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Heat pump water heater combo?

LanceMM | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I am designing a high efficiency system for a fixer upper I am in the process of purchasing. I need to replace the gas water heater and furnace. I want to eliminate the natural gas and they are old.

Can you fine people please suggest brands/models of the following products. I have done a lot of googling but it seems like I might not have my terminology correct and all I keep finding is hybrid heat pump water heaters.

Air source heat pumps which provide ducted central heating and cooling as well as hot water.


Air source heat pump boilers which can deliver hot water for household use and feed hydronic coils in the air handler to provide heating/cooling. I believe that 140 degree water should satisfy both needs, the speed at which the boiler could reheat the water would be key (adding a hot water storage tank downstream of the boiler might alleviate some of this?)
Of course if the boiler allowed for separate temperature control for the domestic hot water and space heating water that would be even better.

Thanks in advance

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    First of all, can you tell us your name? (I'm Martin.)

    The type of appliance you are looking for is called an air-to-water heat pump. Two brands available in the U.S. are Chiltrix and SpacePak. For more information, see this article: "Air-to-Water Heat Pumps."

    Although you can purchase an air-to-water heat pump that can handle domestic hot water as well as space heating, you should know (a) that this type of setup is so rare that you will be hard pressed to find a qualified contractor to install it or repair it, and (b) the disadvantages of this type of combined system may outweigh the advantages.

    You might be happier with an ordinary air-to-air heat pump for space heating and cooling, and a separate heat-pump water heater for domestic hot water. For more information on this approach, see these two articles:

    "Ducted Air-Source Heat Pumps from American Manufacturers"

    "Heat-Pump Water Heaters Come of Age"

  2. LanceMM | | #2

    I just updated my screen name. Thanks for the suggestion. My name is Lance.

    I'll read those articles and post any questions. Thanks for the info.

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