The GE heat pump water heater, known as the GeoSpring, is the hybrid heating unit that utilizes heat pump technology and electric heating elements for ultra-efficient residential water heating.
The review includes the GeoSpring advantages, benefits, buying, and installation tips.
GE company offers only one hybrid model - GEH50DEEDSC. It comes with the popular tank size of 50 gallons and is recommended for new homes and as a replacement for the 50-gal traditional tank-type electric water heaters. What makes it a suitable replacement is that for the same 50-gal capacity, you will get greater first-hour delivery equal to the 65-gallon unit and a significant reduction in energy usage of 62%.
GeoSpring is the Energy Star qualified product that provides a high energy factor (EF) of 2.35, more than twice the efficiency of the standard 50-gallon units (an average EF is 0.9).
This unit is an excellent alternative to the gas water heaters, as you can see from its efficiency and all the advantages and benefits it has to offer, including the government grants and utility rebates.
GE GeoSpring is a hybrid water heater that utilizes heat pump technology and standard heating elements as backup heating. GeoSpring is actually the electric water heater with the addition of the compressor, evaporator, condenser, and fan, all integrated into one system, installed on the top of the unit. Such construction allows independent or combined water heating.
The unit is equipped with a filter, so when the heat pump runs, it draws the surrounding air through the air filter, keeping the dirt and dust away from the evaporator. Maintenance is recommended as the clean air filter improves the energy efficiency of the water heater. When the filter is dirty and requires cleaning, the red light on the control panel is illuminated.
The GE heat pump uses an electronic back-lit LCD display, located close to the top of the unit at eye level, so you can conveniently change the mode or temperature by pressing the arrow up or down and following the instructions on display.
The LCD is part of the integrated electronic system that also helps with diagnostics and easy troubleshooting. The Energy Menu is very helpful and user-friendly, which allows you to convert degrees F to degrees C and check out the FAQs to find the answers about the cold air, noise, modes, and other useful info.
There are also five LED diodes on the control panel that shows which operating mode is activated. To alternate between the modes, the mode selector is used.
The control panel also has the communication module port (ACM) and power saver override that is used with the module. It is designed to respond to utility signals if the utility company uses the ACM technology or to join a home network. The ACM module recognizes when there is a change in the energy cost rate and automatically adjusts its mode to use less energy.
All the water connections on this heat pump use the standard size of 3/4" and recommended water pressure is 20-125 PSI.
The temperature and pressure safety valve, 3" condensate overflow tube and 6" condensate tube are included. You should run the discharge line from the relief valve, and together with the main drain tube, it has to be directed to the suitable open drain.
Several elements protect the heat pump and the user. These elements include a sacrificial anode rod that protects the metal tank from corrosion, temperature-limiting control or TCO that shuts the unit down if the water temperature exceeds the safe zone, temperature, and pressure relief valve, and others.
General Electric provides a 10-year limited warranty on this GEH50DEEDSC heat pump model and one year on the replacement parts and labor.
The General Electric heat pump uses the evaporator to extract the heat from the surrounding air and the compressor to increase the temperature. The air is moved through the heat pump by two fans located at the back of the water heater and near the top. Condenser coils, which wrap the tank all its length, transfer the captured heat into the tank and heats the water.
The GE heat pump also uses the upper and lower 4.5 kW heating elements and can work as the electric water heater. Keep in mind that only one heat source will be in use at the time, providing greater energy efficiency while producing hot water.
This is how the heat pump will heat the same amount of hot water as conventional tank-type electric water heaters, but the energy used is much lower, which helps in lowering water heating expenses up to 62%.
GeoSpring uses multiple settings or modes, so you can maximize your savings by using less energy, use a heat pump only, a backup heater, or both based on your water heating needs and temperature.
The heat pump mode allows you to run the heat pump only, which makes this mode the most efficient with maximum savings. It is a recommended mode for families looking for the maximum savings but not recommended where the high demand for hot water is needed, such as large houses. When the backup heater is not used, it takes longer to heat water.
The hybrid mode is the default mode used if faster hot water recovery is needed. First, the heat pump will operate, and if more hot water is needed, then the backup electric heating elements will activate as well. After high demand is met, the system goes back to use the heat pump only. This will provide hot water faster, longer, and with less energy used. It performs as the conventional electric water heater but with high energy savings.
The high-demand mode is similar to the Hybrid mode and is used if there is a sudden need for more hot water than usual. The heat pump system will react promptly by turning on the heating elements and provide hot water faster and for a long time. It will also take more energy to heat water.
In the electric or standard mode the GE heat pump works exactly like the electric water heater with the fan OFF. This is especially helpful if the surrounding temperatures are low when the heat pump decreases its performance and efficiency. Water will increase the temperature faster, but the energy consumed will be the highest.
A vacation mode allows you to program the system if you are on vacation, for example, or absent more than 3 and less than 90 days. Set the system to drop the hot water temperature to 50 F, preventing water from freezing.
The GE heat pump has an energy factor of 2.35, higher than the Rheem heat pump, designed with the EF 2.0.
Compared to the standard electric heater, the GeoSpring hybrid water heater produces the same amount of hot water, but it uses less than half the energy. Per GE study, you will save around 2500 kWh yearly, which gives you the annual savings of approximately $250 (based on 10 cents per kWh).
The GE heat pump is the only model from electric water heaters recognized as the Energy Star, making it eligible for government grants and utility rebates.
It is good for the environment as it applies the "green" technology for reducing greenhouse gases.
It is easy to replace the unit as it occupies almost the same space as the conventional electric 50-gallon water.
GeoSpring is a free-standing unit that requires a clean and dry area with at least 700 cubic feet. The unit needs 240 V and 30 Amps electrical power to operate. The electric supply line should be dedicated and installed per electrical codes.
As the heat pump uses the surrounding air for water heating, a recommendation is to provide at least 7" clearance above the unit. The best is to install the unit so the air filter, front panel, and cover can be removed easily for servicing and maintenance.
If you are looking for reviews online, you will notice that noise is the major concern or complaint about this heat pump. This is why it is unsuitable for installation in spaces close to the living area or bedrooms.