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Heat Pump Hot Water Systems in Australia

Heat Pump Hot Water Systems in Australia

Last updated on May 25, 2024

What is a heat pump hot water system?

A heat pump hot water system is an energy-efficient way to heat water for domestic use. It works by extracting heat from the surrounding air and transferring it to the water stored in the tank.

A heat pump system’s key components are an outdoor unit containing the compressor, evaporator, and condenser coils and an insulated storage tank holding the heated water.

Unlike traditional electric or gas hot water systems that generate heat by burning fossil fuels, heat pumps use electricity to power a refrigeration system that absorbs ambient heat.

This makes them much more energy efficient, with some units having over 300% efficiency.

How do heat pump hot water systems work?

Heat pump water heaters use the same technology as refrigerators and air conditioners. The system has a compressor and refrigerant gas that circulates in a closed loop, absorbing heat from one place and moving it to another.

diagram showing the working mechanism of heat pump hot water system

Here are the main steps of the process

  • Air passes over the evaporator coil located in the outdoor unit. The liquid refrigerant inside absorbs the ambient heat, causing it to evaporate into a gas.
  • The compressor compresses the gaseous refrigerant, increasing its temperature.
  • The hot refrigerant passes through a condenser coil that is in contact with water stored in the tank.
  • Heat from the refrigerant is transferred to the water, rapidly heating it up.
  • The refrigerant cools and condenses back into liquid, starting the cycle again.

This heat extraction and transfer process happens continuously to keep the stored water heated to the desired temperature.

Benefits of heat pump hot water systems

Heat pump hot water systems offer several benefits compared to conventional electric, gas, or solar water heaters:

1) Energy efficiency

Heat pumps can reduce water heating costs by up to 75% compared to electric storage systems. This is because they use free ambient heat rather than generating heat by burning fossil fuels.

2) Cost savings

The high energy efficiency translates into significant cost savings on electricity bills in the long run. Heat pumps have a higher upfront cost, but the long-term savings generally provide a good return on investment.

3) Environmental impact

Heat pump systems are a more sustainable and eco-friendly option, as they use renewable thermal energy from the air instead of finite natural resources. They reduce carbon emissions compared to conventional water heating methods.

4) Efficient performance in any climate

Heat pumps can operate efficiently year-round, even in colder climates. Models with enhanced features allow them to extract heat even when air temperatures are as low as -15°C.

Factors to consider when choosing a heat pump hot water system

There are several important factors to keep in mind when selecting a heat pump hot water system:

1) Capacity

Consider the hot water requirements of your household. Heat pump tanks come in a range of capacities from 135L up to 400L. Make sure to choose adequate capacity for peak demand.

2) Climate

Look for a unit with features to enhance low ambient air performance in colder climates. A unit with advanced compressor technology will operate efficiently even in freezing temperatures.

3) Energy rating

Choose a unit with a high energy star rating of 3.5 or above. This indicates the system is highly energy efficient for water heating.

4) Tank type

Tanks come in stainless steel or enameled steel. Stainless steel offers better corrosion resistance. Tanks with thicker insulation minimize standby heat losses.

5) Warranty

Look for a long warranty of 5-10 years for the tank and sealed system. This ensures the unit is built to last.

Review of the 5 best heat pump hot water systems


Now that we’ve looked at what to consider when buying a heat pump hot water system let’s review some of the best units available in Australia:

1. Ecogenica Heat Pump

Ecogenica heat pump

The Ecogenica 245L heat pump water heater offers high efficiency and quality construction at an affordable price point. This unit has an appealing modern design and includes a useful digital display and programmable timer functions.

Pros

  • Energy rating of 4 stars
  • Large 245L storage capacity
  • Quality weather-resistant casing
  • User-friendly digital controls
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Only one year warranty on some components
  • Low ambient compressor performance could be better

Who is this product right for?

The Ecogenica 245L is ideal for households with 3-5 people looking for an attractive and well-performing heat pump water heater. Thanks to its upgraded compressor and fan, it works well even in cool climates.

2. Emerald All-in-One Heat Pump

Emeral heat pump

This integrated unit from Emerald combines a 300L vitreous enamel tank with an efficient heat pump in one seamless cabinet. The neat, all-in-one configuration allows for simple installation.

Pros

  • High energy efficiency with a 4.7-star rating
  • Large 300L storage capacity
  • Integrated modern design
  • Quiet operation
  • 10-year warranty on all parts

Cons

  • Higher upfront cost
  • Unit height is not suitable for some spaces

Who is this product right for?

The Emerald All-in-One is ideal for a family of 4-6 people that wants a single integrated heat pump water heating solution. It’s great for a new installation where height is not an issue.

3. Emerald 270L Split Heat Pump

The Emerald 270L split system couples an efficient outdoor heat pump unit with a 270-litre indoor storage tank. This allows flexible installation with the option to have the tank either floor or wall-mounted.

Pros

  • High 4.7 star energy rating
  • Large 270L tank capacity
  • Flexible installation options
  • Operates in ambient temperatures as low as -15°C
  • 10-year comprehensive warranty

Cons

  • Installation requires connecting refrigerant lines
  • Higher initial cost

Who is this product right for?

The Emerald 270L Split is great for households with 2-4 people who need a very energy-efficient heat pump with superior cold climate performance. The split tank configuration allows installation flexibility.

4. iStore Heat Pump

iStore heat pump
iStore

The iStore 270L heat pump water heater delivers excellent energy efficiency along with useful smart features. It can integrate with home automation systems for remote monitoring and control.

Pros

  • High 4.5 energy star rating
  • Large 270-litre tank
  • Built-in WiFi for app control
  • Scheduled operation
  • Quiet fan operation

Cons

  • Only 5 years tank warranty
  • Installation of optional accessories is complex

Who is this product right for?

With its smart connectivity options, the iStore 270L suits tech-savvy households who want to integrate their water heater with home automation systems. Convenience features make hot water management easier.

5. Reclaim Energy Heat Pump

Reclaim Energy Heat Pump

This locally-made system from Reclaim Energy offers a large 315L tank coupled with an efficient heat pump capable of operating in freezing conditions. A 10-year warranty across all components backs it.

Pros

  • High energy efficiency with a 4-star rating
  • Large 315L tank capacity
  • Advanced frost-resistant technology
  • Durable and corrosion resistant stainless-steel tank
  • 10-year comprehensive warranty

Cons

  • Higher purchase price
  • External ball valve can leak over time

Who is this product right for?

The Reclaim Energy 315L is ideal for a family of 4-6 that needs a high-capacity heat pump water heater that can cope with cold climates. It’s a good long-term investment backed by strong warranty terms.

Conclusion- heat pump hot water systems in Australia

Heat pump hot water systems provide an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solution for domestic hot water heating needs. When choosing a system, key factors to consider are capacity, energy rating, performance in colder conditions, tank type, and warranty terms.

The Ecogenica 245L provides an attractively priced option with generous tank capacity. For larger families, the Emerald All-In-One 300L is a seamlessly integrated solution. The Emerald 270L Split offers maximum installation flexibility.

Those who want smart features should look at the iStore 270L. For cold climates, the Reclaim Energy 315L utilizes advanced frost protection.

Consider your hot water requirements, climate, and budget when selecting the heat pump water heater that can best meet your needs. With their exceptional efficiency and green credentials, heat pumps are a smart investment that pays back through energy savings over time.

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