The 7 Best Heat Pump Water Heater Units In 2023

water heating accessories

A heat pump water heater is indeed the best of all energy-efficient heating solutions 

Did you know that with the best heat pump water heater, you can save more than 3X on your water heating costs? 

While it might go unnoticed, warm water generation is one of the biggest contributors to our energy bills. 

In fact, if you go by the Department of Energy figures, traditional water heaters contribute nearly 17 percent of the total energy costs in an average household. 

Meaning every time you’re showering, doing the dishes, or using the laundry machine, it’s significantly increasing your utility bills. 

Nevertheless, with heat pump-based heating, that’s not the case anymore. That’s because, unlike conventional heaters turning electricity to heat, the heat pump water heaters use surrounding heat instead. You can think of it as a refrigerator but of a reverse variant. 

Now, even though air to water heat pumps were expensive in their heydays, you can now get a top-notch heater on a budget, thanks to the rapid technological advancements. All the more reason why you should make the switch from traditional water heaters. 

Wondering which heat pump heater to install in your home? 

Well, we’ve compiled the best heat pump water heaters on the market after thoroughly reviewing each based on price, performance, quality, and more. 

So read on to find the perfect solution for your needs. 

The best heat pump water heaters on the market: 

#1. AO Smith Signature 900 (best for high-capacity heating) 

AO Smith Signature 900

When it comes to meeting an entire home’s hot water requirements, there’s no substitute for a heavy-duty solution. And that’s one of the reasons why AO Smith’s Signature 900 has made it to the top of our list. 

You see, each of the AO Smith heat pump units features a large 50-gallon water storage and heating capacity. Thus, a single heater can easily and reliably provide a 24/7 hot water supply to an average family home with three-four people. 

But it’s it all about heater capacity? 

Not really, as these water heaters offer energy efficiency, a quick payback period, and more. 

To start with, the Signature series water heaters offer up to 73 percent energy savings in comparison to a standard electric heater. And cost-wise, this translates to annual savings of over $300 on your energy bills. 

In fact, factor in a 30% federal rebate or tax incentive on your total heat pump investment, and you can expect a payback period as low as two-three years. 

Further, like all heat pumps AO Smith, the Signature 900 also has a slim design and measures 63″ x 22 “(H x D). This makes it simple to install, so much so that you can install the heater by yourself. 

Also, as an icing on the cake, these heaters come with a 10-year long manufacturer warranty. 

That’s impressive, isn’t it? 

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#2. SAHP or solar assisted heat pump water heater (best among solar solutions)

SAHP or solar assisted heat pump water heater

As the runner-up on our list, we’ve the SAHP or solar assisted heat pump water heater. And as you might already have figured out, it’s the solar powered heating feature of this heater that sets it apart. 

So how is the solar assisted heat pump different from regular ones? 

Well, this heater functions like any other heat pump heating system. Meaning it captures heat from ambient air and uses it to warm the water up. 

However, you can also add an additional solar panel alongside, making it function like a traditional electric water heater. 

You see, a typical air to water heat pump might not be effective in extremely cold conditions, notwithstanding its efficiency otherwise. And it’s in such situations that a solar panel based electric heater on these heat pumps kicks in, ensuring an uninterrupted supply of hot water. 

Talking about other functionalities, the heater is very similar to its AO Smith counterparts. 

For instance, you can find a large 50-gallon water heating tank, which is sufficient for household needs. 

Similarly, installation is easy and DIY friendly with these heat pumps. All you’ve got to do is follow the manufacturer-provided installation manual, and you can have one up and running. 

Not to mention, the SAHP units offer over $274.46 annual savings on energy costs. And upon taking the federal rebate into account, you can expect a quick 2-3 year payback period. 

There you have it, the perfect solar powered heat pump for your home. 

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#3. Rheem Performance Platinum (best among noise-free heat pumps) 

Rheem Performance Platinum

Another awesome heat pump heater that has made it to our list is the Performance Platinum from Rheem. 

While water heaters from Rheem, like its other electrical appliances, are already among the top-sellers in the country, the Performance series are known for their quiet functioning. 

The Performance Platinum, in particular, is the quietest heat pump water heater on the market, running at a 49dB low hum sound. And that makes it apt for installation in homes since you barely hear any noise as the heaters kickstart and function. 

What’s more? 

The Rheem Performance Platinum is equipped with an in-built Wi-Fi technology from EcoNet, bringing it among the few heat pumps with such smart technology. And this allows you to control heating, manage water temperature, track energy usage, etc., right from your smartphone. 

Amazing, right? 

Coming to hot water processing, the Performance Platinum series heaters are available in 40, 50, and 55-gallon capacities. So you can choose one based on your exact requirements. 

