Consumer Review – Our First AirGenerate Water Heater

by rnaleway on October 31, 2012

Choosing an AirGenerate Water Heater for Energy Efficiency

How did we choose an AirGenerate water heater for our home? We are a household of 2 people and 1 dog in a 2 bedroom/ 1bath home. We are misers with our electricity usage; our daily usage usually falls between 10-15 kWh. We started remodeling our house a few years ago…..  Overall we have been happy with the tankless water heater, but we are always looking for ways to keep our energy costs as minimal as possible. At that time we thought that a tankless, electric water heater was the best, most energy efficient option for our household and we were right, until now.

 

 

 

My husband and I were interested in changing out our electric tankless water heater for a more efficient option. Initially we considered solar thermal, but did not have enough solar exposure to make it a cost effective investment.

 

We previously replaced the old baseboard heaters with a ductless heat pump (DHP) in 2010. We were excited to see how much the DHP reduced our winter heating bills! After we had a ductless heat pump installed in our home, we were interested to learn more about using heat pump technology to heat our water too. When we learned about AirGenerate’s water heaters we decided that heat pump water heaters (HPWH) were finally ready for “prime time” and decided to buy one and install it in our home.

 

When we heard about using a heat pump to heat our water we were very interested in how it would work in our home. After researching more about how heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) work in the Northwest, we decided to move the water heater to the garage and go after a Tier II product (the most efficient one on the market).

 

We decided on the AirGenerate water heater, model AirTap ATI66, because:

 

 

Installation & Results

We ordered the AirGenerate AirTap water heater from GP Conservation in Portland and used our local Roto-Rooter plumbers to get the unit installed. Our utility, EWEB, also informed us about a $25 EWEB water heater rebate, a $400 Oregon Residential Tax Credit, and $1000 Smart Water Heat Rebate.

 

Utility Monitoring Program

We decided to volunteer to participate in EWEB’s water heater study that measures the AirGenerate water heater’s performance. Our water heater is now being monitored along with 30 other water heater sites; it is a great opportunity for continued learning and technological comparisons regarding how HPWHs affect the residential household load. The unit is installed and EWEB is monitoring it using Carina Technology’s WISE control system to see just how efficient it is to run. Even though we have only had the unit installed for a few weeks, we are already seeing a reduction in the water heating portion of our household energy use. Plus we have more hot water than we know what to do with! We were excited to learn more about how this water heater compared to more ‘traditional’ units.

 

Our Neighbor’s 1st Impression

” THIS DOES NOT LOOK LIKE ANY WATER HEATER I’VE EVER SEEN BEFORE”

 

Eric & Marianne

Eugene, Oregon

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

USA Plumbing November 18, 2012 at 7:29 am

Interesting review, it would be great if you could follow up on the review after a year of usage and let us know exactly how much you have save during that year.

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Marianne November 21, 2012 at 3:09 am

I am going to go through the winter & then do some analysis. It will be hard to isolate the water heating load & we have had some “lifestyle” changes since last winter too. I will look to share info with you next spring. We are still only running in heat pump mode; I collect the condensate & use it to water our houseplants.

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Richard March 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

I live outside the northwest in the Washington DC area. If I buy your water heater, how can I have it installed and still retain the warrantee?

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rnaleway March 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

You will need to use a licensed and bonded plumber for the installation. AirGenerate water heaters are not aimed at the DIY-market. You and/or your plumber should contact an AirGenerate distributor to make sure that the product is properly sized for your home. The other conversation is on whether the location of your current water heater location is appropriate for this technology.

You should talk to GP Conservation. They are an online distributor and can help you out. They distribute the product nationwide. They can help you out with the proper sizing and installation techniques.

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