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How Heat Pump Water Heaters Work

The primary heating mechanism is a vapor compression cycle (like those in a refrigerator or air conditioner, but operating in reverse) that transfers heat from the surrounding air to the water stored in the tank. Auxiliary electric resistance elements are also included for reliability and quicker recovery. Most current HPWHs are truly hybrids: they integrate a heat pump and electric resistance element(s) into a single storage tank.

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