by Brent Sauser
A couple weeks ago the Sauser household “bit the bullet” and installed a 50 gallon GE GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater. Our 17 year old standard water heater was way past due for replacement and costing us too much per month in electricity. We estimated $35 of our monthly power bill went to inefficiently heating the water. We researched solar water heaters and the TruTankless electric water heater, but in the end the GeoSpring Hybrid won the day. Why, you might ask? Good question!
Our decision is based on our specific needs. We are only two people in a humble 3-bedroom home in Central Florida, and only use hot water for showers and the dishwasher. We wash our clothes in cold water . . . and so should you. The solar water heater is a great solution but is set up for a much larger load. It requires an 80 gallon tank that wouldn’t fit in the space provided. As much as I hoped to install a TruTankless water heater, in the end I simply didn’t have 120 extra amps in my electrical service (at the panel) to power the system.
The GE GeoSpring turned out to be a great fit for our needs. It claims to cut a water heating bill in half. I will track that and let you know. The heat pump (on top of the unit) is louder than expected, but since it is located in the same room with the air handler and washer/dryer, I consider it just another frequency of white noise. We set our water heater to 120 F and are quite satisfied with its performance. There are several settings to choose from. GE recommends using the “Hybrid” mode that heats the water using a combination of the heat pump and internal electric heating element. I, on the other hand, prefer using the most cost effective setting of “Heat Pump”, which relies only on the heat pump to recharge the hot water. It takes longer, but uses less energy and has an added benefit. The heat pump discharges cold air as a result of using incoming warmer air to heat the coils. That cold air is as cold as an air conditioner and cools the surrounding space. If you can handle the noise, the cool air will be a welcomed way to reduce your cooling needs.
If you are interested in saving money on your power bill and need to replace your old water heater anyway, I invite you to check into the GE GeoSpring Hybrid water heater. We are very glad we did and look forward to the 30% Federal Tax Rebate!
CLICK HERE for more information regarding the GE GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater.