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Air to Water Heat Pumps (AWHPs)

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Highly efficient domestic hot water production that reduces emissions and energy costs.

Water running out of shower head

Getting to Know AWHP Systems

Air to water heat pumps (AWHPs) are an all-electric option for retrofitting a building’s domestic hot water system. By replacing or supplementing a traditional gas, oil, or steam system, AWHPs can significantly reduce carbon emissions and save energy.

How Do AWHP Systems Work?

All multifamily buildings must supply domestic hot water (DHW) for faucets, showers, and baths. Most large buildings have a centralized DHW system supplied by either on-site boilers or district steam. DHW systems are a significant source of carbon emissions and operating costs, particularly in multifamily buildings, hotels, and dorms.

Air to water heat pumps (AWHPs) provide an alternative to traditional DHW systems. Rather than burn fossil fuels, AWHPs run on electricity and use highly efficient heat exchangers that are effective even at low outdoor air temperatures.

As illustrated in Fig. 1, AWHPs are modular units that generate hot water by transferring heat from air to water via a refrigerant. AWHPs can integrate into a building’s existing infrastructure and replace or supplement traditional DHW systems. Although AWHPs do not produce hot water as rapidly as traditional boilers or steam systems, they save energy and greatly reduce emissions.

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