Kenmore Heat Pumps 
Review and Buying Tips

Explore the Kenmore heat pumps, the advantages, and benefits, types and review of the features including the pros of the operating modes for even more savings.

Kenmore heat pumps from Elite series are known as Sears hybrid water heaters and are designed to heat potable water by utilizing technologies of electric heaters and heat pumps. The heat pump technology uses the surrounding warm air for water heating while reducing the use of heating elements, and therefore making the system very efficient.

Models review

Kenmore heat pump

There are two models available from Kenmore, both with the large tank capacity of 60 and 80 gallons, which allows the use in homes and for families with the high demand for hot water. When comparing this type of heaters with conventional tank-type, hybrid water heaters have greater benefits.

Kenmore heat pumps are indoor units that are recommended for areas with the mild weather but can also be used in colder regions, as long as the temperature of the surrounding air is within the recommended range. In warmer climates, the unit can be installed in the garage while in the cold, in the basement.

The best location for installation is the utility room, together with the furnace or other appliances that produce heat.

The warmer air inside the utility room helps Kenmore heat pumps to boost performance while cooling and dehumidifying the room at the same time.

Features review

The installation of the heat pumps is almost the same as installing the conventional electric tank-type; it requires proper wiring, but also enough air, and no venting. The footprint is almost the same, such as the water connections.

These units are more advanced which can be seen when using the control panel. The control panel is conveniently located and very helpful because you can check the temperature, find the problem, see the efficiency status…

If there is a problem with the water heater, an error message displays on the LCD screen and the information about the problem can be accessed in the maintenance mode. Instead of the error codes, the display will show the message such as the “upper element connect fault”, or similar.

The water temperature can be adjusted from 95 F to 150 F by using the up or down arrows located on the control panel. To mention safety features... the temperature limit switch or ECO protects the unit from overheating when the water temperature exceeds 190 F.

Similar model: Rheem heat pumps (sold on homedepot.com)

Operating modes

Four operating modes can be set on the control panel, and which one will you choose depends on the hot water demand and your needs. The mode is shown on the screen, together with the icon(s) that indicates when the heat pump is ON and/or heating elements; while the energy efficiency status has its own icon (bars).

  • In the Efficiency mode, the unit uses the heat pump and coil heat exchanger to extract the heat from the air and transfer it to the water. This is the most efficient mode as only the heat pump is used. This is why these heaters should be installed in rooms with higher temperature. The heating elements are not used unless the surrounding temperature drops below 45 F or goes above 109 F, and then the heat pump switches to Hybrid mode.
  • The Hybrid mode is the default mode, when the unit uses heat pump most of the time, while the electric heating elements are utilized in a case of the increased demand for hot water, such as filling a spa or hot tub. The recovery time in this mode is the shortest, which means you will get hot water faster.
  • In the Electric mode, a water heater uses only heating elements. This mode is primarily used if the surrounding air is too cold to use the heat pump. There are two elements, the lower with the 2000 Watts and the upper with the 4500 Watts.
  • The Vacation mode is used during the extended absence of the owner, so the water heater maintains the minimum temperature, which prevents the unit from freezing.

Summary

As said, Kenmore heat pumps combine two technologies, and the electricity is mandatory in every mode, so it can operate and protect the unit from freezing. Also, the electrical power is needed so the powered anode can operate and protect the unit from corrosion.

Kenmore offers a warranty of 10 years.

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