Technology is catching up with ideas, and one symptom of this are those bits of technology which had a solid solution in the past, but which weren’t environmentally friendly in all cases. One remedy has been the slow hybridization of existing systems.
So what this means is that a conventional bit of technology is mixed with some newer innovations in the field. If the newer innovations prove unworkable, or for whatever reason can’t be used, then there’s always recourse to the old methodology. You can see this most obviously in the hybrid car.
It runs on electricity and gas. If you can’t get a charge, just fill ‘er up the old fashioned way. Otherwise you can save on gas. Some hybrids just use a combination of electricity and gasoline to facilitate more effective fuel economy. The big benefit from all this hybridization is energy savings. Electricity can be expensive, but since hot water heaters have become hybridized, it’s easy to save exceptionally on your energy bill. You can drop off as much as $400 every single year! This article will explore three top rated models from Amazon.com.
Top Hybrid Electric Water Heater
General Electric is a well-known name in technology, and this hot water heater is a great example of their engineering prowess. While the General Electric GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater is the lowest-reviewed heater of this group at only 3.5 stars, it also has many dependable features, and is a favorite of many individuals looking to make the hybrid switch.
This hot water heater stores fifty gallons and costs about $1200. Here’s what the technology is all about: this water heater is deliberately constructed so that the user saves energy without losing the hot water. It uses a combination of heat pump technology from the cutting edge with electrical elements to snip energy costs substantially. Incorporated in the machine are an evaporator and compressor which are able to use heat from the surrounding air via several fans. A number of electrical coils surround the tank–all the way to the bottom!–and exist to transfer heat from the air to the water.
The product boasts that as much as $365/year can be saved with this innovative machine. Which means in under four years, the machine has literally paid for itself. Statistics indicate the GeoSpring uses approximately 62% less energy than a standard fifty gallon water heater that is merely electric.
This hybrid includes a filter which can be removed to keep dust etcetera from getting stuck in the evaporator or fans. Finally, this product is made in the United States; specifically Kentucky. Reviews on this product are slightly unfair, as there are only two. One is a five star review, the other is a two star review. Two and five make seven, cut the difference and you find where the 3.5 stars came from.
The first reviewer loved this machine; said there was nothing wrong with it other than a filter cleaning debacle which the customer service folks at General Electric were more than happy to help him out with. The second user had several error codes that were irreconcilable in his mind, and so doesn’t feel the machine is dependable. The prospective buyer must look at general electric and their own needs before making a decision, but in general this is a dependable machine which has the capacity to save its owner substantially over time.
Best Hybrid Solar Water Heater Kit
If you’re in the market for some truly innovative technology, the EZ Hybrid Solar Water Heater Kit is a great way to go. It comes in 4, 6, and 8 panel models. The 4 panel model is $730, and the subject of this article’s review.
The kit is designed for quick installation. The idea is to thread the panels together and plug the system in. Apparently each panel weighs around 12 pounds and is 2 feet square.
What’s really innovative about this design is that the system can be started with as little as one panel, and more can be added over time as needs increase. Likewise, if you don’t need the extra panel you can remove it; but the reasoning behind this seems spurious. Why remove a panel if you’ve already got it providing energy?
One thing the manufacturers were adamant to specify is that no soldering is required, period. Which is admittedly a plus. Soldering isn’t fun for anyone.
The manufacturers also wanted users to know that Marathon non-metallic water heaters don’t work with this system, and that the device isn’t freeze protected. However this company does offer GH-type solar water heating systems which do feature freeze protection. This water heating system was rated a solid 5 stars by four reviewers.
Best Electric Hybrid Water Heater
The most expensive option on this list clocks in at 4 stars on Amazon.com, though that is based on a single review. With a $2300 price tag, it’s easy to see why some weren’t interested in this offering. However the Electrolux Energy Star Hybrid Heat-Pump/Dual Vent Water Heater is the most energy efficient of the bunch, and boasts the most hot water turn-around. According to the product description, this device uses 70% less energy than the standard electric water heaters.
Doing the math from the earlier entry, savings on this product would come to about 412$, 413$ a year; which means this little guy would take about five years until it started returning it began to pay for itself. Though it has a higher rating than General Electric’s solution, so perhaps the increased price is worth it. It is designed with stainless steel exterior and interior tanks for long-term durability.
Also, this product has the Northern Climate Tier-2 Certification, guaranteeing it exceeds regular Energy Star requirements via provision of quiet, efficient water heating. The tank has 66 gallons, so you probably won’t run out of hot water. The single reviewer of this product specified it as the best hybrid water heater on the market.
And that brings our article to a close. Choose which option works best for you!