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The 8 Best Heat Pump Water Heaters in 2024 + Buyer’s Guide

February 5, 2024
Fred Sayer
December 7, 2023

The best heat pump water heater in 2024 is the Rheem Performance Platinum due to its cost, size, energy efficiency, rebates, and other features. This model is closely followed by the Rheem ProTerra, Stiebel Accelera 300 E, A. O. Smith Signature 900, and Bradford White AeroTherm, among others.

Hot water is something we take for granted until we need to decide what type of hot water heater to invest in. While traditional heaters function well, 18% of the average American’s energy use consists of water heating. For anyone trying to lower their electric bill in an apartment or home, heat pump water heaters are an energy-efficient, cost-effective replacement. 

The best heat pump water heaters are designed to save you money over time while delivering consistent hot water for multiple people. To simplify the buying process, our team created an in-depth methodology and analyzed various brands and models of heat pump water heaters to compile a list of the eight best options. 

We’ve provided thorough descriptions of each to help guide you toward the best unit for your needs, so continue reading to learn more about the best heat pump water heaters in 2024. 

1. Rheem Performance Platinum

Best for: Quiet living

Cost: $799

BBB Grade: A+

With multiple size options, quiet operation, smart technology, and an extended warranty, there are plenty of reasons why the Rheem Performance Platinum heat pump water heater tops our list. This best-in-class model is ideal for in-home installation with mobile temperature control and energy tracking. Above all else, Rheem is highly rated by the Better Business Bureau and frequently recommended by users on distribution sites, receiving an A+ rating and an average of 4.5 stars, respectively.  


  • Model offers 40-, 50-, 60-, 75-, and 80-gallon tank options
  • 50-gallon tank supports households of up to five people
  • Filter-free unit decreases maintenance needs
  • Rebates available
  • Three-year in-home and 12-year limited warranty


  • Does not meet Ultra Low NOx (ULN) emissions requirements for California or Utah use

2. Rheem ProTerra

Best for: Leak protection

Cost: $1,859

BBB Grade: A+

With a higher price tag than our number one heat pump water heater pick, the Rheem ProTerra takes the next spot on our list. This advanced heat pump water heater is similar to the Performance Platinum model in many ways, including its smart features and energy efficiency. This model is also our best electric heat pump water heater option and includes an automatic 360-degree leak prevention system designed to prevent damage and danger associated with water leaks. With hybrid electric and plug-in alternatives and High Performance and Vacation modes, this model offers purchasing options and flexibility in its features.


  • Rebates available
  • 10-year warranty
  • ENERGY STAR certified


  • Higher upfront unit costs

3. Stiebel Accelera 300 E

Best for: Medium-sized households

Cost: $2,675

BBB Grade: A+

While it’s less efficient than our previous two options, we found the Stiebel Accelera 300 E is highly rated by real users with a strong BBB rating, landing this model near the top of our list. The 58-gallon tank is perfect for households of four to five people, and both amateurs and professionals can install the unit. Smaller households can also consider the Stiebel Accelera 220 E, a smaller version of the same model.


  • 58-gallon tank
  • DIY installation options
  • 10-year warranty


  • Only two size options
  • Higher upfront unit costs

4. A. O. Smith Signature 900

Best for: High-capacity heating

Cost: $1,950

BBB Grade: A+

Clocking in at only 45 dB, the A. O. Smith Signature 900 heat pump water heater is a quiet unit designed for high-capacity heating. Easily supporting a household of three to four people, this model comes highly recommended by everyday users. The A. O. Smith Signature 900’s smart features make it easy to manage on a day-to-day basis, which pairs well with its energy-efficient heating and advanced heat pump technology.