In terms of savings, you can expect 75 percent or about $315 worth of annual energy savings.

Also, these heat pumps are Energy Star certified, so you’re eligible for rebates and tax incentives. 

The best part: these heaters are covered by a 10-year warranty, the longest in its class.  

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#4. Rheem ProTerra (an advanced avatar of Performance Platinum) 

Rheem ProTerra

Having seen the high-end features of Rheem Performance Platinum, you might think that heat pumps can’t get better. 

But what if we told you that there’s a more advanced heating system on the market? 

The ProTerra series heat pump water heaters from Rheem feature impeccable upgrades to their Performance Platinum counterparts. And the online reviews are just wow. 

So what’s exactly unique that ProTerra series heaters offer? 

First up, you’ll find one-of-a-kind LeakGuard technology that prevents damage and minimizes the dangers in the event of water leakage. This is an automatic 360 degrees leak prevention system, which upon detecting leaks, quickly shuts off the valve and locks water exiting inside the heater. 

Second, the heat pump features two modes, namely High Demand Mode and Vacation Mode. Herein, while the High Demand Mode increases the performance of the heater to meet high demand, the Vacation Mode ensures maximum efficiency and savings. 

Furthermore, you can find all the features of the Performance Platinum series heater in a ProTerra series heat pump too. 

For instance, the latter also has Wi-Fi connectivity, comes in 40-80 gallon capacities, and saves up 75 energy as compared to traditional heaters, to name a few. 

Note: Compared to Rheem Performance Platinum, the ProTerra heaters are expensive upfront. And that’s one of the reasons why the former continues to maintain its position as the best-seller among Rheem’s air to water heaters. 

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#5. Bradford White AeroTherm (best heat pump water heater for customized heating)

Bradford White AeroTherm

There are no heat pump water heaters on the market that offer as many options for personalization as the AeroTherm from Bradford White. In fact, together with its top-notch heating capacity and performance, it passed our review with flying colors. 

You see, the AeroTherm is a hybrid heat pump that effectively integrates air to water heaters with traditional electric heaters. And when used in combination, this gives you numerous ways to customize the heating

Now, to quench your curiosity, here are the custom water heating options that you can choose from in this heat pump: 

  1. Heat pump mode: This mode is the most energy-efficient as it uses just the heat pumps for water heating. 
  2. Standard hybrid mode: This mode deploys both a heat pump and an electric heater for faster heating. However, heat pumps are more active in this mode to save energy. 
  3. Hybrid plus mode: Similar to the hybrid standard, the hybrid plus mode also uses the two heaters together. But the electric heaters are predominant here for more effective heating, and it comes in handy on colder days. 
  4. Electric mode: The electric mode switches the heat pump off and utilizes the electric heater at its maximum capacity. And it’s apt for snowy days when ambient heat is near zero. 
  5. Vacation mode: This mode ensures maximum energy savings when the heating system is not in use. 

Back to its functional aspects, the AeroTherm heat pump heaters are available with capacities ranging between 40 and 80 gallons. Meaning there’s a solution for families and homes of every size. 

Also, these heat pumps are quite convenient to use, thanks to the dual control options. And this includes a control panel on the heat pump and a mobile app-based control enabled by built-in Wi-Fi. 

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#6. Richmond Encore 10E40-HP530 heater (best for energy efficiency) 

Richmond Encore 10E40-HP530 heater

The Encore 10E40-HP530 model heat pump water heater from Richmond caught our attention while looking for energy-efficient solutions. And to our surprise, this turned out to indeed be the most energy-efficient heat pump. 


Firstly, unlike the standard heat pump water heaters that offer a 3X increase in efficiency, you can expect a 4X higher energy saving. 

Secondly, while average annual savings on energy costs are around $300 for the best heat pumps, the Richmond Encore series heaters offer savings of up to $480. 

There’s more.

These heat pumps are priced lower than other brands, such as AO Smith and Bradford White, and are also eligible for rebates. Meaning you can expect a pretty short payback period of 2 years (even lesser in some cases). 

Now that sounds awesome for sure, doesn’t it? 

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#7. SANCO2 GS4-45HPC heat pump (a compact split system) 

SANCO2 GS4-45HPC split system heat pump

Lastly, we have the SANCO2 GS4-45HPC, a split system heat pump water heater apt for homes that have less space. 

You can think of this heat pump as a split air con unit with half of its mechanical components fitted in an enclosure to be installed outdoors. 

While the features of this heat pump are similar to that of others, it features a very compact size. So much so that you can easily install one in an apartment or studio. 

On the downside, however, these heaters are very expensive, and you can expect to pay upward of $3900. 

