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Saving money with a heat pump water heater

After learning how much more efficient electric appliances have become, Julie Williams decided to make the switch

Vicky Volvovski
June 4, 2024
Decorative image with a quote: “When we go on vacation, we can turn it down. It’s got a simple digital screen or we can do it on our phones.”

Julie Williams lives in Corvallis, Oregon in a 1951 cottage-style home. When she moved into the house over 25 years ago, she replaced the inefficient electric resistance water heater with a natural gas water heater. “I had heard gas was better, so I switched it to gas,” she recalls.

In 2017, the gas water heater was at the end of life and needed to be replaced. Julie was working in the sustainability space and knew that electric appliances had come a long way since she last needed to replace a major appliance. Her colleague told her that she’d get her money back with a heat pump water heater within 3 years because of how much more efficient they are. “Ok, we’re doing it,” she said.

A 50 gallon Rheem heat pump water heater was installed in her garage. Since then, Julie says she is “saving about $20/month on energy bills compared to the gas water heater.” She also likes the additional features of the water heater. 

“When we go on vacation, we can turn it down. It’s got a simple digital screen or we can do it on our phones.” And because the heat pump water heater pulls heat from the ambient air to heat the water, “it has the added benefit of cooling our garage in the summer.” 

For people considering going with a heat pump water heater, Julie advises they consider the location. “When it runs the pump, there is a little noise – softer than a dishwasher.” Because hers sits in her garage, it’s not an issue, but for people installing it near a living space, she says you should pay attention to the decibel (dB) rating on the water heater.

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