  • Rebates and tax credits available
  • 18-month financing options available
  • Free installation is available in some area codes
  • 10-year warranty


  • Lower monthly savings estimates
  • No leak watch or shield protections

5. Bradford White AeroTherm

Best for: Customized heating

Cost: $2,500+

BBB Grade: A+

As our fifth contender, the Bradford White AeroTherm is the best hybrid heat pump water heater designed for customized heating. This model boasts five modes of operation, including Heat Pump, Hybrid, Hybrid Plus, Electric, and Vacation. These modes adjust the efficiency and output of the water heater, which allows users to customize its functionality to their household's needs. Plus, this model’s smart features make remote and in-person customization simple.


  • Model offers 50-, 65-, and 80-gallon tank options
  • Electronic controls
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Ducting kit available
  • Six-year warranty


  • Higher upfront unit costs
  • Requires professional installation

6. ECO2 Systems SANCO2 GS4-45HPC

Best for: Compact systems and small spaces

Cost: $3,700

BBB Grade: A+ but not BBB accredited

The ECO2 Systems’ SANCO2 GS4-45HPC heat pump water heater is the most unique option on our list. This model is a split-system water heater where the storage tank and heater are two separate units, and it offers the longest warranty and largest tank size range of any other heat pump water heater option. However, the GS4-45HPC is also the most expensive unit on our list and comes with simple installation requirements.


  • Three-year labor, 10-year parts, and 15-year lifetime warranty
  • Model offers 43-, 83-, 119-, 200-, 285-, 360-, 455-, and 505-gallon tank options
  • Quick hot water draw recovery
  • Simple installation requirements


  • Higher upfront unit costs
  • Warranty is void if not installed by a licensed professional

7. Richmond Encore 10E40-HP530

Best for: Affordable energy efficiency

Cost: $1,700

BBB Grade: A+ but not BBB accredited

The Richmond Encore 10E40-HP530 is takes the seventh spot on our list. This unit offers customization similar to the Bradford White AeroTherm, including Energy Saver, Heat Pump, High Demand, Electric, and Vacation/Away modes. With a lower price tag than some of our other options and stellar energy-saving features, this unit is a great choice for households looking to save money without sacrificing flexibility. 


  • Rebates and tax credits available
  • Smart features
  • Supports up to a four-person household
  • 10-year tank and two-year in-home warranty
  • ENERGY STAR certified


  • Leak guard and smart features only available with certain models
  • Lower monthly savings estimates

8. Ruud Ultra Series

Best for: Easy installation

Cost: $3,000

BBB Grade: A but not BBB accredited

Using less energy than a traditional light bulb and boasting a simple installation process for both professionals and amateurs, the Ruud Ultra Series cracked our list of the best heat pump water heaters. With multiple tank sizes and five operation modes, this unit easily supports households of three to four people. Plus, its increased energy efficiency helps reduce users' carbon footprint.


  • Rebates and tax credits available
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Easy installation


  • Higher upfront unit costs
  • Three-year limited tank and parts warranty

Our Verdict: The Best Heat Pump Water Heater in 2024

Our verdict is that the Rheem Performance Platinum is the best heat pump water heater in 2024. With outstanding user ratings, an affordable price tag, potential rebates, and decreased maintenance, we found that this model satisfies various needs. 


Arbor’s verdicts about the best heat pump water heaters take into account the following details and features associated with each water heater model and brand.  

  • User ratings (15 points): We assigned points based on user experiences with products and customer service by pulling reviews from distribution sites and brand pages.
  • Trust (15 points): We considered each brand’s heat pump water heater Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) letter grade to determine a holistic view of customer trust and company reputation.
  • Cost (5 points): Each brand and model received points based on the cost of their product, taking into account product and material quality along with industry averages.
  • Warranty (5 points): We assigned points based on functionality and longevity after studying the life and extent of each brand’s warranty.
  • Installation (5 points): We assigned points to each model based on its installation needs. Quick, easy, or DIY installation options received more points than those with costly installation needs.
  • Characteristics (5 points): Models with supplementary features or multiple tank sizes received additional points.

