Heat Pump Hot Water Systems in Adelaide

Heat Pump Hot Water Systems in Adelaide

Heat pumps are a great choice for homes and businesses in Adelaide because they’re cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly. In fact, they use around 20% less energy than standard electric hot water systems. Royal Flush Plumbing can install new heat pump systems, and we will perform maintenance to ensure they continue to work efficiently for years to come. We are licensed, insured, and we serve both commercial and residential clients.

How do heat pump hot water heaters work?

Heat pump water heaters use energy to transport heat from one location to another rather than produce heat directly. As a result, they can save two to three times as much energy as traditional electric resistance water heaters. Heat pumps act like a refrigerator in reverse to transport heat. A stand-alone air-source heat pump water heater extracts heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to a storage tank at a higher temperature. As a result, they are sometimes known as air-source heat pumps. Despite the fact that they are primarily powered by electricity, they are around three times more efficient than a standard electric water heater.

Types of Heat Pump Hot Water Systems

There are different types of heat pump water heaters, depending on the source and the destination of the heat, as well as the configuration and the size of the system. Some of the main types are:

Air-to-Water Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters are the most popular and simple type. Air-to-water configurations use ambient temperatures to warm up the tank. They can either be an integrated unit, with both parts combined, or two separate pieces. These systems work in temperate climates where temperatures stay above freezing.

Water-to-Water Heat Pump Water Heaters

These are less common and more complex type of heat pump water heaters. They use the heat from a water source, such as a well, a lake, or a river, to heat the water in a tank. They require a pump and a heat exchanger to circulate the water between the source and the tank. They are suitable for cold climates, where the air temperature is below freezing, or for areas with abundant water resources.

Ground-to-Water Heat Pump Water Heaters

These are also less common and more complex type of heat pump water heaters. They use the heat from the ground, which is relatively constant and moderate, to heat the water in a tank. They require a loop of pipes buried in the ground and a heat exchanger to transfer the heat between the ground and the tank. They are suitable for any climate, as the ground temperature is not affected by the weather, but they require more space and installation cost.

Solar-Assisted Heat Pump Water Heaters

Solar-assisted heat pump water heaters combine the solar collector and heat pump together to generate hot water. This hybrid system is more efficient when it comes to electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions as compared to traditional electric water heaters. However, they also require larger space and extra maintenance. The pros and cons of a heat pump water heater should be evaluated carefully based on factors such as climate, water demand, installation cost, and efficiency. Heat pumps can save up to 60% energy of conventional electric-powered models, but they are usually pricier with a complicated installation process in cold climates.

What are the best heat pump hot water systems?

There are many brands and models of heat pump water heaters available in the Adelaide market, but some of the most popular ones are:

  • Rheem Performance Platinum: This is a hybrid water heater that combines a heat pump and an electric heating element. It has a 50-gallon tank capacity and a 3.55 energy factor. It can provide up to 67 gallons of hot water in the first hour and has a 10-year warranty. It also has a smart control panel that allows the user to adjust the temperature, mode, and schedule of the water heater. It is suitable for medium to large households and moderate to warm climates.
  • AO Smith Signature Premier: This is another hybrid water heater that has a similar design and features as the Rheem Performance Platinum. It has a 50-gallon tank capacity and a 3.45 energy factor. It can provide up to 66 gallons of hot water in the first hour and has a 10-year warranty. It also has a smart control panel that can be accessed via a mobile app. It is suitable for medium to large households and moderate to warm climates.
  • Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300: This is a heat pump water heater that does not have a backup electric heating element. It has an 80-gallon tank capacity and a 2.51 energy factor. It can provide up to 50 gallons of hot water before activating its built-in resistance heater. It has a 10-year warranty and a simple control panel. It is suitable for large households and cold climates.
  • EcoSmart ECO 18: This is a tankless water heater that uses a heat pump to heat water on demand. It has a 2.5-gallon tank capacity and a 0.98 energy factor. It can provide up to 2.5 gallons of hot water per minute and has a lifetime warranty. It has a digital control panel that allows the user to adjust the temperature and the flow rate of the water. It is suitable for small households and point-of-use applications.

Parts of a Heat Pump

There are many brands and models of heat pump water heaters available in the Adelaide market, but some of the most popular ones are:


A fluid that can change its state from gas to liquid and vice versa. It absorbs heat from the air when it evaporates and releases heat to the water when it condenses. Common refrigerants used in heat pump water heaters are R-134a, R-410A, and R-744.


A pump that increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas. It is usually located at the top of the heat pump water heater and is powered by electricity.

Expansion Valve

A valve that reduces the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant liquid. It is usually located between the condenser coil and the evaporator coil and regulates the flow of the refrigerant according to the demand of the system.

Evaporator Coil

A coil of tubing that absorbs heat from the air and evaporates the refrigerant liquid. It is usually located outside the tank and is exposed to the ambient air. It may have a fan to increase the airflow and the heat transfer.

Refrigerant Cycle

The refrigerant cycle works as follows:

  • The refrigerant enters the evaporator coil as a low-pressure liquid and absorbs heat from the air. It evaporates into a low-pressure gas and flows to the compressor.
  • The compressor pressurizes and heats up the refrigerant gas and sends it to the condenser coil.
  • The refrigerant enters the condenser coil as a high-pressure gas and releases heat to the water in the tank. It condenses into a high-pressure liquid and flows to the expansion valve.
  • The expansion valve reduces the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant liquid and sends it back to the evaporator coil.

The cycle repeats until the water in the tank reaches the desired temperature.

Installation & Maintenance

With proper installation and maintenance, your heat pump water heating system will use the least amount of energy possible. There are many factors that influence proper installation. Fuel type, environment, local construction code requirements, and safety concerns are important things to consider to make everything work well. Because of these factors, it’s best to have a trained plumber and heating contractor install your heat pump.

When choosing a qualified professional, consider the following:

  • Request written cost estimates
  • Request references
  • Check to see if the company will seek a local permit if one is required and if they are familiar with local building codes

Fortunately, Royal Flush Plumbers checks all of these boxes and more! Royal Flush services all of Adelaide, SA.

Periodic water heater maintenance can considerably extend the life of your water heater and reduce energy loss. For specific maintenance recommendations, consult your owner’s handbook or the unit’s manual. We can also assist you in making sure your system stays maintained and outputting appropriate performance.

What are the benefits of switching to a heat pump heater?

Heat pump water heaters must be installed in locations with temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit all year round and at least 28 cubic meters of air space surrounding the water heater. The air that passes over the evaporator can be vented into the room or outside. Heat pump water heaters are inefficient in cold environments because they tend to chill the space they are in. Installing them in a room with a lot of heat, like a furnace room, will make them work better. A workaround option is to install an air-source heat pump system that combines heating, cooling, and water heating. These hybrid systems draw heat from the outside air in the winter and from the inside air in the summer. Any sort of air-source heat pump system operates more efficiently in a warm area because it removes heat from the air.

Hot water heat pumps have a long life span of 15 years and can provide you with an efficient energy-saving option. Although the upfront cost may be more than that of a regular electric water heater, in terms of both maintenance and utility savings, as well as reducing your carbon footprint, it can pay for itself over time.

Royal Flush Plumbing offers free consultations and estimates. We offer a wide range of plumbing services, including emergency hot water repairs all across Adelaide.

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