether a heat pump water heater makes up for its cost, just look for the EnergyStar sticker. For a family of 4, you will save about $350.00 a year with EnergyStar heat pumps

      You will make up the cost of the unit is about 2.3 years as long as the product has an EnergyStar sticker on it. The larger the household, the more you will save. 

      What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of A Hybrid Electric Water Heater?

      Advantages

      • Energy Efficiency 

      One of the biggest reasons people choose a hybrid model water heater is the opportunity to save money while still carrying a large tank of water. Heat pumps use 63% less energy than traditional electric water heaters. 

      • Versatility 

      Heat pumps come with different efficiency settings to allow the homeowner to use their heat pump in the way they choose. Generally, settings include efficiency, automatic, electric, and vacation. 

      In efficiency setting, the water pump will rely solely on transferred heat. 

      In auto setting, the water pump will use transferred heat until a certain amount of water is used when the system will switch to electric heat. 

      In electric setting, the system will act like traditional electrical water heaters. In vacation mode, the water pump will almost shut down except for enough energy to prevent freezing.  

      Disadvantages

      • Takes a long time to heat water

      Heat pumps have lower recovery because, in its efficiency setting, it transfers heat instead of generating it. This uses less energy but doesn’t create as much heat. This means the water takes longer to heat up. This becomes a potential problem during periods of high usage. 

      • Space required

      The water tank requires a lot of space. Naturally, the larger the capacity, the larger the space needed for it. Tankless water heaters provide a better solution for homes without enough space to fit a large water heater tank. 

      What Should You Look For in The Best Hybrid Electric Water Heater? 

      When looking for the best hybrid electric water heater, look for products with a desuperheater and a scroll compressor.

      Desuperheater  

      A superheater equipped with a heat pump saves the waste heat generated during cooling mode and uses it to help heat the water. Hybrid electric water heaters with a desuperheater run up to 3x more efficiently than standard electric water heaters. 

      Scroll Compressor  

      Piston compressors are becoming obsolete in favor of a scroll compressor. Scroll compressors last longer and operate more quietly. They also provide 10-degrees more heat than piston compressors. 

      How Long Do Hybrid Electric Water Heaters Last?

      According to Consumer Affairs, hybrid electric water heaters last up to 15 years. The life expectancy is considerably higher than conventional water heaters that last an average of 10 years. 

      Hybrid Electric Water Heaters Reviewed

      Our #1 Rated Pick: A.O. Smith HPTU-50

      A.O. Smith HPTU-50 Voltex Hybrid Water Heater

      Best Overall Pick

      The A.O. Smither HPTU-50 Voltex hybrid water heater reduces energy use by 73% compared to a traditional water heater.

      You can use vacation mode when you are away to reduce energy uses drastically, while also preventing potential freezing. 

      You can also select and toggle from all three modes: efficiency, hybrid, or electric. This gives the user a lot of flexibility. 

      The FHR of 70 gallons means you will have hot water for a long time before it starts to get cold. 

      Quick Stats: 

      • Tank size – 50 gallons
      • Energy Factor – 3.24
      • Measurements – 22 x 22 x 63 inches

      Pros

      • First Hour Rating (FHR) – 70 gallons 
      • EnergyStar rated
      • Dual-voltage options

      Cons

      • Piston compressor
      • Some report as noisy

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Stiebel Eltron

      Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300

      Best High End

      The Stiebel Eltron ACC300 Accelera 300 electric water heater uses 80% less energy than conventional models.

      It holds 80 gallons of water, which is perfect for 5 people to take 10-minute showers back-to-back without worrying about cold water. 

      The electric heating element activates after 50 gallons of use, conserving energy. This unit also cools and dehumidifies the room you place it in! It comes with a durable sacrificial anode rod for long-lasting tank use. 

      Quick Stats:

      • Tank size – 80 gallons
      • Energy Factor – 2.5
      • Measurements – 78.74” x 37.4 x 28.94

      Pros

      • Reduces hot water costs by up to 80%
      • Dual-voltage options
      • EnergyStar rated

      Cons

      • Maintenance is required 
      • Pricey
      • No condensation pan

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Electrolux

      Electrolux EE66WP35PS

      Best Value

      The Electrolux EE66WP35PS electric hybrid water heater uses up to 70% less energy than traditional water heaters.

      You can choose from three usage options: auto, econ, and heater to suit your family’s changing needs.

      The dual vent ventilation system keeps the unit clean and the air safe for your family to breathe. It isn’t the cheapest unit, but an amazing value for the price.

      Quick Stats:

      • Tank size – 66 gallons
      • Energy Factor – 2.3 
      • Measurements – 25.5 x 70.5 x 25.5 inches

      Pros

      • EnergyStar rated
      • Stainless steel tank 

      Cons

      • Expensive
      • Extra tall tank

      Our #4 Rated Pick: RUUD

      RUUD HP40RU/JPYA-A040J11

      The Ruud HP40RU/JPYA-A040J11 hybrid water heater provides a first-hour rating of 56.

      You can use the easy-to-read LED screen to choose from three different modes: energy saver, high demand, and electric only.

      They also use fiberglass in the tank to help prevent it from corroding.  We rate this unit similar to the above #3 pick, but the downside is the 40 gal tank limitation.

      Quick Stats:

      • Tank size – 40 gallons
      • Energy Factor – 2.0
      • Measurements – 65.5 x 21 inches

      Pros

      • FHR – 56 gallons
      • Low-maintenance 
      • 3 mode operation

      Cons

      • Small 40 gal tank option
      • Won’t work with temps under 38 degrees (some garage climates)

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Stiebel Eltron

      Stiebel Eltron 233058 Model AcceleraTank

      The Stiebel Eltron 233058 AcceleraTank offers the best of both energy efficiency and comfort, with a slightly higher price point.

      All tanks have extensive insulation so that the water stays warmer as long as possible, reducing usage and operating costs. 

      This unit comes with a redesigned airflow, and anti-corrosion features.

      Quick Stats:

      • Tank Size – 58 gallons
      • Energy Factor – 3.05
      • Measurements – 60 x 27 inches

      Pros

      • Reduce electricity costs up to 80%
      • Redesigned airflow allows for increased flexibility 
      • Anti-corrosion features

      Cons

      • Single heating element
      • Heavy unit

      Concluding Thoughts On Hybrid Electric Water Heaters

      Hybrid electric water heaters provide all the benefits of a tank system with the energy efficiency of a tankless system due to the use of a heat pump. Use efficient settings until the need grows and activates the standard electric heating mechanism. This will deliver efficient hot water, saving your household energy costs over time.

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      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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