GE GeoSpring Heat Pump Water Heater Review

GE GeoSpring heat pump water heater is designed as the hybrid unit that combines the benefits of the heat pump and electric unit for the fast and efficient potable water heating in large homes. The high energy factor makes it Energy Star compliant and ensures great savings without emitting the greenhouse gases, as the gas-powered units.

This hybrid unit is well known as the GE GeoSpring heat pump and is praised as the product that is almost fully made locally, in America.

GE GeoSpring heat pump water heater works by drawing heat out of your house/room and then compressing it in the compressor resulting in higher temperature of the refrigerant, which is then used for water heating.

Great advantage can be noticed if more hot water is needed in a short period of time - backup electric heating elements are used to help and boost the power.

Advantages and benefits

photo: geappliances.com

The GE GeoSpring comes in two popular sizes – 50 gallon and 80 gallon which is sufficient for families of four. They look similar to the electric models, except the upper part where the heat pump is added. Water connections are the same as your old electric water heater so no special installation needs have to be met, and they take up almost as much room as a standard model does, so it fits in your closet, garage or close to the furnace perfectly.

Another difference from the electric model is an advanced control panel that is lit by low-energy use LCDs. The control panel, allow you to choose from four different modes, from fast recovery to ultra-efficiency – heat pump, hybrid, high demand, or electric; or set it to vacation mode if you are going to be away for a while. You can program in the exact temperature you want your water heated to as well. The GeoSpring control panel, except the temperature and mode display is also equipped with the anode rod indicator that is ON when the element is approaching its end of life (some models).

Heating modes

  • Heat pump mode is recommended for maximum savings when the electric heating elements are not operating and it is not recommended where the high hot demand is needed.
  • Hybrid mode utilizes both heating elements and heat pump resulting in faster hot water recovery while providing higher efficiency for energy savings.
  • High demand/Boost is meant for situation when hot water is used more than usual or when the demand is high. This is when the electric heating elements are used at its full power, while heat pump when the demand is lower.
  • Electric or Standard mode is when the unit operates as the standard electric heating unit, and the heat pump is turned off. This is the least energy efficient mode.
  • Vacation mode is used when away from home for an extended period of time and up to 199 days.

An air filter is meant to keep the evaporator clean from any outside dirt or dust particles, allowing an unobstructed air flow. The GeoSpring will alert you when it is time to clean the filter by illuminating the “Filter” button and beeping at you, reducing the cost of the maintenance. Just remove the filter and wipe it down with a damp cloth, reinstall it, and you are back in business.

The GE heat pump water heater only runs the evaporator fan when it is recovering, and it’s fairly quiet. If the water heater is not trying to heat, the fan does not operate and it is almost silent. The noise is really only a factor if you have it indoors and especially if it is located near the bedrooms in your house – the noise level is low.

Control your GE GeoSpring by the optional Connect Plus module that lets you check in on what is going on and lets you program your settings from your smartphone.  It makes it easy to make adjustments no matter where you are.

Environmentally friendly

The GeoSpring’s environmental impact is very low, and it may even qualify for a tax rebate on both the federal level and the state level. Some utilities might also offer a rebate for using an energy efficient appliance.

Your water heater is second only to your HVAC system in terms of energy usage, beating out your other appliances like your washer and dryer combined, and your lighting. You might spend anywhere from $400 to $600 a year on heating up your water. The GE heat pump water heater is Energy Star certified, and it can save you so much money in utility costs that the unit will pay for itself in just over three years, even though it is more expensive than an electric model of similar size.

The GE GeoSpring is also known as the hybrid, because it is capable of running on electricity when needed, and working on the heat pump’s compressed heat the majority of the time. It is as much as 70% more efficient than an electric water heater.

They are also Northern Climate Specification Tier 3 certified, meaning they can operate in the northern colder states and still deliver efficient water heating. The hybrid capability means it can switch to electric in the cooler winter months to keep you rolling along no matter what the season may be.

GE GeoSpring models

The 50 gallon model, GEH50DFEJSR, is capable of producing 69 gallons in an hour during recovery mode, so everyone in your whole family can have a hot shower in the morning.  It comes with a 10 year limited warranty, and it stands just over 5 feet tall.

The 80 gallon version, model number GEH80DFEJSR, gives you even more capacity in the first hour – 94 gallons and it is 70% more efficient that the standard electric model. As you might expect, it does stand taller than the 50 gallon model, coming in at 6 feet tall.

Summary

When you are in the market for either a heat pump or a water heater, consider combining them together into one GE GeoSpring unit. Your GE heat pump water heater works as a single, efficient HVAC unit but combines cooling your house with heating your water. Your local HVAC dealer can give you more information and help you find the right model just for you.

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