Reliance Heat Pumps (Hybrids) 
Review and Buying Tips

Explore the best features of the Reliance heat pumps (hybrids) for your comfortable and money-saving water heating. See how advanced engineering increases the efficiency for the Energy Star approval and provides various settings for different hot water demands.

Reliance heat pump

Reliance heat pumps are hybrid electric water heaters designed to combine two technologies, heat pump and electric. This is one of the most powerful and efficient electric units from Reliance that is also the only Energy Star-approved model in this electric group. While hybrids are mainly recommended for homes in mild climates, they can also be used in extreme environments as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures.

There are three hybrid models available: 80-gallon tank as the largest model and with the highest first-hour rating, mid-size with the 66-gallon tank, and small 50-gallon model, all sharing the same recovery rate of 21 GPH. All models use the 850-watt compressor, two heating elements with the power of 4500 Watts, and operating voltage up to 240V.

Benefits

The innovative design allows Reliance heat pumps to work more efficiently and perform better than the electric models with the same capacity. The heat pump technology makes it unique, as it uses the heat from the surrounding air to increase the water temperature, saving you energy and money.

Like other heat pumps, Reliance models are also expensive and require a high initial investment. Still, according to the manufacturer, the operating costs are low, which results in a short payback period of less than three years. With a high energy factor of 3.45, estimated yearly energy costs are in the range from $100-$200, while annual savings are around $300.

And with the high first-hour delivery of around 86 gallons, Reliance hybrids are ideal for large homes with 3-4 bath homes.

Unlike most standard water heaters, Reliance heat pump water heaters (HPWH) are equipped with a heavy-duty anode rod, which benefits homeowners by prolonging the heater’s life.

Similar model: Rheem heat pumps (sold on homedepot.com)

Operating modes

The main features include an easy-to-use touchpad to adjust and monitor the temperature, set and change the heating mode and check other info, such as the error codes. The water temperature can be set in the range from 95 to 150 F.

The touchpad allows you to set one of the four heating modes:

An Efficiency mode enables heat pumps to operate only with the maximum performance. The energy factor in this mode can reach a maximum value of 3.45. In this mode, the HPWH uses half the electricity needed to operate the comparable-sized electric unit. The elements are used only if the surrounding air temperature drops below 45 F or above 109 F.

A Hybrid mode combines both technologies where the main focus is on the heat pump operation while the electric heating elements are turned on only if the heater requires additional power. This is the default and recommended mode that ensures high energy efficiency and reduced recovery time.

Conventional mode allows only heating elements to operate while the heat pump is turned off. Since the heat pump uses the surrounding heat to boost efficiency, the extremely cold weather might prevent the unit from using it. This is the least efficient mode.

A Vacation mode is used in the case of the extended absence, and the water heater works with its minimal energy, protecting the unit in the case of freezing. The temperature of the water is held at approximately 60 F and up to 99 days.

The best locations for heat pump installation are basements, garages, and utility rooms, together with the furnace, to take advantage of the higher temperature of surrounding air. The heat pump comes with a 10-year warranty.

Conclusion

Thanks to the hybrid design, Reliance heat pumps are the favorite type among homeowners and installers due to the simple installation, quiet operation, efficient and reliable operation, heating mode selection, significant energy savings, and state and local utility rebates.

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