Also, some sellers don’t provide the accessories necessary for installation. And buying the accessories separately can further add $1000 to your cheque. 

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You might also want to read – 7 Best Whole House Water Filters For Your Home

Heat pump water heater: frequently asked questions 

FAQ 1. How does a heat pump water heater work? 

As we discussed earlier, a heat pump or air to water heater works like a refrigerator by using ambient heat to heat water. 

It follows a five-step process, which includes: 

Step 1. A fan atop the heat pump brings in air from the surrounding area. 

Step 2. This air is passed through an evaporator with refrigerant. Herein, the refrigerant absorbs all the heat from the air. 

Step 3. The refrigerant, after absorbing the ambient heat, passes through a compressor which increases its temperature and pressure. 

Step 4. Once heated, the refrigerant is passed through a condenser coil, thus transferring all the heat to the water. 

Note: The refrigerants used in a heat pump do release greenhouse gasses. However, their environmental impact is minimal when compared to that of conventional water heaters. 

Also, the best heat pump water heaters that we’ve shortlisted have the most sustainable refrigerants and qualify as green building appliances

FAQ 2. What are the benefits of an air to water heat pump? 

The air to water heat pump heaters carry numerous benefits, including: 

  1. Cost-efficient: These are the most cost-efficient way to have hot water in your home, thanks to the 3-4 times increased energy efficiency they offer. 
  2. Quick payback: The payback period on heat pump water heaters is unlike any other. In fact, by availing the federal tax incentives, you can recover your investment in well under two-three years. 
  3. Eco-friendly: The fact that you’re using way less energy to meet your hot water needs goes a long way to reduce the environmental impact of coal-burning power plants.  
  4. Reliability: Heat pumps are more reliable than regular water heaters. The decade-long warranty cover by various manufacturers speaks to this. 
  5. Cools ambient air: For those of us living in warm and humid regions, heat pumps can also cool down and dehumidify the ambient air as they heat your water. And this, in turn, reduces the need for HVAC systems. 

FAQ 3. What is the best heat pump water heater system? 

There aren’t fixed criteria for the best heat pump water heater since your ideal solution depends on your exact needs. 

For instance, if you’re looking for a hot water supply for a large home with many residents, then heaters from AO Smith or Rhem could be the best option. 

Similarly, if your area is prone to extremely cold temperatures, then the hybrid heat pumps from GeoSpring or Bradford White should be apt. 

So it’s important to factor in your requirements and look for the same in the heaters before purchasing. 

FAQ 4. Do heat pumps create noise?

A heat pump with good build quality should not create noise. And to that end, it’s essential to check the noise of individual heat pumps before you buy them. 

However, heat pumps do create a slow hum, just like dishwashers or refrigerators. Also, depending on the model, this hum can be much quieter. 

FAQ 5. What are the rebates and tax credits on heat pumps? 

Every Energy Star-certified heat pump water heater is eligible for a 30% federal tax credit up to $2000. 

Meaning a purchase of one such heater makes you eligible for a federal tax reduction going up to $2000, which in most cases is the price of the heat pump itself. 

Also, while this tax incentive was set to expire at the end of 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act has increased the incentives till 2032

FAQ 6. What size of heat pump do you need for your home? 

The exact size of a heat pump water heater will depend on the amount of hot water you need in your home throughout the day. 

Here’s a rough estimate that can help you decide on heat pump size: 

  • A household with 2-3 people – 40-50 gallon capacity
  • A household with 3-4 people – 60-70 gallon capacity 
  • A household with 4+ people – 80 gallons or more capacity 

FAQ 7. What kind of electrical outlet does a heat pump need? 

When installing a heat pump, it’s essential to plug it into a 240-volt outlet. And while most homes have such outlets, we suggest you install a 240-volt outlet if you don’t have one in your home. 

FAQ 8. Does a heat pump work in an extremely cold climate? 

A heat pump water heater needs an ambient temperature between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum functioning. 

However, if the mercury drops below that threshold, you can turn to hybrid heating and use the functionality of traditional heaters on the heat pump.

You might also want to read – Grey Water Recycling System: All That You Need To Know


As you can see, with the best heat pump water heater, you can not only save up on energy but also reduce your carbon footprint. 

Also, it goes without saying that heat pumps are quicker than traditional heaters. So you need not keep waiting for the water to heat. 

Looking to install one such heat pump in your home? 

You can get in touch with us!

We have eco-friendly whole-house water heating solutions of all capacities readily available at the most affordable prices. Also, we have sustainable water purification solutions and water savings systems, among others. 

In short, we’ve got all your residential water supply needs covered. 



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