Heat pump water heaters with fresh air intakes save money in cold climates

Dec. 3, 2013

For maximum performance, a hybrid heat pump water heater can benefit from a fresh air intake, but few manufacturers offer that option.

The AirGenerate ATI66DV water heater is the first commercially available heat pump water heater that allows for the installation of an air intake duct as well as an air exhaust duct.

Here's how it works:

1.) An air intake duct allows for the installer to connect a duct from the unit to the exterior of the home. This means the AirGenerate water heater pulls air from outside, and does not draw air from the interior of the home.

2.) The AirGenerate ATI66DV extracts the heat from the air and transfers it to the water stored in the AirGenerate water heater tank. Very little energy is used to heat the water, since heat is provided essentially for free from the exterior of the home – even during cooler months.

3.) Due to the heat exchange, the water stored in the AirGenerate ATI66DV is heated while the air is cooled down. The cold air is then routed to the exterior of the home via the exhaust duct.

Standard heat pump water heaters, without an air intake duct option, obtain air directly from their surroundings. Since the water heater is inside the home, this creates a situation in which a conventional heat pump water heater uses air that has been previously heated by the home’s heating system. This scenario reduces the energy saving benefits of the heat pump water heater since it effectively works against the home’s heating system.

The AirGenerate ATI66DV, on the other hand, truly engages in transferring free heat from air to water because it does not pull air from the interior space. AirGenerate water heaters can extract heat from incoming air at temperatures down to 20 degrees – much colder temperatures than other heat pump water heaters. And, to ensure that hot water is always available, AirGenerate units are equipped with electric resistance heating elements that engage when the temperature dips below 20 degrees.

Standard heat pump water heaters do not offer an air exhaust ducting option like the AirGenerate ATI66DV heat pump water heater. When conventional heat pump water heaters operate, they extract heat from the air and simply exhaust the cooled air back into the immediate surroundings. To compensate for the cooling effect, more energy is used to power the home’s heating system in climates that require space heat. The cold air draft may also lead to discomfort for the home occupants if the water heater is located inside the living space.

Ecotone Products provides wholesale distribution for AirGenerate water heaters to most locations in the continental United States.

Read more about water heaters.

Topics: Cost of Ownership , Plumbing & Fixtures , Water Heaters

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