Switching from Gas to an Electric Heat Pump Water Heater: What You Need to Know

hot water tap in bathroom

When you replace your gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater you can: 

  • Improve your home’s energy efficiency
  • Reduce your impact on the environment
  • Electrify your home

It’s easy to make the switch, but taking a few key factors into consideration will ensure a smooth transition from gas to electric water heating. Keep reading to learn more about gas vs electric water heaters and how you can find the best electric water heater for your home. 

Gas vs Electric Water Heaters—What’s the Difference? 

Gas water heaters use a gas-powered burner to heat water that’s stored in a tank. The water is heated from the bottom of the tank where the burner is located and rises up towards the top as it heats up. From there, it is drawn out of the tank and distributed to your faucets and water-using appliances. 

Electric heat pump water heaters, on the other hand, do not generate heat. Instead, they absorb heat that already exists in the surrounding air and use it to warm water stored in a tank. This is a much more efficient process that can save a significant amount of energy in your home. And, because they run on electricity, heat pump water heaters can be powered by solar panels

What to Consider When Switching from Gas to Electric Water Heating 

Tank Size and Space Requirements 

Heat pump water heaters often have larger tanks than traditional gas water heaters. Because of this, you may need to relocate your water heater when upgrading to a heat pump system. However, heat pump water heaters come in a wide variety of tank sizes, including compact options. Talk to your heat pump contractor about sizing options to find the right fit for your needs and space. 

Water Heater Safety 

Combustion appliances like gas water heaters can be a safety hazard in your home. Electric water heaters do not rely on an open flame which makes them a safer option and eliminates the risk of gas leaks or explosions. 

Water Heater Efficiency 

When choosing a new water heater, it’s important to think about the efficiency of gas vs electric water heaters. Heat pump water heaters are significantly more efficient than traditional gas water heaters, so you can use less energy. 

Installation & Operation Costs 

Heat pump water heaters are typically more expensive to install than standard gas water heaters. However, there are heat pump water heater rebates and incentives available to California homeowners. Learn more about rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act that will make your clean energy upgrade more affordable

Some 120v heat pump water heaters are plugin ready and can be plugged into any electrical outlet in your home. Other models are 240v and may require an electrical panel upgrade, which will greatly benefit your home, especially if you are interested in whole-home electrification, but can add to your heat pump water heater installation costs

While upfront installation costs are higher for heat pump water heaters, they use significantly less energy, which depending on the cost of utilities in your area can also lower your monthly energy bills and operating costs. 

How to Find the Best Heat Pump Contractor Near You 

The Clean Energy Connection makes it easy to find a heat pump water heater installer in California that you can trust with our free directory of pre-vetted clean energy contractors. You can filter by location, rebates, services provided, and more to find the right heat pump water heater installation company near you. Contractors don’t pay to be featured in the directory and we don’t have any financial stake in who you choose!

Find a qualified heat pump water heater installer near you.