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GE calls their GeoSpring water heater a “hybrid,” which in this case means that it heats water through a mix of old and new methods. The new part consists of a heat pump — the same kind of technology you’ve seen in HVAC units for years. An evaporator pulls heat from the ambient air, transferring it to the water within. But when your use demands water too hot for the heat pump (or, more likely, too much water for it to heat effectively in time), a classic electrical element kicks on, topping off the temperature quickly.

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I love taking an absurdly long hot shower after spending a day in the shop.  I can do so because the people who built my house expected a bunch of kids to live here, and they installed two big-ass hot water heaters.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that I’m shelling out cash to keep 110 gallons of water hot all the time, even when I’m out of town. 

Rheem’s tankless water heaters sound like a better answer.  Through the use of a very efficient heat exchanger, they heat quickly enough to provide a continuous supply of hot water on demand, meaning I keep my long showers and pay less for my gas bill.  Did I mention some of them qualify for a $300 tax credit, too?

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