What Is a Heat Pump Water Heater?

A heat pump water heater is a more energy-efficient water heating system than traditional water heaters. This type of water heater uses electricity and ambient heat to increase water temperatures instead of generating heat internally. Heat pump water heaters use refrigerant, compressors, and a condenser coil to transfer heat from one place to another.

Parts of a Heat Pump Water Heater

Many different parts work together to make a heat pump water heater operate successfully. From the storage tank to the drain, these are the most important parks in a working heat pump water heater:

  • Tank: Tanks are usually insulated and store the water that is heated and dispersed.
  • Fan: Fans move ambient heat from outside the tank into the evaporator.
  • Evaporator: Evaporators absorb ambient heat from outside air.
  • Compressor: Compressors move and pressurize refrigerant, which enables heat transfers and temperature increases.
  • Condenser: Condenser coils help pass heat from the refrigerant to the water.
  • Thermostat: Thermostats monitor and regulate the temperature of your water so it stays at a consistent temperature while in use.
  • Drain: Condensate drains remove any water created when ambient heat was pulled inside and pressurized in the tank.

Types of Hot Water Heaters

There are a few different types of hot water heaters on the market. Each unit has a unique heating element and storage system designed to increase and maintain water temperatures. Before investing in a hot water heater, understand the best type for your needs:

  • Conventional: Tank water heaters use a storage tank and an internal heating element to raise the temperature of stored water to a specific degree. These tanks typically use electricity or natural gas.
  • Tankless or demand: Tankless water heaters continuously heat water as it passes through super-heated coils. These are great for smaller spaces, though they typically cost more than conventional heaters.
  • Point of use: Point-of-use heaters provide hot water to a single fixture, like a showerhead or sink. These water heaters typically have a small storage capacity and provide limited hot water.
  • Solar: Solar hot water heaters use energy collected by solar panels to heat up water stored in storage tanks. These can be mounted on a roof or installed within a home.
  • Heat pump: Heat pumps are ambient air-source units that heat from one place to another instead of using energy to create heat, which increases energy efficiency.

How Do Heat Pump Water Heaters Work?

Heat pump water heaters work by moving existing heat from one place to another. Instead of using energy to create new heat, these types of water heaters use refrigerants, compressors, and condenser coils to transfer ambient heat into water. Different types of heat pump water heaters pull ambient heat from different sources:

  • Air-source heat pumps pull and use heat from the surrounding air to heat up water sources.
  • Geothermal heat pumps pull and use heat from the ground to heat up water sources.

A heat pump water heater works similarly to a refrigerator, except it uses the heat collected from the surrounding air instead of expelling it. Because these water heaters depend on ambient heat, they require temperatures between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit to operate optimally.

How Much Do Heat Pump Water Heaters Cost?

The average heat pump water heater usually costs between $4,000 and $8,000. These costs can be broken down into four main categories:

  • Unit cost: This refers to the overall price of a heating unit, which can range from $700 to $4,000 depending on its size and features.
  • Installation and labor costs: Between plumbers and electricians, installation costs usually hover around $3,000+.
  • Supplies cost: Unit additions like a thermal expansion tank (TET) are typically required by code, increasing upfront costs.
  • Financing charges: Depending on how you finance your unit, you may incur additional financing and interest fees.

Even after you purchase and install your unit, there are some potential upkeep costs to navigate, including:

  • Regular maintenance costs
  • Unit repair costs

Even with all of these considerations, most heat pump water heaters cost less over time than traditional water heaters. With average monthly operation costs around $200 due to their energy efficiency, heat pump water heaters vastly outpace the typical $350 to $500 monthly fees associated with other types of water heaters, which can help lower high electric bills.

