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Old 10-25-2020, 10:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Ice in = CT / Ice out = Winnipesaukee
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Default Heat Pump Water Heater - NHEC Promotion

The Forum is never short on good, honest, advice so this is the first place I'm checking. NHEC is promoting heat pump water heaters - the A.O. Smith Signature Premier 50 gallon water heater to be specific. This model is sold only through Lowes and the deal runs through the end of this year. Purchase this unit for $999 and receive a NHEC rebate of $750. On top of that, apply a one-time federal tax credit of $300 and you actually end up making money on the unit itself. At least this is what NHEC says.

I'm no stranger to heat pump water heaters having installed an A.O. Smith Voltex Hybrid in our CT home in early 2019. So, I don't have to be sold on the advantages...nor the long lead time I signed up for since we're only using it seven months out of the year (the other five months we're at the lake). I did however like the idea of purchasing it from an environmental standpoint and it offered other benefits such as de-humidification of our basement and it connects nicely to our geo-thermal system (via a preheat tank) for added efficiency.

Having read about the NHEC program, I'm interested in any experiences with it or thoughts about appropriateness for our situation. We have a 1,500 SF cottage on Winni where we reside mid-May through October. The location of the water heater is in a dirt floor 'crawl space' - maybe 5'-1/2 feet high so, at 5-1/4 feet tall, the heat pump water heater would be quite close to the ceiling. The space itself is probably about 650 square feet. Also available is a shorter 50 gallon model but it's quite a bit wider so I don't think we'd be able to get it into the crawl space. We are all-electric. We currently have a 20-year old electric 40-gallon unit that's a bit smaller than we'd like given all the visitors we have and the showers they take. Though we've had no problems with it, given its age, I'm feeling it'll be giving up the ghost soon. I certainly don't want that to happen in-season.

At first glance then, it seems the primary cost would be installation and for that, we'd get a more efficient bang for our electric buck. But as my wife would say, I'm usually missing something so this is where I'd appreciate any opinions/advice. I do worry some about noise as some reviews I've read speak to the fan being quite noisy compared to their prior unit. This could be a problem for us given it would be located below our master bedroom.

Lastly, I'm also interested in plumbing companies you've used for water tank installations that have led to happy experiences (or even ones that have led to unhappy ones so I can be sure to avoid them). And, how busy are these folks during the off season? I know they're near impossible to find in-season but I'd assume they are a lot slower this time of year. Also, can/would they install the unit when the water is completely off/drained?

Haven't made up my mind on this yet and maybe a more traditional electric unit would be the best bet. I appreciate all input. Thank you.
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