Photo of an old timey bathtub on a yellow floor in front of a gray beadboard wall with the caption Top 5 Heat Pump Water Heaters

The research to find a heat pump water heater can be extensive. And there’s no easy way to compare all the different models and retailers. This article is a deep dive into the top affordable heat pump water heaters that are both high-quality and budget-friendly.

There are a plethora of hybrid water heater manufacturers and retailers. Finding the top water heaters for an affordable price requires some research and knowledge of the systems. Some of the top brands include Rheem, A.O. Smith, and Steibel Eltron. If you are looking for a retailer to purchase your hybrid water heater and potentially even have it installed, a good place to look is Home Depot or Lowe’s. 

Knowing where to start your search can be a huge advantage. This article will give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision on the best hybrid water heater for your home. We hope you find it helpful!

*Note – this article may contain affiliate links, which helps to pay for the business operations to write up more content.

Why Switch to a Heat Pump Water Heater?

A heat pump water heater in a garage

The numbers from an ROI perspective are why we automatically switch over watch heaters to the heat pump type on the netzero homes we do, even if the existing one is relatively new. For a total cost of $2,000 or so installed (handyman or plumber, 40 gallon Rheem unit) if the install isn’t too crazy, you’ll get about a $400 per year savings on a 40 gallon unit swap out.

I own the Rheem unit (40 gallon) on the second netzero home we’re renovating and can tell you it’s about half the noise level of the popular A.O. Smith one below that you will find at Lowes, which I have on our first netzero home renovation project. Overall I like the Rheem much better in terms of looks, noise level, and the wifi app to control temperatures from your phone (or set vacation mode and other things). In the future I’ll be going with this Rheem unit on future projects.

The Energy Guide label on my old 40 gallon said it would use $530 in annual energy costs (at 12 cents/kWh) and the new Rheem 40 gallon one only uses $104 per year. That’s a $426 savings per year.

The quick payback calculation on that would be $2,000 / $426 = 4.69 years. And there’s a 10 year warranty on it. I can also tell you that if you’re thinking of investing in solar, my calculators show that by doing this first, you can save 2 or 3x the cost of solar by not using so much energy. The calculators also show that the energy saved by changing to a heat pump hot water heater will power a regular electric car for the whole year! That’s if you drive about 10 to 11,000 miles per year and depends on the exact model of course. Every house and situation will be different, but still pretty cool (I think anyway)!

So without further delay, here are the best and most readily available heat pump hot water heaters we’re aware of today.

Top Affordable Heat Pump Water Heaters

A split-screen shot of an electric water heater and gas-powered unit

We will be breaking this section down by brand and where the unit can be purchased. Some of the units are a part of a collection which includes the same unit but in different sizes.

Rheem Performance Platinum Proterra Hybrid

This collection of heat pump water heaters is one of the most affordable and efficient lines on the market. It comes in four sizes: 40-gallon, 50-gallon, 65-gallon, and 80-gallon. No matter what size you purchase, the water heater has an average return on investment of two to three years and an average savings of $4,600 over ten years.

These units are also Wi-Fi enabled so you can control the water heater from your phone or other mobile device. They come with a 10-year warranty and a 1-year in-home labor warranty. This collection of hybrid hot water heaters also reduces energy usage by an average of 75 percent. All of the units in this collection are also EnergyStar certified.

A.O. Smith Signature Premier Hybrid

A.O. Smith has a high-quality, well-priced heat pump water heater that comes in two sizes, including a 50-gallon and 80-gallon option. Both sizes use up to 73 percent less energy than standard water heaters and have a return on investment of two to three years.

The units save an average of $3,000 over a period of ten years and include a ten-year limited residential warranty. This collection is EnergyStar certified and has an electronic interface as well as several modes (efficiency, hybrid, electric, and vacation) to best suit your needs at any given time. They are also designed with a washable and reusable filter which saves money and waste in the long term.

Unit SizeHome SizeCost
50-Gallon3-4 People$1,449
80-Gallon5+ People$2,459

Stiebel Eltron Accelera

The Stiebel Eltron Accelera series is a sleek-looking set of hybrid water heaters that include an LED interface to make navigation easy. This collection is EnergyStar certified and can reduce energy usage by up to 80 percent. There is a 10-year limited warranty included when the hybrid hot water heater is purchased.

Designers of this heat pump water heater worked to ensure it would be efficient and valuable in a range of climates. The electronic anode they chose reduces the amount of maintenance needed. Annual savings when using this unit can be as much as $740. There are two sizes available, a 58-gallon unit and an 80-gallon unit.

Unit SizeHome SizeCost
58-Gallon2-3 People$2,498
80-Gallon3-5 People$2,599

Richmond Hybrid Electric Water Heater

The Richmond hybrid electric water heater is another great unit that offers high-quality, low-maintenance hot water for an affordable price. This unit is available from Menards. Menards is a home-improvement store similar to Lowe’s or Home Depot and is found in 16 states across the Midwest.

This water heater comes in 50-gallon, 65-gallon, and 80-gallon sizes depending on your needs. All sizes are Wi-Fi enabled so you can control your water heater from your phone or other mobile device. They come with a 10-year tank warranty and a 2-year in-home labor warranty. The return on investment for these units is 2-3 years, and they can save you up to $4,800 in a ten-year timespan.

All of the sizes are EnergyStar certified and are up to four times more efficient than standard electric water heaters.

Unit SizeHome SizeCost
50-Gallon3-5 People$1,569
65-Gallon3-5 People$1,731
80-Gallon5+ People$2,399

Electrolux Electric Hybrid Heat Pump Dual Vent Water Heater

This specific unit is 66 gallons which is suitable for a home of 3-5 people. This unit saves up to 70 percent on energy costs.

The warranty offered by Electrolux is one of the best around and includes a 1-year labor warranty, a 10-year unit parts warranty, and a 15-year tank warranty. It has Northern Climate Tier 2 and EnergyStar certifications. The water heater also has three separate operating modes: auto, econ, and heater, to customize to your specific needs.


Finding the best hybrid hot water heater for your needs can be tricky. Size, warranty, or cost can limit your choices.  Luckily, all of the top affordable heat pump water heaters offer not only good quality products but also solid warranties and a great return on investment.

Whether you are headed to your local hardware or home improvement store or are looking to buy from a nation-wide chain, we hope this guide has saved you some time in your search for a high-quality affordable hybrid hot water heater.

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