American Heat Pump Water Heaters (Hybrid Water Heating) 

American heat pump - hybridphoto by American

Discover the advantages and benefits of American heat pump water heaters, recommended for homeowners looking to go green and take advantage of highly efficient water heating to save on energy costs.

American heat pump water heaters are actually hybrid water heaters that combine two technologies - a heat pump and electric heating - resulting in the most cost-effective energy solution for consumers.

According to the manufacturer, heat pumps can reduce water heating costs by up to 73% (when compared to standard electric types) and provide annual savings of over $400 with a payback period of 2-3 years. The greatest savings are for households located in regions with high electricity rates and colder climates.

Things to consider

American heat pumps' benefits

What makes American hybrids energy-efficient is the design of the heat pump. The heat pump transfers heat from the ambient air through the heat exchanger to heat the water, while cooling and dehumidifying the room simultaneously. The unit not only provides savings on utility bills but also offers excellent comfort and convenience.

Heat pumps look similar to traditional electric hot water tanks, except for the heat pump addition at the top. They have the same footprint and connections but are more advanced.

Hybrids offer innovative electronics and a large LCD display for convenience and easy control, monitoring, and troubleshooting when problems arise.

The energy factor (UEF), which measures the unit's efficiency, is at least two to three times higher than the efficiency found on standard electrical heaters, which use only the heating elements for heating. The highest UEF is 3.45 on hybrids and close to one on standard electric models.

Due to their great benefits and energy savings, American heat pumps are the only type of all-electric water heaters that are Energy Star compliant. They offer industry-leading efficiency and are eligible for tax credits and rebates from utility companies.

Models review

American heat pumps are part of the Proline XE series, the best category among electric heaters, and are available as HPHE models.

The HPHE group of heat pumps offers six models with capacities of 50, 66, and 80 gallons and warranties of 6 and 10 years. Models with a 10-year warranty are also AHRI certified, confirming their performance rating.

All models provide the same amount of hot water as standard 50-, 66-, and 80-gallon models, but at half the cost. Hybrids are usually built with a higher tank capacity, allowing the heat pump to operate more often than the heating elements, ensuring better savings and more hot water during periods of high demand.

Below is a table of available models, capacity, first-hour rating, and uniform energy factor (UEF). The highest energy factor is 3.45, while the greatest first-hour rating is 86 gallons in 80-gallon units, ensuring long showers with a maximum shower time of 55 minutes and the ability to use up to 3 showers simultaneously.

Models/Features Nominal
UEF First
HPHE10250H045DVN 50 3.45 66 10
HPHE10266H045DVN 66 3.45 79 10
HPHE10280H045DVN 88 3.45 86 10
HPHE6250H045DV 50 3.42 66 6
HPHE6266H045DV 66 3.35 79 6
HPHE6280H045DV 88 3.45 84 6

The 50-gallon unit is recommended for homes with up to 4 members, a 66-gallon unit for 4-5 members, and an 80-gallon unit for 5 members.

It's important to note that the heat pump water heater will achieve its highest energy efficiency in efficiency mode and its lowest efficiency in electric mode, where it will also cost the most to operate.

Additionally, the hybrid mode (shown in the table above) has the greatest first-hour rating, while the efficiency mode has the smallest. The more often the heat pump is used, the more efficient it becomes.

The 50-gallon unit is ideal for mid-size homes and families, especially where space is limited due to its smaller diameter of 22 inches. For high-demand homes with sufficient space, larger and taller models can be used.


Enhanced performance

American hybrids utilize several standard features which is similar to electric models, including the Blue Diamond glass coating for better protection against corrosion, the DynaClean automatic sediment cleaning system, heat traps, and long-lasting brass drain valves.

Environmentally-friendly heating

The American heat pumps use an "environmentally-friendly" refrigerant to extract heat from the surrounding air and a built-in compressor to increase the fluid temperature. On the other hand, the backup electric heating system utilizes long-lasting Incoloy heating elements, both upper and lower, with a maximum wattage of 4500 W. Thanks to the smart control system, the heating elements are protected from dry firing.

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Operating modes

The hybrid technology of American heat pumps allows them to operate in four modes, maximizing efficiency, performance, and customization:

  • The hybrid mode is the default mode, allowing the water heater to operate between the heat pump and electric heating elements depending on the hot water demand. The heat pump is the primary source, while the heating elements only function during high demand or peak hours, providing high-efficiency operation and quick recovery.
  • The electric mode is the least efficient mode, where only the electric heating elements are working. This mode is used during cold weather when the surrounding air temperature is lower than recommended, reducing the heat pump's efficiency.
  • The efficiency mode is the most energy-efficient mode, utilizing the heat pump most of the time but turning the heating elements on when necessary. For example, when the surrounding air temperature is below 49°F and cannot provide optimal heating.
  • The vacation mode reduces heating operation and costs while protecting the unit from freezing temperatures during extended absences, such as vacations. This mode is programmable.

Innovative electronic system

Another significant advantage of this hybrid type over electric water heaters (with great savings probably being the biggest one) is the advanced electronic systems that give users useful information, such as operating status, modes, better control, convenience, and more.

The control panel, located in the upper part of the water heater, comes with a large LCD display and touchpad. You will be able to set and change the temperature, lock the settings, check the status, and use its diagnostic system and error codes when problems occur.

Models equipped with the communication port can be connected to home management and utility systems for better control and savings.

Advanced anode rod

As opposed to most conventional electric water heaters, American heat pumps are equipped with the CoreGard advanced anode rod to protect the heater's tank from corrosion.

This is a sacrificial anode and is long-lasting due to the stainless steel core.


American electric heat pumps are recommended for families with four or more members and medium to large houses that utilize a maximum 240 VAC single-phase and 25 Amps circuit breaker.

Hybrids are designed for indoor use and rooms with sufficient fresh air, and the best places for installation are attics, basements, and garages.

The company provides a maximum 10-year warranty on the tank and its parts. According to their website, you can save over $4,000 over a 12-year period, and the payback period is three years or less.

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