A heat pump water heater moves heat from the surrounding air into your water whenever possible, rather than simply heating it electrically. This is much more energy-efficient, which is why this type of water heater is considered eco-friendly. But you can't simply install it in the same closet your old water heater was in. Here are three considerations for installing this type of water heater.

1. Square footage

The water heater needs a certain square footage in the room so that it will have enough air to remove heat from. That's why you can't simply put them in a closet like a conventional water heater. These heat pump water heaters do have a backup electric heater, but ideally you don't want yours to need to use the electric heater because that's less efficient. So, choose a large room to provide lots of air to pull heat from.

2. Ambient temperature 

The heat pump water heater is designed to pull heat from the room it's in, which means it will make that room cooler. That may sound like fun in the summer, but you won't want it in your living space in the winter. That's why it's often recommended that you have this type of water heater installed in a basement or garage instead. (Another reason is that it can make more noise than a typical water heater.)

However, you also need to keep in mind that, like a heat pump AC unit, a heat pump water heater doesn't operate well in extremely cold temperatures. That's because the less heat there is in the air, the more difficult it is to extract that heat. So, if you live in a climate that's very cold in winter and your garage consistently gets below freezing, the basement may be a better choice.

3. Height

In addition to the needs listed above, a heat pump water heater also has a larger size. It tends to be both taller and wider. This means that it will require not only more square footage, but also take up more actual physical space and require higher ceilings.

These three special requirements will help you assess whether your home has a good spot a heat pump water heater installation. If not, you may want to wait until you can find a good spot for it so as to avoid the problems that will come with installing it in your living space or in a spot that's too small or too cold.