6 Benefits of a Heat Pump Water Heater 

Heat pump water heaters are significantly more energy efficient than traditional water heaters, but their benefits don’t end there:

  1. Cost: The monthly costs of hybrid water heaters are typically $300 to $400 less than traditional units, making them more cost-effective overall.
  2. Safety: Due to their heat creation methods, heat pump water heaters don’t need to burn gas or other fossil fuels, which limits their emissions of toxic gases. 
  3. Ability: Smaller units usually provide plenty of water for up to four people, but larger options can provide water for eight or more users.
  4. Reliability: Longer warranties and simplified systems make heat pump water heaters more reliable than traditional water heaters.
  5. Eco-friendly: Heat pump water heaters are more energy efficient and release less dangerous emissions than traditional options.
  6. Incentives: Many heat pump water heaters offer rebates and tax credits.

What To Consider When Choosing a Heat Pump Water Heater

Not all heat pump water heaters are made equally. There are four key considerations you need to keep in mind when deciding the type of heat pump water heater to invest in.


The size of your water heater should correlate with the size of your household. Fifty-gallon tanks typically support up to four people, while an 80-gallon water heater can support households ranging from six to eight people. Larger heat pump water heaters can be more expensive upfront but are necessary for households using more hot water.


Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. At the same time, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the product is better quality. Research the materials used to create each product and consider your budget and monthly expenses when purchasing. Also, look into the rebates and tax credits available for each brand and model—it’s possible to purchase a unit and receive most or all of the cost back in a rebate.

First Hour Rating 

A heat pump water heater’s first hour rating refers to the amount of hot water the unit can supply per hour in gallons when starting with a full tank. This rating is determined by the unit’s tank capacity, heating source, and the size of the heating element. If sized correctly, your first hour rating will indicate that your water heater will be able to supply ample hot water to your space during your peak hour demand.


Heat pump water heaters can be three times more efficient than traditional water heaters, but it’s still important to pay attention to each model’s certifications and uniform energy factor (UEF). ENERGY STAR-certified units are often eligible for more substantial rebates than others. Plus, higher UEFs can lower annual costs. 

Heat Pump Water Heater FAQ

Our team has compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about heat pump water heaters below.

How Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Work? 

Heat pump water heaters work similarly to refrigerators, where a fan brings outside air into the pump, which then collects ambient heat using refrigerant. The refrigerant then passes through a compressor to increase its temperature and then a condenser coil where the heat is passed to the water. This process continues through the duration of the water heater’s use.

What Is the Best Heat Pump Water Heater?

According to our research, the best heat pump water heater is the Rheem Performance Platinum, which costs $799 for a 50-gallon model.

What Is the Lifespan of a Heat Pump Water Heater?

The lifespan of a well-maintained heat pump water heater can be up to 15 years, which is longer than the eight to 12 years expected from a traditional water heater.

How Noisy Are Heat Pump Water Heaters?

Heat pump water heaters should produce little noise. Well-constructed models may hum like refrigerators and dishwashers, but check the noise output of a water heater before purchasing one. 

What Rebates and Tax Credits Are There for Heat Pump Water Heaters?

The rebates and tax credits available for heat pump water heaters depend on the model and its certifications. ENERGY STAR-certified heat pump water heaters are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit of up to $2,000. This offer is available until 2032 and may cover the entire cost of the unit.

Do Heat Pump Water Heaters Work in Cold Climates? 

Heat pump water heaters can work in cold climates but perform optimally when ambient temperatures are between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Hybrid heat pump water heater models can act like traditional water heaters when ambient temperatures fall below this threshold. 

What Type of Outlet Do You Need for a Heat Pump Water Heater?

Heat pump water heaters require a 240-volt outlet to run properly. It may be necessary to call an electrician to install this type of outlet before you can utilize a heat pump water heater.

Save On Your Utility Bill With Arbor

There are plenty of ways to save on utility bills, even after purchasing and installing the best heat pump water heater. With Arbor, you can find the best electricity rates and learn more about the rebates and tax credits available in your area. Simply enter your ZIP code and start learning how you can save money today.

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